Dr. Peter Bennett: A Reflection

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Dr. Peter B. Bennett (12 June 1931 – 9 August 2022) is recognized as a leading authority on the effects of high pressure on human physiology.

He started his career researching the physiology of deep diving, specifically the processes of high-pressure neurological sickness. With this passion renewed, Dr. Bennett continued his career as a professor of anesthesiology and later the senior director of the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology at Duke University Medical Center. During this same time, Dr. Bennett became the founder, president, and chief executive officer of the Divers Alert Network (DAN), a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding in-need scuba divers. Under Dr. Bennett's leadership, DAN has grown to become the most well-known and respected diving safety organization in the world, providing emergency medical aid to divers and promoting dive safety via research, teaching, equipment, and services.  However, he continued to expand his footprint in the community and served as the executive director of the UHMS from 2007-2014.

Research and Publications

Over the span of 45 years, Dr. Bennett published over 100 scholarly articles and 9 books, including “Physiology and Medicine of Diving,” known as a definitive work in his field. Other notable works include:

  • To the Very Depths: A Memoir of Professor Peter B Bennett, Ph.D
  • High Pressure Biology and Medicine
  • Basic and Applied High Pressure Biology
  • Assessment of Diving Medical Fitness for Scuba Divers and Instructors
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