Wednesday, September 05, 2007

if facts are the seeds...

The September/October issue of Audubon Magazine reviews several new books about Rachel Carson, someone in whom I have a special interest.

Rachel Carson has often been called the mother of the modern environmentalist movement. Her most famous book, Silent Spring, cited the dangers of chemicals and pesticide sprayings. Written 45 years ago, that book was a landmark, and my inspiration for switching to all earth-friendly household products like laundry and dish detergent, shampoo, etc. Today, we are still fighting (and losing) that battle.

In 1950, my grandfather and Rachel Carson both won the AAAS-George Westinghouse Science Writing Award for excellence in science writing. My grandfather, who at the time was a journalist for the Democrat & Chronicle, won the award for his article "Cancer Problem Riddle May Be Discovered in Carrots, Coconut Milk"* from the September 24, 1950 issue.

I remember my mother telling me a story about he and my grandmother flew out to wherever the ceremony was held - L.A., or Vegas, or somewhere out West, for a very glitzy, glamorous affair. They also got to meet Rachel Carson.

The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe around us, the less taste we have for destruction. -Rachel Carson, 1954
*End note: A few months ago, I tried e-mailing the Democrat & Chronicle for a copy of my grandfather's article. I never received a response. If anyone out there has an idea of how I can get a hold of an article from 1950, please let me know.

1 comment:

Julia said...

It would be a major pain in the arse, but Rundel should have all the newspapers from the 1950s on microfiche. If you knew about which month the whole event took place, that would narrow down your search a little.