Michigan State University

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The 50th Anniversary of Silent Spring: The Power of a Book

2nd floor, West Wing
October- December 2012

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. This book, which created a huge stir when first published, was both praised and attacked but eventually held up as a classic and one of the most important works of the 20th century. Carson was the first to alert the public to the health and environmental dangers of widespread spraying of toxic pesticides, most notably DDT. The book is credited with leading to stricter regulation of pesticide use, eventual creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the beginning of the modern environmental movement.

Exhibit produced by Susan Kendall.

For a more in-depth exploration of Rachel Carson's book and legacy view the MSU Museum's exhibition Echoes of Silent Spring: 50 Years of Environmental Awareness, on display in the Heritage Gallery through Dec. 30, 2012, and attend the MSU Main Libraries' November 8 showing and discussion of the documentary Dying to Be Heard, the story of MSU professor Dr. George J. Wallace, who discovered a link between DDT and dying birds on the MSU campus.

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