Alan Harvey was born in London. After education at Forest School and the University of Cambridge, he gained a PhD in neurophysiology from the Australian National University in Canberra. Following a period of research and teaching in the USA and South Australia, he moved to The University of Western Australia in 1984, where he is now an Emeritus Professor.
Alan’s main experimental neuroscience interests are in trauma, transplantation, gene therapy and regeneration, his research primarily focused on understanding the growth of circuits in the visual system and spinal cord, and how best to protect and repair these circuits after injury.
He is also passionate about music, and over the past 50 years or so he has sung in numerous choirs and played many concerts as a solo artist or as a member of various folk or rock bands. In 2017, his book Music, Evolution, and the Harmony of Souls was published by Oxford University Press, bringing together his musical and neuroscientific interests, exploring the importance of music throughout human evolution and emphasising its continued relevance to human welfare in the twenty-first century.
In a commencement address to UWA students, Tim Minchin commented that da Vinci would have found the rift between science and medicine ridiculous. Neuroscientist Professor Alan Harvey has written a book in support of this notion. Join him as he discusses the healing power of music (though we warn, audience participation is inevitable).