I might as well address this issue for it inevitably comes up in discussions about Einstein and that is the story of Einstein's brain. Einstein died on April 18th, 1955 at the age of seventy six in Princeton, New Jersey from heart failure. An autopsy was performed by Dr. Thomas Harvey [the same doctor who did the autopsy on Hans Albert Einstein's son Klaus Martin Einstein (Einstein's grandson) in Greenville, South Carolina]. Einstein was to be cremated and his ashes dispersed somewhere along the Hudson River. For unknown reasons, Dr. Harvey removed Einstein's brain and stored it in a closet in some plastic containers for nearly 23 years until it was revealed through investigations by a journalist by the name of Steven Levy who worked for the New Jersey Monthly. The editor of the newspaper gave Levy a mandate to check out the story from a physicist that Einstein's brain had been removed. Neither Princeton University nor Einstein's family knew anything about the project and was somewhat shocked. So, Levy began to track the ever moving now retired Dr. Harvey to Witicha, Kansas where he was confronted with the issue. After some denials and long thought, the contents of the plastic containers was disclosed to Levy. Since that time, the brain of Einstein has been investigated by many universities with some surprising results. Interesting enough, Dr. Harvey escaped any legal actions and it is still unknown for certainty why the deed was done in the first place.
"Einstein's Missing Brain"
"What Became of Albert Einstein's Brain?"
Possessing Genius: The True Account of the Bizarre Odyssey of Einstein's Brain
Driving Mr. Albert : A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain
The Good, the Bad and the Bogus in Science
Diane Swanson and Warren Clark [illustrator]
Monday, May 12, 2008
"A brain is a terrible thing to lose"--Al Gore
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