I'm kinda squeamish about anything to do with anatomy. I can't even stand to look at my own blood whenever they take some out to do a blood test (and to think that when I was a child, my mom wanted me to be a medical doctor as a career!). So this report on Einstein's brain that has been preserved this long is not really something right up my alley.
When Einstein died in 1955 at Princeton Hospital in New Jersey, his brain was removed by a local pathologist named Thomas Harvey, who preserved, photographed, and measured it. A colleague of Harvey's cut most of the brain into 240 blocks and mounted them on microscope slides. From time to time, he sent the slides to various researchers, although few publications resulted. Harvey, who moved around the United States several times in the course of his career, kept the jar containing what remained of the brain in cardboard box. Finally, in 1998, Harvey--who died in 2007--gave the jar to the University Medical Center of Princeton, where it remains today.
I'm a bit fuzzy on the historical account of this whole thing. Was there any consent either by Einstein before he died, or by any of Einstein's family, that his brain could be removed and studied? The link given in that article about the story of Einstein's brain doesn't clarify this, and none of the biographies that I've read about Einstein said anything about this either (or maybe I forgot).
One would think that if he requested cremation, that all of him should have been cremated unless he has indicated that certain organs can be used for scientific studies. I don't think that is out of his character to give himself up for science, but still, if this was done without his prior consent, then this whole thing is rather disrespectful, both towards him and his family.