Today’s Google Doodle honors marine biologist Rachel Louise Carson, who was born on this date 107 years ago. Google’s special logo depicts Carson in a field with binoculars and a notebook, surrounded by several types of birds and wildlife.
Carson is credited with starting the modern environmental movement, particularly the impact of pesticides on the environment. Her book, “Silent Spring”, noted the absence of birds in areas with significant agricultural farming.
Born May 27, 1907 in Springdale, Pennsylvania, Carson grew up to become an aquatic biologist with the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries. She also was a best-selling author of “Under the Sea Wind”, “The Sea Around Us”, and “The Edge of the Sea” in the 1950s.
In the late 1950s, Carson began focusing on conservation and the role she believed the pesticides were causing the environment.
Her book, “Silent Spring”, brought the issue to the forefront in the U.S., despite heavy opposition from chemical companies who didn’t want to see any impact on their business practices. The book, based on four years of her research, was instrumental in the banning of DDT within the U.S., and led to the eventual creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Carson developed breast cancer and then complications from the treatment, with cancer eventually spreading to her liver. Carson died in 1964 at the age of 56 of a heart attack at home in Silver Spring, Maryland.
In 1980 Carson was posthumously awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-president Jimmy Carter. Her famous book was re-released in 1994 with an introduction by Vice President Al Gore.