Advisory Committee on Pesticides
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Portrait photograph of Lamont Cole. Faculty Biography Folder. Courtesy of the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library. Lamont Cole

Cole, an ecologist at Cornell University, recently reviewed Silent Spring in Scientific American.

[There is now an award named after him for an outstanding paper by a graduate student in ecology at Cornell.]

Be sure to review Chaps. 2,4,6,7,9,15-17 of Silent Spring. You should be able to comment on Carson's credibility and rhetoric, benefits and harms of pesticides, indiscriminate use, insecticide resistance, and alternatives. Contextualize the use of pesticides given their history, and comment on the role of scientific (ecological) knowledge in guiding policy. Be familiar with Carson's examples of gypsy moths and salmon.


  • Cole, Lamont. 1962. "Rachel Carson's indictment of the wide use of pesticides." Scientific American [Vol #](Dec.): 172-180.
  • Cole, Lamont. 1964. "The Impending Emergence of Ecological Thought." BioScience 14(7): 30-32.
  • Cole, Lamont. 1964. "Pesticides: A Hazard to Nature's Equilbirium." American Journal of Public Health 54(Supp.): 24-31.
  • Graham, Since Silent Spring.
  • See Whorton and McWilliams (on early pesticides).
  • last revised November 7, 2009