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New London - Connecticut College will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” the landmark book credited with
launching the environmental movement, with a series of free events on Thursday that are open to the public.
“Five Decades after Silent Spring” will begin with a panel discussion focusing on Carson’s legacy, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Ernst Common Room of Blaustein Humanities Center. The panel will be chaired by Linda Lear, a 1962 Conn graduate, author of the award-winning biography “Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature.” A recipient of the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment Alumni Achievement Award, Lear serves on the Advisory Board of the center and is a former trustee of the College. Panelists will include Naomi Oreskes, professor of history and social science at the University of California, San Diego; Peter Siver, professor of botany and director of the environmental studies program at Connecticut College; Helen Rozwadowski, associate professor of history, University of Connecticut; and Wendy Blake-Coleman, from the Office of Environmental Information, Environmental Protection Agency.
At 5 p.m. there will be a reception in the lobby of Shain Library, site of “Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring: Rumblings of an Avalanche,” a library exhibit illustrating the growing concern about the use of DDT in the 1950s and Carson’s plans for a book on the overuse of pesticides.
The events will conclude with a lecture at 7:30 p.m. in Ernst by ecologist, author and environmental advocate Sandra Steingraber. A cancer survivor, Steingraber has written extensively on the intersection of the environment and public health. Her most recent book, “Raising Elijah,” is a call to action for what she calls the greatest moral crisis of our time — the environmental crisis. Her talk is titled “The Fracking of Rachel Carson: Silent Spring in an Age of Environmental Crisis.”