Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, which alerted the world to the dangers of chemical pesticides and inspired the modern environmental movement, was published 53 years ago, on Sept. 27, 1962.
Kenny Walker is a PhD student in the English department. As a member of the UA’s highly-regarded Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English (RCTE) program, he studies the rhetoric of science and technology and applies this research to academic, professional, and public contexts. His recent collaborative work shows how Rachel Carson adapted scientific uncertainty from her sources and amplified it in her drafting process to create a site for public participation in Silent Spring. This work has been featured in The New York Times. As in this example, he is interested in the myriad ways that uncertainty opens a space for public participation in science and how science communicators learn to adopt and adapt strategies of uncertainty to improve public communications. Kenny also conducts research for the UA’s Writing Program, where he studies the teaching of writing and communication across the curriculum as a way to create cognitively-rich learning environments and increase students’ ability to write and communicate in their discipline. When he is not working, Kenny enjoys exploring the depths of Tucson with his partner, Amelia, and two-year-old son, Theo.