When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 30 December 2012

Rachel-Carson-and-Silent-Spring

“The ‘control of nature’ is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man. The concepts and practices of applied entomology for the most part date from that Stone Age of science. It is our alarming misfortune that so primitive a science has armed itself with the most modem and terrible weapons, and that in turning them against the insects, it has also turned them against the earth.”

With those cautionary words ended Silent Spring, a popular science book that first came out 50 years ago, and is now widely regarded as a book that changed our thinking about the environment.

Its author was a marine biologist turned science writer, Rachel Louise Carson, who…

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