From: The Troll House (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Aug 09 2002 - 22:59:45 EDT
As a lurker on the ASA listserve, I've appreciated being able to read the
biographical statements of participants, so here's mine, with thanks to
Terry for asking.
BIO: Walter R. Hearn
Career #1 (1951-71) Academic biochemistry
Career #2 (1972-93) Freelance editing
Career #3 (19??-date) Writing
EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT:
USNR, enlisted aviation electronic technician (1944-46).
B.A., chemistry, Rice U., Houston (1948).
Ph.D., biochemistry, U. of Illinois, Urbana (1951).
[Structure of antibiotic streptothricin, with H. E. Carter.]
Instructor, biochem, Yale School of Med, New Haven (1951-52).
[Enzymatic transpeptidation reactions, with J. S. Fruton.]
Asst prof, biochem, Baylor College of Med, Houston (1952-55).
[Purification of corticotropin releasing factor, with R. Guillemin;
chemistry of oxalyl amino acids.]
Assoc prof, biochem, Iowa State U., Ames (1955-71).
[CRF activity of synthetic vasopressin; biosynthesis of prodigiosin in
Serratia marcescens, with R. P. Williams; growth factors for Bacillus
thuringensis; guanidation of amino acids, etc.]
Editor, ASA Newsletter (1969-93).
Partner with wife Virginia, "Editorial Excellence," (1972-date).
Prof, Christianity & science, New College Berkeley (1978-date).
Grew up in a Christian home, met Christ in our family's Southern Baptist
church in Houston at about age 10. I have been several kinds of Baptist,
including American Baptist during grad school. Not strongly oriented
ecclesiastically. Have felt most at home in low-church settings, including
the former Berkeley Housechurch, which began in our living room in 1975 and
lasted for maybe a decade with several offshoots. Ginny and I dropped out of
it after about five years (to return to our experiment in "Secular Christian
Fellowship," a "no-church" setting) after Housechurch folks seemed intent on
reinventing the established church, despite their roots in the Christian
World Liberation Front, an indigenous ministry (1969-75) to Berkeley's
countercultural youth. After years of appreciating the efforts of First
Presbyterian Church of Berkeley to witness to the university community, we
finally became members, though I regard myself as merely a
pseudo-Presbyterian. I consider service to others as my principle form of
worship, rather than seeing corporate worship as the principle "service" of
Christians. Throughout my Christian life as well as my scientific career, I
have been primarily an experimentalist rather than a theoretician.
1) Those who have read my book Being a Christian in Science (IVP, 1997) know
pretty much what I have to say. I am under the impression that all ASA
members receive a free copy but I realize that not all contributors to this
list are ASA members. Without "spamming" those who are not yet members, I do
recommend the book (available from ASA or IVP), especially for young people
just beginning or contemplating a career in scientific work.
2) Having just returned from the ASA Annual Meeting at Pepperdine University
in Malibu, CA, I also highly recommend membership in ASA and at least
occasional attendance at Annual Meetings, especially when they are held in
your part of the USA. The 2002 program, emphasizing "Christian Pioneers of
Science," was rich both scientifically and spiritually. Five outstanding
plenary speakers described their technical work in accessible language while
speaking of their faith journeys. In a new program, students and post-docs
giving papers or posters received free registration and housing, plus full
participation in the meeting. Every young person I talked to found it
3) I joined ASA as a grad student and was able to attend my first meeting as
a post-doc, fifty years ago. That's a half-century of broadening my
scientific understanding and deepening my faith in Jesus Christ. The
"fellowship of kindred minds" has blessed me in many ways, including
opportunities to contribute to the science/faith "literature" with many
articles in the ASA journal and elsewhere, with half a dozen chapters in
books by others, and as co-author of the booklet Teaching Science in a
Climate of Controversy, still available from ASA and still useful for
teachers caught in the crossfire. My book on Being a Christian in Science
came not only from my own experience but also from writing the stories of
hundreds of contemporary exemplars for the ASA Newsletter and for a series
of "Search" inserts in the ASA journal. It was my chapter on "The Origin of
Life" (with Richard Hendry, my first grad student) in Evolution and
Christian Thought Today (ed. by Russ Mixter, Eerdmans, 1959) that got me
invited to a 1960 science symposium at Wheaton College in Mixter's honor. A
critical report of my part in that symposium in a publication called The
Sword of the Lord was the basis of my appearance in the final segment of the
2001 PBS series on Evolution, "What About God?" (though I did not play the
4) I apologize for the length of this post. The Hearns are relatively new to
the Internet. Ginny loves it but Walt is not yet comfortable with it. As a
sort of hybrid of two of his favorite forms of worship (conversation and
correspondence), email sometimes seems to bring out the worst features of
both rather than the best. So, consider this another experiment in learning
to worship more effectively. Thank you for your patience.
--Walt Hearn, the W in firstname.lastname@example.org
The Troll House
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