A searchable website with images of more than 2,400 slides of Molaison’s entire brain will be available to the public in December, Annese said.
“There will be another Einstein and we’ll do it like H.M.,” Annese predicted. For now, he said, it’s exciting that the Einstein brain tissue has been preserved digitally before the slides deteriorate or become damaged. The app could spark interest in the field of brain research, just because it’s Einstein, he said.
“It’s a beautiful collection to have opened up to the public,” Annese said.
Some might question whether Einstein would have wanted images of his remains sold to non-scientists for $9.99.
“There’s been a lot of debate over what Einstein’s intentions were,” museum board member Jim Paglia said. “We know he didn’t want a circus made of his remains. But he understood the value to research and science to study his brain, and we think we’ve addressed that in a respectful manner.”
Paglia said the app could “inspire a whole new generation of neuroscientists.”
Proceeds from sales will go to the U.S. Department of Defense’s National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Md., and to the Chicago satellite museum, which is set to open in 2015 with interactive exhibits and the museum’s digital collections.