Science Women | Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson, born May 27, 1907 in Springdale, Pennsylvania, where she developed a deep, life-long love of nature. In 1929, Carson graduated from the Pennsylvania College for Women and began studying at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory until continued her studies at Johns Hopkins University where she received her MA in zoology in 1932.

Carson was hired as a writer by the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries during the Great Depression to write scripts for the radio. As another means of income, she also wrote articles for the Baltimore Sun. In 1936 she began her 15 year career as scientist and editor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, eventually rising to editor-in-chief.

Most of Carson’s writing and editing revolved around the environment and research into pesticides and the food chain and environment. In 1952 she left her job with the federal services to devote her time to writing to teach people about the world around them, she became especially focused on synthetic pesticides and their negative health effects. In 1963, Carson testified before congress calling for new policies to better protect human and environmental health.

In 1964, the marine biologist, environmental activist and writer died from a long battle with breast cancer. Her research and ideas regarding fertilizers and pesticides have helped create new policies and procedures for protecting the world around us.