Kansas 105

Today’s Trivia

There was once a time when Albert Einstein’s brain called Wichita home.

Well, maybe it didn’t exactly say the word but it was nestled in Thomas Harvey’s home in Wichita from 1975 to 1979.

Then, the brain – actually several portions of it – was located in Lawrence, under the continuing care of Harvey, a retired general practitioner and pathologist. Some of those pieces, he said, were in his apartment and others in storage.

And, just what was the brain of one of the world’s greatest scientific minds doing in Mason jars in Kansas?

Furthering research, Harvey said.

In 1955, Harvey was a pathologist at Princeton Hospital in New Jersey. Einstein, the originator of the theory of relativity, had moved there in 1933 to work at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University.

When Einstein died in April 1955, Harvey was asked to perform the autopsy. He determined that the cause of Einstein’s death as arteriosclerosis; a blister on the side of the aorta had broken and caused a hemorrhage. During the autopsy, Harvey removed the brain.

After that, he studied cortex and frontal cortex of the brain and sent other parts to more than a dozen medical research centers around the world. His hope was that scientists could determine whether Einstein’s gray matter held the secret to his genius.

Question: In 2000, the brain became once again famous in a book that featured a trip taken across country by Thomas Harvey, the brain, and freelance writer Michael Paterniti. What was the name of the book?

Beccy Tanner

Post your answer today at Kansas.com/Kansas150 for a chance to win this month’s prize.

Answer to Saturday’s question: The Kansan who was Alaska’s governor twice was Walter “Wally” Hickel.

Check back in this spot Monday for the answer to today’s question.

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