Stephan Harding is the resident scientist and senior tutor at Schumacher College, the renowned international center for transdisciplinary ecological studies in rural England. He is the author of the acclaimed book, Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia (2007, Chelsea Green). Holding a doctorate in ecology from the University of Oxford, Dr. Harding taught wildlife ecology at the National University in Costa Rica before joining Schumacher College at its inception in 1991. He is also coordinator of the college’s highly successful Master’s of Science degree in Holistic Science, a program offered in partnership with the University of Plymouth. At Schumacher College he has worked and taught alongside many of the world’s leading ecological activists, thinkers and writers, including Arne Naess, Fritjof Capra, David Abram, and the planetary biologist James Lovelock (founder of the Gaia Hypothesis) with whom Stephan collaborated for many years. He also collaborated closely with the pioneering evolutionary biologist, Lynn Margulis.
Keenly interested in the experiential approach to natural science first developed by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Dr. Harding’s scientific practice has been fed by his close friendships with theoretical biologist Brian Goodwin and philosopher of science Henri Bortoft. Stephan is also an accomplished classical guitarist. He has set several poems by Federico Garcia Lorca to music, and he recently completed (with Martin Shaw) a volume of fresh translations of Lorca’s poetry into English.
A uniquely gifted teacher and lecturer, Stephan uses the natural sciences to awaken a deep experiential understanding of the Earth as a vast sentient being that nourishes our every breath, our every thought, and indeed our every action, as a result of the astonishing relationships between our planet’s biotic organisms and her waters, rocks and atmosphere.