Dr. Alec Eden - 1935-2011
It is unusual to write a celebration of life of a businessman to be published in a newsletter of a scientific medical society. But Dr. Alec Eden, born in Sussex , England was an outstanding and stimulating personality, scientist and businessman. His importance for our society, the NSRG, lies in his role as chief executive of the Eden Medizinische Elektronik (EME) from 1981 to 1992. Due to his inexhaustible energy, he was responsible for a considerable part of the worldwide dissemination and acceptance of Transcranial Doppler Sonography (TCD). TCD has become a real breakthrough for Neurosonology. It was primarily made possible by the Norwegian Rune Aaslid, who developed the first Transcranial Doppler device in the neurosurgical clinic of Prof. Nornes in Oslo and later Bern Switzerland. The development of extracranial Doppler sonography in the decade before was slow and had to fight for acceptance in the medical community. TCD on the other hand spread like wildfire from Europe to North America and to the Far East. Constantly travelling through the world Dr. Eden brought together many researcher, sponsored congresses and organized meetings himself (The Web and Email were not yet available). Dr. Eden was fascinated by the ultrasonic methods, especially TCD and its neurologic as well neurosurgical applications. His enthusiasm was authentic. He published 15 papers in scientific journals or chapters in books about Doppler sonography as first author or co-author. In addition he developed interest in Christian Doppler, the man, his research, his family and his life in Salzburg and Prague. He described special aspects of Doppler’s life in several Journals such as Ultrasound in Med & Biol and published the book: “The search for Christian Doppler” 1992 by Springer Verlag/ Wien including many documents from the archives. As a consequence he was appointed president of the Christian Doppler foundation, Salzburg. Dr. Eden received numerous awards from universities and institutes, among them Winston Salem; Birmingham, Alabama; Peking; Salzburg and Prague. He was honored by the Japan Academy of Neurosonology and the American Society of Neuroimaging. He received the Order of Merit in Gold , Republic of Austria. All this is indeed unusual for a businessman.
Dr. Eden’s activities were not limited to medical aspects. He promoted art exhibitions and was engaged in supporting problems in the third world through UNICEF and Rotary international.
Dr. Eden passed away following a severe stroke in February of this year. He left behind his wife Frauke, two children and four grandchildren. Our sympathy goes to his family.
Prof.Dr. G.-Michael von Reutern