THE BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY
DR. HARVEY J. IRWIN
Dr. Harvey J. Irwin is the PF International Affiliate for Australia. The following informal biography was written for a booklet distributed to other International Affiliates. Each affiliate was asked five questions about their background and interest in the field, the situation of parapsychology in their countries, and about their hopes for the future. A more formal biography will be posted in the coming months.
From Dr. Irwin...
For my PhD I was researching the structure of cognitive processes ("how the mind works") and at the time a colleague, Dr Maurice Marsh, was teaching a parapyschology course in my Department. I was curious to see if the ESP hypothesis made sense within a mainstream model of cognitive processes and pursued this question after completing my doctorate.
I joined the School of Psychology, University of New England in 1972 and have been here ever since. I am also a life member of the ASPR.
I teach Psychopathology in the undergraduate program of the School of Psychology, University of New England. I am currently conducting research on the nature of paranormal belief and am writing a monograph for the Parapsychology Foundation on the psychology of paranormal belief.*
Academic parapsychology in Australia is represented by only a handful of active researchers, but I believe this group has made a substantial impact on the field. The Australian Journal of Parapsychology (formerly, the Australian Parapsychology Review) has just been revived. There is a good deal of public interest in parapsychology, particularly among young people.
Given its dependence on such a small band of researchers, my main hope for Australian parapsychology is that it will survive! There are signs of some young researchers taking up parapsychological research, and the future of the field in this country will lie in their hands.
Submitted in June 2001
*Irwin’s monograph The Psychology of Paranormal Belief, #20 in the Foundation’s Scholarly Monograph series, is in press and will be available soon.
Other sources of biographical information about Dr. Irwin:
Autobiographical essay by Dr. Irwin contributed to the June 26th, 2006 PF Lyceum Blog, “Lives in Parapsychology”
Biography of Irwin from the Parapsychological Association Website