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SILENT SPRING: AND AT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

“We put DDT all over. …in the late fifties and early sixties … we had the catastrophe of the robins dying.”

GORDON GUYER
FORMER CHAIR MSU DEPARTMENT OF ENTOMOLOGY,
INAUGURAL DIRECTOR OF THE MSU PESTICIDE RESEARCH CENTER, AND MSU PRESIDENT 1992-93.

With Silent Spring firing public debate, MSU established a Campus Spray Committee to consider pesticide impacts. This committee, under various names, has continued in some form to the present day.

In early 1969, the MSU Agricultural Experiment Station eliminated DDT from its recommendations for insect control. Michigan cancelled most uses of DDT later that year.

The MSU Pesticide Research Center was established in 1970. From then on, MSU directed increased research attention towards this field.

MSU awarded George Wallace an Honorary Doctorate degree in 1986, shortly after his death.

MSU now hosts the Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture Series, recognizing the link between Silent Spring and MSU. Each year, one or two prominent scholars share their ideas about global challenges and opportunities. This lecture series is organized by the MSU Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

The George J. Wallace and Martha C. Wallace Endowed Scholarship is offered annually to a student pursuing a Master’s or Doctoral research program in ornithology in MSU’s Department of Zoology.

MSU has also established a Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability.

Campus management has progressively adopted Integrated Pest Management strategies rather than blanket spraying with broad-purpose pesticides. This is evident in the current practices for control of Dutch Elm Disease.