THE BACKGROUND As an assistant to an introductory biology class at Harvard, he directed students to insert a pin through the base of a frog's cranium and wiggle it to destroy the brain. Then they put acid on the frog's skin and the animal scratched itself, demonstrating that reflexes persist after death. Though frogs are routinely killed for student dissections, Eisner objected to killing them to prove a "relatively little point." As he recalls, students did not use anesthetic, because doing so would have silenced the animals' reflexes.
THE EXPERIENCE "The students weren't very good at it, so they were missing the brain, and the needle would come out some other place."
Director, The Cornell Institute For Research In Chemical Ecology