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'Five Decades after Silent Spring' commemorates landmark book

10/1/2012

The College will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring," the landmark book credited with launching the environmental movement, with a series of events on Thursday, Oct. 18. "Five Decades after Silent Spring" will begin with a panel discussion reflecting on Carson's legacy, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., in Ernst Common Room of Blaustein Humanities Center. The panel will be chaired by Linda Lear '62, author of the award-winning biography "Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature." A recipient of the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment Alumni Achievement Award, Lear serves on the Advisory Board of the center and is a former trustee of the College. In 1998, she donated her research archives to the College to establish the Lear-Carson Collection. In 2008, the Linda Lear Center for Special Collections & Archives opened in Shain Library to preserve and promote the College's most precious resources for learning and research. Panelists include Naomi Oreskes, professor of history and social science at the University of California, San Diego; Peter Siver, the Charles & Sarah P. Becker '27 Professor of Botany and director of the environmental studies program at Connecticut College; Helen Rozwadowski, associate professor of history, University of Connecticut; and Wendy Blake-Coleman '75, from the Office of Environmental Information, Environmental Protection Agency. At 5 p.m. there will be a reception in the lobby of Shain Library, site of "Rachel Carson's Silent Spring: Rumblings of an Avalanche," a library exhibit illustrating the growing concern about the use of DDT in the 1950s and Carson's plans for a book on the overuse of pesticides. The events conclude with a lecture at 7:30 p.m. in Ernst by ecologist, author and environmental advocate Sandra Steingraber. A cancer survivor, Steingraber has written extensively on the intersection of the environment and public health. Her most recent book, "Raising Elijah," is a call to action for what she calls the greatest moral crisis of our time - the environmental crisis. Her talk is titled "The Fracking of Rachel Carson: Silent Spring in an Age of Environmental Crisis." "Even after 50 years, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring remains a critically important work," said Benjamin Panciera, the Ruth Rusch Sheppe '40 Director of Special Collections. "We are pleased to bring to campus a group of speakers who can discuss its impact and its continuing role in contemporary environmental debates." "Five Decades after Silent Spring" is supported by the Sound Lab Foundation, the Friends of the Connecticut College Library, Connecticut College Information Services, the Lear Center for Special Collections & Archives, the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment and Linda Lear. All events are free and open to the public.



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