Two legendary figures — environmental scientist and activist Barry Commoner and historian Eric Hobsbawm — died on Sunday, both at the age of 95. Both changed the way we view the world. Both influenced scholars and activists alike.
Barry Commoner: I posted a tribute to Commoner on the Huffington Post and The Nation. He followed Rachel Carson as America’s most prominent modern environmentalist. He viewed the environmental crisis as a symptom of a fundamentally flawed economic and social system. A biologist and research scientist, he argued in his best-selling books and many articles that corporate greed, misguided government priorities, and the misuse of technology undermined “the finely sculptured fit between life and its surroundings.” He insisted that scientists had an obligation to make scientific information accessible to the general public, so that citizens could participate in public debates that involved scientific questions.