A Multipart Analysis of Outreach Communications

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Green plastic bottle of mineral and organic fertilizer

Lead Researcher: Gareth Thomas Williams

Summary: This project is a multi-part analysis of outreach communications by agricultural chemical manufacturers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture following the 1962 release of “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson. The study includes rhetorical analysis of communications by the companies and examination of multimedia information and disinformation campaigns seeking to undermine Carson’s work. This work follows on a rhetorical analysis of Ms. Carson’s speeches in 1963 that rebut the industry and governmental challenges to her work. Future work will likely address the presidential commission launched in response to “Silent Spring,” which ultimately found the assertions in the book credible and warranting immediate intervention.