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The Debate Goes On

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Silent Spring was published 50 years ago and still there is debate about the validity of Rachel Carson’s documentation of pesticide effects and about the impacts the book has had on the use of pesticides in the United States and around the world.

Most scientists and environmentalists today regard the book’s impacts as overwhelmingly positive, in alerting the world to the dangers of improper use of toxins to control pests.

There are others who regard many of the book’s claims to have been inaccurate, exaggerated or deliberately misleading, and that there has been an unnecessary over-reaction to pesticides, including DDT.

Some articles critical of Silent Spring:

Silence, Miss Carson. William J. Darby. Review of Silent Spring. Chemical & Engineering News 1962, October 1: 62-63. 

The Lies of Rachel Carson. J. Gordon Edwards. 21st Century: Science & Technology Magazine. 1992.

The Excellent Powder: DDT’s Political and Scientific History. Donald Roberts and Richard Tren, with Roger Bate and Jennifer Zambone. Dog Ear Publishing. 2010.

Some articles supporting Silent Spring:

Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature. Linda Lear. New York, Henry Holt. 1997.

Gordon Edwards, Rachel Carson, and DDT. NEW-CUE, Nature and Environmental Writers – College and University Educators.

Environmentalist Rachel Carson. Peter Matthiessen. Time Magazine. March 1999.

“Silence, Miss Carson!” Science, Gender, and the Reception of Silent Spring. Michael B. Smith. Feminist Studies 2001, Volume 27: 733-752.