Google Doodle celebrates life and work of marine biologist Rachel Louise Carson

By Samyukta Maindarkar | dna Webdesk

Google’s practice of honouring eminent personalities in various fields continues with American environmentalist and author Rachel Louise Carson.

The doodle on the internet giant’s homepage commemorates the 107th birth anniversary of Carson, whose whose significant work in environmental research led to the banning of DDT and other harmful pesticides.

An elegant blue-themed illustration features Carson, with a scarf around her neck, standing outdoors by the edge of a water body surrounded by plants and trees. She has a pair of binoculars about her neck, and carries a notebook and a backpack.

Several birds, including a pelican, a tern and a heron, and a dragonfly and a butterfly have taken wing, while a seal, a turtle, a lobster and assorted fish are shown in the water.

Image credit: Wikipedia

Born in Pennsylvania on May 27, 1907, Carson began her career as a biologist in the US Bureau of Fisheries. She became a full-fledged writer in the 1950s. Her trilogy of books about the sea, The Sea Around Us, The Edge of the Sea, and Under the Sea Wind became bestsellers. Carson won a National Book Award for The Sea Around Us, in which she explored life in the oceans.

However, it was her iconic book Silent Spring — the title refers to the dearth of birdsong across vast stretches of agricultural landscape — which brought to light the harmful effects of synthetic pesticides and sparked widespread public outcry. It is also credited with inspiring an environmental movement that led to the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Carson died of a heart attack on April 14, 1964. She was 56 years old. She had become weak after being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. She contracted a respiratory virus in January of that year. Doctors found that she was suffering also from anaemia.

Carson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by US President Jimmy Carter.

*Originally published on on May 27, 2014