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Maxwell Bennett is Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience and held the first University Chair for ‘research recognized internationally to be of exceptional distinction’ at Sydney University. He graduated in Electrical Engineering and did his doctoral research in Zoology at Melbourne University.
His over 400 papers are concerned with research on synaptic connections between nerve cells in the brain, most recently in relation to stress and trauma. Professor Bennett has written twelve books concerned with the history and philosophy of the brain and mind, of which recent ones with his colleague Peter Hacker are, Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience (second edition), Neuroscience and Philosophy and History of Cognitive Neuroscience. Most recently he has published Virginia Woolf and Neuropsychiatry; Stress, Trauma & Synaptic Plasticity (with Jim Lagopoulos); The Search for Knowledge & Understanding; and The Search for Truth: History & Future of Universities (in press).
Amongst the organizations he has initiated to promote science, brain research and mental well-being are the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (now Science & Technology, Australia), the International Society for Autonomic Neuroscience, and the Tropical Brain and Mind Foundation. Professor Bennett founded the Brain and Mind Research Institute (now Centre) at Sydney 20 years ago with the raising of over $75 million, and more recently was responsible for initiating the Mind and Neuroscience Thompson Institute in Queensland.