Albert Einstein's brain weighed 2.71 pounds (1,230 grams)10% smaller than the average of 3 pounds (1,400 grams). However, the neuron density of his brain was greater than the average.
During his life, Albert Einstein made some of the world's greatest scientific discoveries. However, the location of his brain, which was controversially removed by the pathologist Dr. Thomas Harvey upon Einstein's death in 1955, remained a mystery for years. A new TV series, co-presented by UCL's Dr. Mark Lythgoe and physicist Dr. Jim Al-Khalili, uncovers the odyssey of Einstein's brain in order to understand whether a person's brain, even after death, can reveal the truth behind their genius.
During the series, Dr. Lythgoe profiles the individuals involved in the bizarre life after death journey of Einstein's brain, including Dr. Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who removed and dissected Einstein's brain, and Mr. Steven Levy, a journalist who eventually rediscovered the brain in a cider box in Dr. Harvey's living room in Wichita, Kansas.
Months before his death, Einstein wrote to his biographer, Carl Seelig, expressing the idea that he wanted to donate his body to science. However, he failed to leave any explicit instructions, and the removal of his brain was Dr. Harvey's idea. He said: "I just knew we had permission to do an autopsy and I assumed that we were going to study the brain." Einstein's family only learned about the brain's removal upon reading a report in the New York Times the following day. Even Otto Nathan, Einstein's friend and executor of his estate, failed to realize what was happening, despite witnessing the autopsy.