Toggle Nav

Theo Colborn Receives Rachel Carson Award

Dr. Theo Colborn--scientist, author, and environmental advocate--was presented with the 2003 Rachel Carson Award last night by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) at their annual meeting in Austin, TX.

Colborn, a senior fellow at World Wildlife Fund, has been called "the Rachel Carson of our time" for her work on exposing the devastating effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals on human and animal reproduction. Her book, Our Stolen Future, was the first to warn of the dire health effects of certain synthetic chemicals on endocrine and immune systems, and has been translated into 18 languages.

Created in 1987, the Rachel Carson Award is given to an individual or group that has substantially increased public awareness of an environmental issue and whose action has resulted in a redefinition of environmental policies and practices. Colborn was selected to receive the award for the considerable international impact she has made on scientific research, public perceptions, and environmental policy regarding the issue of endocrine disruptors.

"I am honored to receive this award, which is named for a pioneering scientist and dedicated environmentalist," said Colborn. "I hope my work can inspire young scientists as Rachel Carson inspired me and so many of my colleagues, who are working to discover how chemical contaminants are impacting current and future generations of people and wildlife."

Colborn's work has triggered worldwide public concern regarding endocrine disrupting chemicals, and has prompted enactment of new laws and redirection of research by governments, the private sector, and academics. Our Stolen Future chronicles the voluminous scientific evidence that common synthetic chemicals can interfere with naturally produced hormones and cause developmental and reproductive abnormalities. Wildlife and humans are exposed daily to these pervasive chemicals, most of which were developed during the past 50 years.

"Theo Colborn has made tremendous contributions to the scientific, environmental, and public health communities," said Clif Curtis, director of WWF's Toxics Program. "WWF congratulates her for this most recent award and for her continuing efforts to protect wildlife and people from chemical threats."

SETAC is an independent professional society that provides a forum on environmental research, conservation, and environmental toxicology and chemistry.