7 2 D O C U M E N T 5 2 F E B R U A R Y 1 9 2 2
from every quarter to engage myself personally for things, each one of which taken
on its own thoroughly merits dedication. If I were to give way to this pressure, the
rest of my life would be forever lost to tranquil scientific research. I must therefore
keep my distance personally from all major social enterprises.
With cordial regards to you and your highly esteemed
brother,[3]
I am, with best
wishes for your Italian meeting, yours very sincerely.
52. From Emil Warburg[1]
Charlottenburg, 25b March Street, 15 February 1922
Esteemed Colleague,
Confined to the house or, resp., to bed by a catarrh, I am unfortunately not in a
position to present in person my petition to award the silver Leibniz
Medal[2]
to Mr.
Haenisch.[3]
I therefore permit myself to request that the following lines be read out
during the pertinent proceedings:
The following considerations of a more general nature seem to me to speak for
the award of the medal to a mechanic.
1) The progress of experimental physics depends to a certain degree on the fur-
ther perfection of measuring instruments, which is achieved through collaborative
work between scholar and mechanic. [If,] therefore, mechanics like Mr. Haenisch
zealously and successfully devote themselves to such joint efforts, it lies in the
interest of science to give them acknowledgment for such expertise, expressed in
the form of a reward.
2) The mechanics working in state facilities (now called technicians) are ranked
at considerably lower salary levels than the bureaucrats. By this it has been made
clear that the status of a mechanic does not yet enjoy the respect it deserves in the
state. Science is, after what has been said under (1), interested in raising this status,
and for this an academic award to this rank is a suitable means.
I permit myself to direct the petition to the Class to support my application, per-
haps also by cosigning the same.
Re. Mr. Haenisch, I can supply more specific details upon request and just
remark here that according to the verdict of the prominent expert Prof.
Brodhun,[4]
the firm Schmidt & Haenisch is [by far] the leader in the area of photometry in Ger-
many and, despite [some] weighty competition, still retains first place in the area
of polarimetry.
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