The world has always recognized Albert Einstein’s talent and his brain has become a legacy that everyone aspires to own, even after his death. Within hours of Albert Einstein’s death on April 18, 1955, a researcher stole his brain during an autopsy.
Although Einstein’s son was furious at first, he soon allowed the doctor Thomas Harvey to turn over the brain to researchers to determine whether the genius of this talented physicist was come from a physically different brain. However, Harvey is not a neurologist but still wants to possess the genius brain, so hospital officials asked him to hand over the brain, he refused and was fired. After that, Thomas Harvey took possession of valuable artifacts for the world’s humanity. Decades of research have revealed some controversial and very expensive results, at the expense of Einstein’s family and the genius himself.
Albert Einstein’s brain was stolen by Thomas Harvey
Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Germany, he left an unshakable legacy, befriending Charlie Chaplin, escaping the Nazis and redefining physics. His genius is respected throughout the world, and many in the scientific community believe that his brain may indeed be different from what ordinary people think. So when he died of a ruptured aorta at Princeton Hospital at the age of 76, pathologist Thomas Harvey decided to find the answer and take the brain out of the body.
According to Carolyn Abraham, author of “Genius Ownership: The Amazing Adventures of Einstein’s Brain,” Harvey “put great technical hopes on that brain” and mistakenly believes that This small part could help his medical career go further. Harvey not only stole Einstein’s brain, but also stole the physicist’s eyes, then gave it to Einstein’s ophthalmologist.
Photo: Carolyn Abraham’s book cover | Internet
The remains of Einstein’s body were cremated in Trenton, New Jersey, on April 20, when his son, Hans Albert Einstein, learned of what Harvey had done. In the end, he agreed to let them study the brain, but only on the condition that the research be published in reputable scientific journals.
Harvey continued to meticulously take notes and take pictures of the brain. It weighs 1,230 grams, lighter than the average for men of Einstein’s age. He then cut the brain into 240 pieces and photographed the pieces. Harvey even drew a picture. The doctor emphasized that his purpose in doing this was purely for the sake of science, and he promoted the brain to the whole country, trying to make some parts of the brain available to curious researchers. is different. Even the US military received samples from this sinister pathologist.
Photo: Einstein’s remains are loaded into a hearse in Princeton, New Jersey on April 18, 1955 | The LIFE Picture Collection
“They felt that having a brain would put Americans on par with Russians,” says Abrahams. People are collecting parts of the brain.”
Harvey’s obsession with Albert Einstein’s brain not only caused the man to lose his job at Princeton, but also his medical license and his own marriage.
He moved to Wichita, Kansas in 1978, and Harvey kept the brain in a cider box underneath the beer fridge. As promised, the first paper on Einstein’s brain was published in 1985 with controversial results.
Is it really different from the normal brain?
The first study of Albert Einstein’s stolen brain, published in the journal “Experimental Neurology” in 1985, showed that it actually looked different from a normal brain. According to the report, the owner of this genius Jewish brain has an above-average number of glial cells, which help maintain an adequate supply of oxygen for nerve cells in the brain to function. A follow-up study carried out by the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1996 confirmed that these neurons were also tighter than usual, so faster information processing could be achieved.
Photo: Dr. Thomas Harvey details his autopsy on Albert Einstein to reporters at Princeton Hospital | Bettmann
Three years later, a third study of Harvey’s photographs showed that Einstein’s lower parietal lobe was wider than average, which may have made him a more intuitive thinker than most people. More recently, a 2012 study claimed that Einstein’s brain had an extra groove in the middle of the frontal lobe, an area involved in planning and memory. But these studies have many critics, such as Pace University psychologist Terence Hines (Terence Hines), who calls them a kind of “neuroscience”.
Pictured: Thomas Harvey with part of Einstein’s brain in Kansas in 1994 | Michael Brennan
Terence Hines emphatically asserted, “You can’t just take a different person’s brain and compare it to others because that’s what we all are,” and said, “Ah-ha! I’ve found what makes me a stamp collector!”
Hines is not alone in her skepticism. As neuroscientist Frederick Lepore, who carried out the 2012 study, said: “I don’t know if Einstein was a genius because his parietal lobes were different from ordinary people. If you put my foot in the fire and you say: ‘Where is special relativity? Where did general relativity come from?’- we don’t know”.
Ultimately, the debate over the specifics of Einstein’s brain is unlikely to end anytime soon, despite the fact that much of it has been returned to Princeton Hospital.
Photo: Parts of Albert Einstein’s stolen brain and Dr. Thomas Harvey’s signature at the Mütter Museum | Mütter Museum
Before his death in 2007, Thomas Harvey donated the remains of Einstein’s brain to the National Museum of Health and Medicine, of which Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum has samples of its own on display to this day. .