D O C U M E N T 3 1 9 S E P T E M B E R 1 9 2 4 3 1 9
In any event, it would probably be too much to ask to have the long minutes
translated, but I could add an accompanying letter in German to the chairmen.
You would do me a great favor if you would advise me on this matter, and I
should especially appreciate it if you could have your answer sent to me soon. I
have perhaps already allowed too much time to elapse.
It goes without saying that I shall write my personal correspondence with Mr.
Scheel in German.
I hope very much that you had a good vacation and much enjoyed being together
with your
With cordial regards, yours truly,
H. A. Lorentz.
May we see you next month in Leyden? I would be very pleased.
319. To Hendrik A. Lorentz
[Berlin,] 13 September 1924
Esteemed Mr. Lorentz,
I just went to meet Prof. Scheel with your
He has already conferred with
the gentlemen of the Society for Practical
on the matter of organizing the
reviews. Unfortunately, the obstacles are much greater than I had assumed. Profes-
sor Scheel assured me that he has the good will to collaborate, but that not only he
himself but also the gentlemen with whom he spoke had to present the following
For the
it would be no real simplification if, instead of reviewing the
original papers, they received reviews for translation into German. For the transla-
tions could only be done by specialists, hence they must be distributed in just as
complicated a way as the original treatises were before. The reports are being de-
livered by people who read the original paper in their fields anyway and prefer to
write reports themselves rather than produce translations, since the composition of
these independent reports is regarded to some extent as a point of honor.
Furthermore, they had reservations about the completeness of the reporting.
They would manage, with much effort, to review 91% of all the papers appearing
in the entire world in the professional literature and fear failure in completeness.
Finally, they fear the reviews would suffer in quality if they blindly joined such an
organization, about which they could not, in fact, form any judgment as to the ac-
tual quality in advance, particularly since errors in translation would also reduce
the value of the reviews.
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