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Today’s Google Doodle Celebrates Environmentalist and Author Rachel Carson

Also lots of bird and plants and turtles and the cutest crab you ever did see.

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Continuing in their recent trend of honoring pioneering women in science and technology, today Google’s homepage boasts a beautiful Doodle in honor of what would have been Rachel Carson’s 107th birthday.

Carson studied marine biology but received acclaim for her books Under the Sea-Wind, The Edge of the Sea, The Sea Around Us (winner of the National Book Award) and The Silent Spring. Although her earlier works were renowned for their “gentle” praise of the natural world, Silent Spring—which Carson wrote while battling breast cancer—was an urgent plea for agricultural reform that earned her a reputation as a radical alarmist in the eyes of the government and the chemical industry.

The New York Times wrote in 1962:

In her new book, [Rachel Carson] tries to scare the living daylights out of us and, in large measure, succeeds. Her work tingles with anger, outrage and protest. It is a 20th-century ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’.

Another New York Times article marveled that the $300 million-pesticide industry was “highly irritated by a quiet woman author whose previous works on science have been praised for the beauty and precision of the writing.” Carson continued to challenge perception of chemical use in the last years of her life, testifying in front of Congress in 1963 to ask that the public be educated about the dangers inherent in pesticides. She passed away after her battle with cancer in 1964 at the age of 53.

Google had this to say about honoring the woman whose controversial stance on chemicals prompted some of the first conversations about protecting our natural world:

Too often, the contributions of women in science and technology are left untold, and fade from view. We hope our Doodles will honour these remarkable women’s lives and work and, in turn, inspire more women to enter the fields of science and technology.

(via The Washington Post and Nature World News, image via Google)

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