News >> Stephan Harding becomes Deep Ecology Research Fellow

Stephan Harding becomes Deep Ecology Research Fellow

stephan harding
Wednesday, 9 October, 2019

Dr Stephan Harding has been named as the first Deep Ecology Research Fellow of Schumacher College.

Stephan, one of the founding faculty members of the College, has been teaching deep ecology as an integral part of the Holistic Science masters programme which he helped to establish with Professor Brian Goodwin and which he coordinated for almost two decades.

“I like to work at the deepest level of feeling combined with rigorous scientific thinking to help people develop their own style of deep experience of connection with nature,” he said. “I’m so pleased to be given this title. I particularly love the word ‘fellow’ as I feel it’s very humble." 

Stephan has taught alongside many of the world’s leading ecological thinkers and activists including Fritjof Capra, Vandana Shiva, David Abram and Lynn Margulis. But he says that he has been deeply influenced by his dear friend and one of the first teachers at College, James Lovelock, and also by his great mentor Arne Naess with whom he worked at the college and also in Norway and Bali.

Stephan was born in Venezuela and came to came to England at the age of six.  He was always fascinated with natural world and went on to study Zoology at Durham University before taking his doctorate at Oxford University on the behavioural ecology of the muntjac deer.

He said unfolding global events have only made him more certain that a holistic understanding of nature is more urgent than ever since it offers a way of combining the qualities of nature with quantitative approaches more typical of mainstream science.

“Nature isn’t something other than us, something outside us. She is sentient and alive and we live deep inside her just as microbes live inside our guts. “

“It’s important for us all to feel this depth of connection with nature. When we do, the scales drop from our eyes and we feel the miracle that our cosmos and our planet exist at all."

Stephan will continue teaching holistic science and deep ecology at the College whilst also focussing on his forthcoming book which he is writing with senior climate scientist and Jungian analyst Dr Jeffrey Kiehl on the connections between the science of Gaia and the Western depth psychological tradition known as alchemy. The MSc Holistic Science, which is believed to be, the only masters programme of its kind in the world, will run again in 2020. Stephan is delighted that it will be coordinated by Dr Andy Letcher who helped Stephan on the last holistic science masters in 2018/19. “I will greatly enjoy working with Andy again in his new capacity” said Stephan.