1 1 2 D O C U M E N T 5 2 S E P T E M B E R 1 9 2 7 52. From Oswald Veblen[1] 16 Sept. 1927 Dear Professor Einstein:— I have just sent you a telegram which you will surely regard as very extraordi- nary—and so I must write a few words of explanation. About two years ago Princeton University began to seek for money to be used in support of research in pure science. The effort has met with a certain measure of success and the first step towards carrying out the program was the appointment of research professors, i.e. professors who are free from the duty of teaching under- graduates and whose sole duty is to advance their respective sciences. (You will recall that our great handicap has been the amount of elementary instruction de- manded of our professors).[2] I was so fortunate as to be appointed to the first of these chairs (mathematics) and research professors have also been appointed in physics (K. T. Compton), che- mistry (H. S. Taylor), astronomy (H. N. Russell) and biology (E. G. Conklin).[3] All these appointments were of men already in service at Princeton. This is where the matter stood when I left Princeton last June to spend the sum- mer in Europe. Today, without previous warning, I received a telegram from Compton asking me to find out whether you would consider a research professors- hip in Princeton. I presume that it was his desire that I should go to Berlin to talk with you about the question, but, unfortunately, I am booked to sail from Sout- hampton on Wednesday (21 Sept.) and must leave London on Tuesday. So I have telegraphed instead. The professorship would be in mathematical physics. The salary would be $10,000 a year (At least, that is the salary of the other research professors.) The du- ties would be merely to continue your researches and to give such help to advanced students as would be compatible with your own studies. (I give one lecture a week.) The conditions for scientific work in Princeton have improved very much since your visit there, and I believe that you would now find an interesting group of col- leagues and students. I gathered from what you said to me when you were there that you liked the general atmosphere of the place, and I think I can assure you that you made so many friends on your first visit that you would be sure of a warm welcome in case of a return. I know how far away America seems from a European point of view, and so I write with only a faint hope that you will be interested. But if there is any chance of your considering a post in Princeton I am sure that we all would do everything in our power to make it pleasant for you. If you are at all interested, the best plan might be to come for a year and see how you like life on the other side of the Atlantic.
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