[visionlist] [cvnet] William (Bill) Russell Levick, 1931 - 2022

Robert P. O'Shea robertposhea.uni.leipzig at gmail.com
Tue May 10 23:03:55 -05 2022


Dear Rowland,

Thank you for passing on the sad news.

Bill Levick was very kind to me in my one meeting with him. In 1979, the
Australian Experimental Psychology Conference was at ANU. Alison Bowling,
Barry Mapperson, and I, all PhD students from other universities, decided
naively on the Friday afternoon at about 5 pm we wanted to visit the John
Curtin School of Medical Research and see a cat with an electrode stuck in
its brain while a researcher flashed stimuli in front of its eyes. Somehow
we wormed our way into the building where Bill generously took us up to his
lab and showed us his empty stereotaxic apparatus. Alison and Barry, who
were both much more acquainted with Bill’s published research than I was,
asked such intelligent, well-informed questions, that before too long Bill
was pulling out reams of unpublished data to discuss for more than an hour.
I could see the excitement in Bill’s eyes as he unveiled his research to us.

Cheers,
Robert.

Robert P. O’Shea
Honorary Professor of History of Psychology, Wilhelm Wundt Institute for
Psychology, Leipzig University
e-mail: robertposhea.uni.leipzig at gmail.com
Web: https://sites.google.com/site/oshearobertp/
Blog: http://robertposhea.blogspot.com.au/
Pronouns: he/him/his

The content of this e-mail is intended for the addressee only and may not
be sent to a third party without my written permission.
--------------------------------


On Mon, May 9, 2022 at 8:07 PM Rowland Taylor <wrtaylor at berkeley.edu> wrote:
>
> It is with great sadness that I pass on the news that Bill Levick passed
away peacefully last Thursday.
>
> Bill was a preeminent visual neuroscientist and Fellow of the Royal
Society, the Australian Academy of Science, and the Optical Society of
America. His analysis of the functional properties of retinal ganglion
cells in the mammalian retina was highly influential and revealed the
presence of complex processing at the earliest stages of visual processing.
Particularly dear to my heart was his seminal work with the late Horace
Barlow, carried out at the University of Cambridge and UC Berkeley, on the
mechanisms of direction-selectivity in the rabbit retina.
>
> Bill was a kind and generous spirit, a wonderful mentor, and a dear
friend. He will be sorely missed by all of us who were fortunate enough to
have shared part of his life journey.
>
> Rest in peace Bill.
>
> Rowland Taylor, Ph.D.
> Professor
> Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry and Vision Science & Helen Wills
Neuroscience Institute,
> University of California, Berkeley
>
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> cvnet at lawton.ewind.com
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