Reconsidering Rachel Carson's Silent Spring: it was an influential book...too bad the science was all wrong. "She cited scary figures showing a recent rise in deaths from cancer, but she didn't consider one of the chief causes: fewer people were dying at young ages from other diseases (including the malaria that persisted in the American South until DDT). When that longevity factor as well as the impact of smoking are removed, the cancer death rate was falling in the decade before 'Silent Spring,' and it kept falling in the rest of the century."
Update: Scienceblogs' Tim Lambert has been following a campaign to discredit Carson and her book. More here and at Google. (thx, jim & paul)