Friday, March 21, 2014

Rachel Carson Quiz

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Since it is the first full day of spring, I thought I would start the season with a quiz about the author of Silent Spring, Rachel Carson.  Answers are in the comments.

1.  Rachel Carson is one of the few players in the history of the American environmental movement without a Wisconsin link.  Where was she born and where did she go to college?

2.  What was the focus of her Master's degree?

3.   Although Rachel Carson was a trained scientist, she is better known for her work in interpreting complex scientific information to the public.  What was her first effort in bringing science to the public?

4.  Why didn't Rachel Carson go on for a Ph.D. as she intended?

5.   Her most successful book prior to the publication of Silent Spring was on the New York Times bestseller list for 86 weeks.  What was the name of the book?

6.  This well-known environmental group brought on Rachel Carson to look at the impacts of pesticides and aerial spraying of pesticides on the environment.  This is often thought of as the spark that led to the development of Silent Spring.

7.   Silent Spring highlights the link between widespread pesticide use and environmental and health problems.  What is the meaning of the title, Silent Spring?

8.   In a sad irony, Rachel Carson had a personal health challenge while she was working on revisions to Silent Spring.  What was it?

9.  Silent Spring lays out a very clear case for the impact of pesticides and other chemicals on the environment.  Why do some feel she was so precise and detailed in her writing?

10.  Rachel Carson died in 1964 before she saw the impact that her work had on environmental policy in the United States.  What two important federal laws relating to water and air could be traced to her writing?

1 comment:

Bob Brinkmann said...

1. She was born on a farm near Pittsburgh. She did her undergraduate degree in biology at the Pennsylvania College for Women and her masters in zoology from Johns Hopkins University.
2. The development of internal organs of fish.
3. She wrote a radio series that consisted of fifty-two seven minute segments for the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries. The series was called “Romance Under the Waters”.
4. Her father and older sister died. She had to work to take care of her mother and other relatives.
5. The Sea Around Us
6. The Audubon Society
7. It is a metaphorical title suggests that if we don’t change our ways, we will no longer have the songbirds in the spring.
8. She found out she had breast cancer. She eventually died from it.
9. There were many in the chemical industry who were attacking scientists who were demonstrating the links. She wanted to make her arguments clear and concise in order to support the work of the scientists who were attacked and in order to make it clear to the public the significance of the problem. For this reason, it is considered one of the most important environmental books ever written.
10. Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act.