National Historic Chemical Landmark – Silent Spring

The American Chemistry Society established the National Historic Chemical Landmarks program in 1992 to enhance public appreciation for the contributions of the chemical sciences to modern life in the United States and to encourage a sense of pride in their practitioners. The program does this by recognizing seminal achievements in the chemical sciences, recording their histories, and providing information and resources about Landmark achievements.

Legacy of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring

Dedicated October 26, 2012, at Chatham University

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, published in 1962, was a landmark in the development of the modern environmental movement. Carson’s scientific perspective and rigor created a work of substantial depth and credibility that sparked widespread debate within the scientific community and the broader public about the effect of pesticides on the natural world. These discussions led to new policies that protect our air, our water, and, ultimately, our health and safety. Carson’s book promoted a paradigm shift in how chemists practice their discipline and helped to establish a new role for chemists in investigating the impact of human activity on the environment. The legacy of Silent Spring continues today in the chemistry community’s increased focus on green chemistry practices and the public’s heightened support for sustainability in all areas of our lives.

Click to download The Legacy of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.

Click to doanload the ACS Press Release.

For more information about the National Historic Chemical Landmarks program, visit

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