“Rachel Carson: American Experience” and Jonathan Demme’s “What’s Motivating Hayes?” are both films that are concerned with the effects and dangers of pesticides and herbicides. Rachel Carson’s book, ’Silent Spring’, 1962, was fervent and articulate about the lasting effects of pesticides. This brought about a serious national debate and was opposed by many Chemical organizations. However, it led to investigations on the public health effects of pesticides which was inspired by President John F. Kennedy. This investigation finally led to new laws to govern the regulation of these poisonous chemical agents. This film features the overall life of a woman who transformed how we understand our involvement with the natural world and also launched the modern environmental involvement. Tyrone Hayes was a biologist who was asked by Sygenta, an agribusiness corporation, to study the effects of herbicides atrazine on frogs. On realizing that this chemical causes impairments on the reproductive organs of the frogs, Syngenta betrayed him and decided to disgrace him by all means even by investigating his wife and finances. Hayes did not back down, but instead chose to risk his name, profession and livelihood for the sake of science and amphibian’s future. Hayes is therefore portrayed as untiring, daring and ready to fight for what is right.
In relation to our studies in class, we can see that its is advisable to stand for what we believe in even in times of rejection. Carson and Hayes stood by their researches and fought tooth to nail to defend them. from our class work also we deduce that amphibian life is important and chemicals are harmful to them. we should be involved in conserving environment and natural life. For life of these amphibians to continue their reproductive life is a matter of concern and their life matters a lot.
I believe these films led to the future of human beings and other living things. Were it not for Carson’s and Hayes boldness to carry out these researches and to actually bring them to the attention of the world, then we would not have known that there exists harm from these chemicals. I am however left wondering why chemical organizations like Sygenta dared betray Hayes or repute Carson’s findings. Do they care about their organizations and chemicals more than about the life? I wish there could be more people to fight for what they believe in. Before she died, Carson wrote to her friend, “you do know, I think, how deeply I believe in the importance of what I am doing. Knowing what I do, there would be no future peace for me if I kept silent…It is, in the deepest sense, a privilege as well as a duty to have the opportunity to speak out-to many thousands of people-on something so important.” The connection between Carson and Hayes is so obvious. Other than both of them being scientists, they both did a study on chemical agents and concluded that they are dangerous. They also had the courage and willingness to fight for what they believed was right despite the opposition from the ‘’mainstream’’ science organizations, like chemical companies who were vigorous about Carson’s book and Sygenta who wanted to discredit Hayes for his findings.
Davis, Daphne M., and Jeffrey A. Hayes. “What are the benefits of mindfulness? A practice review of psychotherapy-related research.” Psychotherapy 48.2 (2011): 198.
Germer, Christopher, Ronald D. Siegel, and Paul R. Fulton, eds. Mindfulness and psychotherapy. Guilford Publications, 2016.