Rachel Carson said early in her career as a Marine Biologist and Conservationist that, ‘the twentieth century was the only Century in history when a single species, Humans, had acquired significant power to change the nature of the whole world’.
These words are incredibly powerful and when you consider they were spoken very early in a career that spaned from 1936 until her death in 1964, a career which still holds immense influence through her books and collections of letters, which were discovered and published in 1998.
From an early age she was considered as a bright child, who always wanted to be a writer, who despite the Great Depression, immense family hardship and the fact that she was a female in what was considered as a man’s world, went on to become a strong voice against the use of pesticides such as the newly created chemical DDT. The damage this newly discovered chemical was causing even in the early stages of use within the farming communities of America and further afield, was polluting the waterway, damaging wildlife. Within the Scientific community a real concern about harmful side effects to humans was becoming apparent.
Carson went on to publish many books on the subject, which are listed in the section Carson’s Key Works, and as the pages of her biography turn it is clear that warnings against environmental destruction and pollution damaging the environment have been around for a very long time.
Rachel Carson is one of three books in the Scientists Who Changed the World series and makes fascinating reading regardless of age. Aimed at the young reader the book is set out in a comic book style, as are the other two, Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin, which is the prefect design for any young child who is curious, interested in fact finding and offers children a carefully researched, well-presented pathway, to learn about scientists who have had such an impact on our lives.