by Beth Davidson Hyde, Roux Associates, Inc.
Dr. Ruth Patrick who laid the groundwork for modern water pollution control policy died on September 23rd at 105 in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania. I am proud to have met such a women pioneer and champion of environmental science. The Society of Women Environmental Professionals (www.swepweb.com) of which I am a member and Board Emeritus gave Dr. Patrick a Touchstone Award in 2000, recognizing her many accomplishments. Our award preceded many of the distinguished awards cited in the article below. Upon receiving her Touchstone Pin, Dr. Patrick talked about what it was like in her era, when women could not wear pant suits or lip stick. I wonder had she been a man if her work would have influenced Water Protection policy sooner. Another amazing woman - Rachel Carson, whose 50th year of publishing Silent Spring we celebrated in 2012, was not taken seriously at first and criticized because she was a woman. It’s a testament to trail blazers like Dr. Patrick and Rachel Carson for their courage and determination. Thankfully we have the opportunity today to work in a much more level playing field because of them. Please click on the link below to better appreciate what an amazing scientist we had here in Philadelphia. She will live on in history for her incredible work in water quality. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/us/ruth-patrick-a-pioneer-in-pollution-control-dies-at-105.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&