David and Stephen Flynn
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David and Stephen Flynn

The Happy Pear Podcast

Do you feel optimistic about the future? 

When a class of 200 graduates were asked to raise their hand if they felt optimistic about the future – No one did. Are you surprised?

Episode 107

This week we speak to Matthijs Schouten, the biologist, ecologist, lecturer and author of Nature’s mirror; the image of nature in a cultural-historical perspective

Matthijs G.C. Schouten B.Sc., M.Sc. D.Sc. studied biology and comparative religion at the University of Nijmegen and Celtic studies at the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands).

He has worked as a lecturer at the University of Nijmegen and as an ecological project leader for the Wildlife Service (Dublin). He was the leader of the international campaign for the conservation of Irish bogs. Since 1992 he is senior ecological officer at the National Forest Service of the Netherlands; since 1995 he also is a visiting professor of nature and landscape conservation at University College Cork and University College Galway (Ireland); in 1999 he furthermore accepted the chair of restoration ecology at Wageningen University (the Netherlands).

In 1990 he was awarded the International Award for Conservation Merit by the World wide Fund for Nature and in 1992 the National University of Ireland granted him a honorary doctorate.

He has published widely in the fields of ecology and nature philosophy. His latest book Spiegel van de natuur; het natuurbeeld in cultuurhistorisch perspectief  (Nature’s mirror; the image of nature in a cultural-historical perspective) has formed the basis for the exhibition World Nature Art in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam.

In this episode we explore the meaning of nature, how we have become detached and obsessed with the individual, driven by ego, how we need to reinstate rituals of contemplation, the power we all posses to make change, the importance of enchantment, connection and falling in love. 

“Unless we accept how destructive we can be we can’t move ahead constructively.”

We loved this episode so much, Dave has already booked a trip to have lunch with Matthijs!


Lots of Love,

Dave & Steve x

Available now from all good podcast providers:

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This episode is sponsored by Vivobarefoot Footwear. Vivobarefoot Footwear have given our listeners an exclusive 15% discount when you enter the code HAPPYPEAR15  

Genuinely these are the only shoes you will see Dave & Steve wearing!

Produced by Sean Cahill and Sara Fawsitt