The Fiftieth Anniversary of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”: Message heard, not really acted on. An open lecture will be helt on Wednesday 17 October 2012 in Askja building, room 132, University of Iceland, at 12.25-13.15 where dr. Joni Seager, Professor of Global Studies at Bentley University, will give a public talk entitled “The Fiftieth Anniversary of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”: Message heard, not really acted on”. It will take place in the Askja Building, room 132, University of Iceland, at 12.25-13.25. The lecture will be in English and is open to all free of charge.

The lecture is held in collaboration with the Gender Studies and Equality Training Programme at the University of Iceland (

Synopsis: Silent Spring 50 Years Later: Message heard, not really acted on

In many profound ways, Rachel Carson's central message in "Silent Spring" was "heard" and acted on. "Silent Spring" was enormously influential in policy circles and is credited with starting the modern environmental movement. She provoked environmental consciousness and environmental activism. Rachel was right, then, and she still is today.

But a closer look at pesticides in contemporary America reveals that we still use pesticides with wanton indifference to human and environmental health. A campaign in summer 2012 to spray much of Massachusetts to eradicate disease-carrying mosquitos provides a case study that shows how little information most citizens are given about pesticides, how much acquiescence there is when officials say spraying is necessary for public health, and how little those officials themselves know.

Rachel Carson worried about the “over 200 chemicals that have been created for use in killing… pests" and the “500 new chemicals that annually find their way into actual use in the US alone.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has by now approved over 1400 pesticides for use, and maintains a list of about 87,000 chemicals in its Toxic Substances Inventory. Pesticide use is out of control -- we're just more worried about it now.

Graphic: Silent Spring and the author Rachel Carson,

Oct. 15, 2012
Guðrún Arndís Tryggvadóttir, Irma Erlingsdóttir „50 ára útgáfuafmæli - Raddir vorsins þagna“, Náttú Oct. 15, 2012 URL: [Skoðað:Dec. 3, 2022]
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