Carson wrote for the general public, not for the scientific community. My limited scientific education did not deter me from being able to access and discuss this work, and defend it to skeptics. Anyone who wants to know more about the consequences of the overuse of pesticides will find this work accessible.
When I was once asked to read from a book that changed my life I chose the Introduction to this work - "A Fable for tomorrow" - which describes a future in which there are no birds or insects. A future in which the landscape has been decimated by the use of insecticides. This book was integral to the banning of DDT and launched the modern environmental movement.
I know from my own research about Carson that this work was meticulously researched, and that she made good use of libraries while writing it. She names two librarians in particular in her Acknowlegements.
Happy Birthday, Rachel!