Rachel Carson Biographer to Speak on Nov. 6

November 2, 2014

Tim Lucas, 919-613-8084, tdlucas@duke.edu

DURHAM, N.C. – Robert Musil, president of the Rachel Carson Council, will present a free talk, “Before and After Rachel Carson: Women and the Environmental Movement,” on Thursday, Nov. 6, at Duke University.  

The talk, which is open to the public, takes place at 4:30 p.m. at Field Auditorium in Environment Hall next to the Levine Science Research Center on Duke’s West Campus.     

It is the annual Lynn W. Day Distinguished Lectureship in Forest and Conservation History.

Robert Musil is the author of Rachel Carson and Her Sisters: Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped America’s Environment (Rutgers, 2014).

In his talk, Musil will explain that Carson, author of Silent Spring, the landmark book about the dangers of pesticides, was aware of and drew upon a century-long line of other female scientists, writers and activists who came before her. Today, she continues to inspire women to assume leadership roles as writers, scientists and environmental advocates.

Musil will examine and redefine the contributions these women have made to some of the most important environmental issues in American history, from the earliest denunciations of clear-cutting forests by Susan Fenimore Cooper, to organizing efforts by women in California to save the redwoods and – most recently – campaigns against fracking by writer/advocates like Sandra Steingraber.

In addition to his responsibilities as president and CEO of the Rachel Carson Council, the legacy organization envisioned by Rachel Carson and founded in 1965 by her closest friends and colleagues, Musil is a senior fellow and adjunct professor at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, School of Public Affairs, American University, where he teaches about climate change and American environmental politics.  

The annual Day Lecture is open to off-campus groups, including high school students and teachers. It is sponsored by the Forest History Society, Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and the Department of History. A free reception will follow the lecture.

For more information, contact the Forest History Society at (919) 682-9319 or visit http://www.foresthistory.org/Events/lecture2014.html.