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Weekend Planner: Books

Taking its title from a line by John Keats (“And no birds sing”) and arguing that the uncontrolled use of pesticides (DDT in particular) was threatening animal and human life, Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” (1962) is widely credited with launching the environmental movement that in turn emerged as part of the e_SSRq60s counterculture. On the occasion of the book’s 50th anniversary the Western Massachusetts Gardeners Association is sponsoring “Reading ‘Silent Spring’ Together” a program that will include three talks by local environmental experts and community discussions. The first event, “The Science Behind ‘Silent Spring,’ ” with evolutionary biologist Andrew Whitely, takes place Saturday, 1 to 3 p.m. at Forbes Library in Northampton. Subsequent discussions are Feb., 2, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Greenfield Public Library (“The Relevance of ‘Silent Spring’ After 50 Years,” with environmental toxicologist Emily Monosson) and Feb. 16, 1 to 3 p.m. at the Jones Library in Amherst (“Our Threatened Future,” with environmental scientist Jan Dizard).

There is no charge, but readers are asked to pre-register due to space limitations. Participants may attend any or all sessions. Email wmmgasilentspring@gmail.com to register. www.wmmgasilentspring.blogspot.com for updates and cancellations.

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