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Knowledge Is Power Then and Now

April 28, 2023
The story of Rachel Carson’s contributions to environmental conservation has long stuck with me and now comes full circle as a new generation learns about her work.

One of the perks of this job is learning new things every day. Monotonous days are a rarity in the publishing realm, but what I like most is when I see what I learn show up in my personal life.

Recently, my daughter came home from school with a small science project where she researched the history of climate change, the conception of Earth Day, the formation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and so on. She created a timeline of the events and where things stand today. Her hope is that we continue on a path to better take care of the Earth and its resources.

I’m a creative individual but have full appreciation for those with jobs in engineering and science.

But as I looked at her timeline, I noticed one thing missing – Rachel Carson’s contributions to environmental conservation. I wasn’t aware of Carson’s work until I read then editor-in-chief Mark Rosenzweig’s homage to her and the book “Silent Spring” several years ago.

I smiled at recalling Mark’s editorial, and told my daughter, “You need to know about this person, too.” And began to point to resources on Carson’s work.

I also told her she should look up how Earth Day itself came about – another one of Mark’s insightful articles that stuck with me.

I find joy in seeing topics I’ve read or researched for our publication suddenly appear elsewhere in my everyday life. Suddenly, technologies and concepts we’ve heard about for years in industry are encroaching into the general population and even dinner table conversations -- AI, hydrogen, digital twins, plastic waste breakdown and more.

Admittingly, some of these might long have been your dinner table topics, but for those like me with a non-science background, it’s often an afterthought and something the general population can take for granted.

I’m a creative individual but have full appreciation for those with jobs in engineering and science. This is why I encourage my child’s involvement in STEM (or better, STEAM). I might not be able to help her with complex math problems (something she needs little help with, thankfully), but whenever I learn some new scientific tidbit at work, I share it at the dinner table.

I also lean on my brothers, who are engineers. One often talks to me in “engineering speak” that, no matter how much I follow along, comes across as if he’s speaking a foreign language. But I love learning where I can, and when it ‘clicks,’ I’ll remember it forever — like the story of “Silent Spring.”

About the Author

Amanda Joshi | Managing Editor

Amanda Joshi has more than 18 years of experience in business-to-business publishing for both print and digital content. Before joining Chemical Processing, she worked with and Electrical Contracting Products. She’s a versatile, award-winning editor with experience in writing and editing technical content, executing marketing strategy, developing new products, attending industry events and developing customer relationships. 

Amanda graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2001 with a B.A. in English and has been an English teacher. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and daughter, and their mini Aussiedoodle, Riley. In her rare spare time, she enjoys reading, tackling DIY projects, and horseback riding.

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