Scores of scientists over the past century have considered Woods Hole their second home, and some chose it as their final place of rest.
Last summer, students from the Hydra Lab in the MBL Whitman Center created an interactive map of scientists’ tombstones in the Church of the Messiah cemetery in Woods Hole. It’s a fascinating tribute to an extraordinary scientific village.
Some of the gravestones (with brief bios) included are:
* Hans Albert Einstein, son of Albert Einstein
* Biologist Herman Eisen, whose gravestone reads “Supposing is good, but finding out is better”
* Ethel Browne Harvey, embryologist and regenerative biologist
* J. Woodland “Woody” Hastings, leader in the fields of bioluminescence and circadian rhythms
* Stephen Kuffler, “Father of Modern Neuroscience” and founder of the MBL Neurobiology course in 1970
* Frank R. Lillie of University of Chicago, second director of the MBL (1908-1925)
* Jacques Loeb, founder of the MBL Physiology course in 1892
* Nobel Laureates Otto Loewi, Albert Szent-Györgyi, and Selman Waksman
* Byron H. Waksman, scientist and science communicator, founder of the hands-on research course for science journalists at the MBL (1990)
* E.B. Wilson, author of the classic textbook, “The Cell in Development and Inheritance” (1900)
The interdisciplinary Hydra Lab, directed by Rafael Yuste of Columbia University, included 14 scientists from 9 institutions over the course of the summer at MBL. The lab is working toward cracking the neural code of Hydra, a small freshwater organism. Yuste and Rob Steele of University of California, Irvine, guided students Jordan Bolling (University of Alabama), Emma Paulini (Pomona College), and John Wang (Columbia University) in creating the tombstone map.