Influential Women #05: Rachel Carson

So my philosophy exam is coming up, and as I’ve mentioned before, we don’t get to study about a lot of women for that class. One of the women that is talked about in my syllabus, is Rachel Carson. In my previous post I assumed people knew who she was – but it turns out that this is not the case. Allow me to enlighten you.

In the early 20th century, when Rachel was born, industry, science and technology were booming – leaving most people in utter awe, but others in strong disapproval. Rachel was part of the latter group. She observed that mankind was getting rather bold – factories rose, weaponry was made at an astonishing rate, the working class suffered horrible working conditions and even worse living conditions. Yet there was something that bothered Rachel even more: mankind felt like they were stronger than nature.

Carson was an ecologist before people even knew what that term meant – in her most significant work, Silent Spring, which was published in 1962, she warned mankind about exploiting nature and the consequences this would eventually have. Rachel Carson was one of the people who laid the foundations for the many strong discussions about ecology that are still so very relevant today, and she has a place at the very basis of many contemporary environmental movements.

Not only did she warn people in Silent Spring – she also had the guts to ask the harsh questions. Why did humans feel like they had the right to control nature? Why did they feel entitled to decide what could live and what had to die? Where did they get the mere idea that they had the right to destroy nature for their own profits? Rachel Carson soon came to be perceived as a social revolutionary, and had to suck up an awful lot of criticism – yet it never stopped her for speaking up about and standing up for the nature we were destroying.

Rachel Carson passed away in 1964, but she left an extremely influential legacy behind, that still to this day has a great impact on ecological and environmental debates, groups and protests.

  • L. Parole

3 thoughts on “Influential Women #05: Rachel Carson

  1. I really like this article (and this woman!) 🙂 since you’re posting a series of influential women, could you post something about Helen Keller? I don’t know that much about her, and was hoping maybe you did.

    (but of course, if she doesn’t fit in this series, I understand if you won’t post anything about it)


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