October 26, 2012 (1-5 p.m.)

Chatham University Eddy Theater
Chatham University
Pittsburgh, PA

Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring, published 50 years ago in 1962, brought global attention to the consequences of unrestrained use of toxic pesticides such as DDT.  Among the actions taken in response to her work was a ban on DDT by the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency in 1976, over a decade after Rachel Carson’s death.  The success of Silent Spring and its rapid popularity was based on Rachel Carson’s reputation and credibility as a writer and scientist on the subject of the oceans.  Her books The Sea Around UsThe Edge of the Sea and Under the Sea Wind established her in the public eye as a significant scholar and writer.  Thus, in celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of publication of Silent Spring, it is appropriate to turn to the oceans as a touchstone for evaluating the impact of her work.

Keynote Address: “Messages from Our Oceans: A Reflection on Rachel Carson’s Predictions.” By  Francesca Santoro, Ph.D. Program Manager of the Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission of UNESCO

Panel #1:  “Preventing Contamination of Our Planet,” A panel discussion will address the challenge of the IOC’s 2010 annual assessment of the status of the oceans, paraphrased here: Oceans occupy 71 percent of our planet’s surface, regulate its climate, and provide its ultimate waste disposal system. The ocean is the reason why this planet is habitable for humankind. We must do all we can to preserve its majesty and resources. We must try not to always focus on the gloom and doom, but rather include messages of hope and best practices, and encouragement to do better. How do we do that?  Invited speakers will address the positive ways people can improve the ocean health by controlling urban, suburban, agricultural, industrial, and energy contaminants.
Interactive workshops, which have been a hallmark of the Rachel Carson Legacy Conference series, will be scheduled during the month of November and incorporated into the proceedings of the conference. There will be one workshop to address each of the panel topics with a focus on best practices and success stories. 

Panel #2: “Silent Spring and Fifty Years of the Practice of Chemistry.” The American Chemical Society will present perspectives on the evolution of the practice of chemistry in academic, industrial and public arenas over the last fifty years.  

Presentation: National Historic Chemical Landmark plaque for Silent Spring to Chatham University to commemorate this event. Presentation by Nancy B. Jackson, Ph.D. Manager, International Chemical Threat Reduction in the Global Security Center of Sandia National Laboratory.  She is the immediate Past President of the American Chemical Society. 

The Conference is open to the public.  Registration $50.00, Students $20.00

For more information, visit the Rachel Carson Institute website

Contact: Patricia M. DeMarco, Rachel Carson Institute Director -- phone: (412) 365-2702 or e-mail:  pdemarco@chatham.edu.

Click here to find out more. 
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