I N T R O D U C T I O N T O V O L U M E 7 x x x i
In England, where no one wished to see Newton’s fame diminished, the scien-
tific community struggled with the delicate problem of minimizing the impact of
the scientific revolution that Moritz Schlick had already proclaimed in 1917.
Eddington tried to let Newton share in the splendor by suggesting that the confir-
mation of Einstein’s theory meant that Newton had been right all along about the
“weight of light.” Ludwik Silberstein argued that announcing the confirmation of
general relativity was premature, since astronomers had yet to detect a gravitational
redshift, despite numerous efforts. Einstein knew what was at stake both scientifi-
cally and politically. He prepared an article for The Times, which unfortunately lost
a great deal in the translation. This volume presents both the original text (Doc. 25)
and the published translation (Einstein 1919f [Doc. 26]). Einstein expressed grati-
tude to English scientists, regretting “the lamentable breach” in scientific relations
caused by the war. He then gave a very general outline of special and general rela-
tivity, but prominently stressed the continuity of each theory with the theories of
Maxwell and Newton, respectively. Soon after, Einstein made a more thorough
attempt at explaining his theory to the English-speaking public: he wrote a lengthy
account of the development of special and general relativity for Nature (Doc. 31),
which he withdrew from publication, however. Only a much shortened version was
published in Nature in the following year (Einstein 1921d [Doc. 53]; the original
German text is presented in Doc. 50).
In Germany, Einstein’s scientific allies requested that the Prussian Ministry of
Education provide special funding for astronomical research related to general rel-
ativity. The ministry’s finance committee informed Einstein that 150,000 German
marks had been earmarked for this purpose. That same day, Einstein wrote to the
Minister of Education Konrad Haenisch, expressing his misgivings about this spe-
cial dispensation, which he thought might be resented, given the general economic
misery (Einstein to Konrad Haenisch, 6 December 1919).
Einstein’s approach to gravitational theory had attracted little critical attention
before 1916, when even some of his closest allies, such as Max Planck and Max
von Laue, expressed skepticism regarding the principle of general relativity. By
that year, however, as interest in the theory gradually mounted, it also began to
encounter criticism from less friendly quarters (see the editorial note, “Einstein’s
Encounters with German Anti-Relativists”). Even in the face of provocative
charges, Einstein had ignored polemical attacks. In late 1918, however, he ended
his silence with the publication of Einstein 1918k (Doc. 13), a defense of general
relativity modeled on Galileo’s Dialogue. Throughout the war, Einstein’s pacifism
and internationalist views were scarcely known, but afterward he spoke openly
about his political leanings (Docs. 14, 24, 27, 29). With his growing fame as the
scientist whose achievements “equaled those of Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton”
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