D O C . 2 6 T I M E , S PA C E , A N D G R AV I TAT I O N 2 1 5
Published in The Times (London), 28 November 1919, pp. 13–14. This translation of Doc. 25 shows
major deviations from the original German. An improved English translation based on the typescript
version of Doc. 25 [1 003] was published in Einstein 1934b and in subsequent editions.
This column is on p. 14 in the original.
In his closing remarks to a discussion on the theory of relativity held on 12 December 1919,
Alfred Fowler (1868–1940), Professor of Astrophysics at the Royal College of Science and President
of the Royal Astronomical Society, repeated some of Einstein’s expressions almost verbatim: “The
new theory is revolutionary in character, but Einstein himself has assured us that Newton’s great
achievement can never be overthrown in any real sense either by this or any other theory. It is only in
a few exceptional cases that the difference between the two laws of gravitation becomes at all appre-
ciable.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 80 : 118.
See Doc. 25, note 8, for The Times’s description of Einstein.
Einstein’s joke stirred up immediate interest in his persona. Ehrenfest reported to Einstein that
his “cute relativity joke” was translated in all the Dutch newspapers and that even Lorentz had enjoyed
it (see Paul Ehrenfest to Einstein, 9 December 1919). An editorial note in the same issue of The Times
politely added: “We concede him this little jest. But we note that, in accordance with the general tenor
of his theory, Dr. Einstein does not supply any absolute description of himself.”