Great Women in Medicine: Rachel Carson and Elizabeth Kenny
by Jeffrey Dach MD
Although Rachel Carson was a marine biologist, I believe she deserves recognition as one of the “Great Women In Medicine.” I will explain why.
Her landmark book Silent Spring is credited with motivating the government to create the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 and the banning of DDT in 1972, both of which had enormous health benefits for the population.
The title 'Silent Spring' refers to the mass extermination of the bird population from indiscriminate spraying of DDT over the fields. The songbirds died from eating DDT laden insects.
Rachel Carson died from breast cancer in 1964 and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter in 1980. The Post Office in Rachel Carson’s home town, Springdale, Pennsylvania, was named in her honor on May 27, 2008.
Sister Kenny, an Australian nurse (not a nun) recognized the underlying disorder as muscle spasm and devised a successful treatment of flaccid paralysis with wool strip heat soaks, massage, and muscle exercises, the exact opposite of conventional orthopedic treatment of the time. Compared to the dismal results obtained by immobilization, Kenney’
Both of these women stood up for what they knew was best against the criticism of mainstream science and medicine.
The original articles can be found below:
Page Updated Last on: Jan 07, 2014