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Einstein`s brain on display in UK

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 19:54

London: A slice of genius! Albert Einstein`s brain will be shown in public for the first time in the UK along with that of computer scientist Charles Babbage at an exhibition here.

When Einstein died in 1955, at the age of 76, his brain was divided into sections, two of which are going on show at the Wellcome Collection in London.

The exhibition entitled, Brains: The Mind As Matter, also features the brain of a murderer, a suffragette and one of the pioneers of computer science Sir Charles Babbage.

The two slides from Einstein`s brain are on loan from the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, where they were only shown publicly in the US for the first time last year, the Daily Mail reported.

The eminent scientist was cremated and his ashes were scattered according to his wishes.

But pathologist Thomas Harvey, who carried out the post-mortem examination, said that Einstein`s son gave him permission to preserve the brain for research, a claim which was later disputed.

Harvey kept the brain, which to many people`s surprise was not particularly large, and divided it into 240 sections preserved in jars of formaldehyde at his house.

He gave a box of 46 slides to his pathologist colleague William Ehrich, and the samples were eventually donated to the museum in Philadelphia.

`Gentleman, scholar and murderer` Edward H Rulloff`s brain, one of the largest ever known, is also on display for the first time in Britain.

US suffragette Helen H Gardener`s brain which she donated to science to disprove theories about gender is another famous brain to feature at the exhibition.

An ancient Egyptian brain, one of the oldest specimens ever known, and a brain specimen containing a bullet wound are on show to the public.

A `souvenir` piece of William Burke`s brain, which was kept as a piece of `poetic justice` following his hanging in 1929 for murdering several people to sell their bodies for
dissection is also on display.

The exhibition, that opens tomorrow and runs until June 17, examines the measuring and classifying of brains, its mapping and modelling, cutting and treating along with preservation techniques.


First Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 19:54

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