‘Silent Spring’: Reversed Opinion | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 90 Issue 52 | pp. 4-5 | Letters
Issue Date: December 24, 2012

‘Silent Spring’: Reversed Opinion

Department: Letters

C&EN proudly features the American Chemical Society’s designation of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” as a National Historic Chemical Landmark (Nov. 26, page 38). The article extols the great, favorable impact that the book launched when it was published 50 years ago.

I am an emeritus member of ACS, and I vividly remember that the then-editor of C&EN published several strongly worded editorials castigating Carson and her “ridiculous” and “absurd” position and allegations! He condemned her for setting back science and chemistry in her “sensational and outlandish opinions!”

ACS 2011 IRS Form 990 Available

The American Chemical Society’s 2011 Form 990 is now available on ACS’s website. To access the information, go to www.acs.org and follow these instructions: Click on “About Us,” then click on “ACS Financial Information.” Go to the heading “ACS IRS Form 990,” and click on “2011 IRS Form 990.”

Please see also the related “Guide to Schedule J” for explanatory information regarding ACS Executive Compensation. If you have any access problems, contact <a href="mailto:webmaster@acs.org" title="Webmaster">webmaster@acs.org</a>.

All of this serves to further confirm the statement made by another C&EN reader (July 9, page 2). To wit, “I have always been taken aback by the finality of many chemists’ opinions. If we have learned anything, it is that we do not know all the answers, because life structures are very complex.” He went on to add: “How many times in the past 10 years alone have we reversed our original position?”

The turnaround regarding Carson and her publication is a classic example that hits close to home for all of us, ACS included.

I would add that not only chemists and other scientists should heed this admonition, but that politicians should as well.

Edward G. Feldmann
Sarasota, Fla.

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