Title: Biologist (Retired)
Location: Haverford, Pennsylvania, United States
Stevens Heckscher, Retired Biologist, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in biology and theology.
From the beginning, Dr. Heckscher’s life has been dominated by the pursuit of two loves: Religion and Science. He believes neither is complete without the other, yet there must be no confusion caused by the attempt to use the methodology of one to settle questions that arise within the other. The scientific method, and scientific method only, is appropriate for scientific investigation, while the theological method, and that only, is proper to the quest for truth in theology. Understanding that foundational fact has undergirded all of his intellectual pursuits. Now, in his later age, he is in awe of the results that he sees, as each discipline illuminates the deep insights of the other. Dr. Heckscher’s interest in science began in his early childhood, where his imagination was first captivated by the field of meteorology. That nascent interest evolved into a lifelong appreciation and exploration of science.
Dr. Heckscher followed his interest in science, and related subjects, at Harvard University, first earning an AB in mathematics in 1952. He continued at the institution to receive an AM in 1954 and then a PhD in 1960. Prior to retirement, Dr. Heckscher served as a naturalist and conservation biologist of the Natural Lands Trust, serving in this capacity from 1980 until 2007. He previously worked as an instructor and then as a professor of mathematics at Swarthmore College. He undertook this role in 1960 and remained at the institution for 20 years. His earliest career position was that of Instructor at Rutgers University in the school year 1959 to 1960.
Dr. Heckscher’s greatest achievement was scientifically describing and successfully advocating the preservation in perpetuity of the 110-acre black gum – red maple – sweetbay magnolia virgin swamp forest known as Bear Swamp West, in Cumberland County, southern New Jersey. This pristine tract of land is now owned jointly by Natural Lands of Media, PA, and the State of New Jersey. Dr. Heckscher has held a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Leiden, Netherlands, and a National Science Foundation Science Faculty Fellowship to Cambridge University, U.K. Dr. Heckscher is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi, was a beneficiary of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant to Swarthmore College for research at the University of Pennsylvania, and was a visiting lecturer in Environmental Science at that university. He has contributed articles to professional journals on mathematics, plant distribution, and theology. His extensive collection of his botanical photographs is currently being placed in the public domain and in his career, he has contributed articles to professional journals with written work and photographs. Dr. Heckscher currently lectures on cosmology, plant geography, and the interface between science and religion.
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