DURHAM, N.C. – Acclaimed environmental historian Robert K. Musil will present a free talk, “Rachel Carson’s Legacy and Environmental Justice in North Carolina,” at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
His talk, which is open to the public, will be held in Love Auditorium at the Levine Science Research Center on Duke’s West Campus.
Musil is president and CEO of the Rachel Carson Council and the author of numerous highly lauded books, including 2016’s “Rachel Carson and Her Sisters: Extraordinary Women Who Have Shaped America’s Environment,” and 2009’s “Hope for a Heated Planet: How Americans are Fighting Global Warming and Building a Better Future.”
His newest work, an updated and annotated edition of Carson’s visionary book about marine ecology and conservation, “Under the Sea-Wind,” will soon be published by Rutgers University Press.
In addition to his scholarly work, Musil is widely respected for his environmental advocacy on climate change and environmental justice on Capitol Hill, and for co-authoring a series of groundbreaking reports on the adverse environmental, economic and social impacts of industrial-scale livestock farming and forest clear-cutting in North Carolina.
From 1992 to 2006, he served as executive director and CEO of Physicians for Social Responsibility, a nonprofit organization that won the 1985 Nobel Prize for Peace.
One of Musil’s signature accomplishments during his tenure at the Rachel Carson Council has been founding the Rachel Carson Council Campus Network, which supports innovative curriculum development, research partnerships, hands-on student training and fellowship programs, and environmental leadership development at 65 colleges and universities, including Duke. More than 5,000 faculty members, students and university staff members from these institutions are currently taking part in programs aimed at building and deepening connections between campuses, communities and advocates to help advance environmental health and spur equitable policy solutions.
Carson was a marine biologist, writer and conservationist whose landmark 1962 book “Silent Spring” and other writings helped launch the modern environmental movement by catalyzing public awareness about the adverse effects of pesticide use, species loss, ecosystem degradation and other environmental threats.
Her writings also helped lay a groundwork for the environmental justice movement by casting light on the inequitable burdens these threats placed on some people, from the undue harm caused to Inuit mothers in the Arctic from their exposure to radiation from atomic bomb testing to the health and safety hazards faced by workers at factory farms.