1 7 2 D O C . 2 0 2 D E C E M B E R 1 9 1 9 The history of science has become so intertwined with cultural history that the purpose our collection has set for itself should interest any educated person.[4] From this point of view, I beg Your Honor to be inclined toward leaving us all suitable items from among your correspondence. Historical research of the sciences will in time know how to thank the donors. With great respect, your Honor’s devoted servant. 202. From The Svedberg Uppsala, University Laboratory of Physical Chemistry, 8 December 1919 Highly esteemed Professor, Perhaps you still remember my name in connection with experiments on Brown- ian motion. Many years ago we even exchanged a few letters about this matter.[1] With reference to these relations of ours, I will boldly ask you a question. Over here (as is surely the case in other countries as well) very great interest in your theory of relativity has emerged of late. The observations at the last solar eclipse probably contributed to this sudden rise in interest among people outside of our professional circle.[2] Almost all of our major daily newspapers presented descriptions of your theory of relativity with varying degrees of success. One of my friends, Dr. Anton Blanck, who publishes a weekly on politics, literature, the arts and sciences, i.e., a general cultural weekly, has now asked me to approach you, Professor, with the somewhat forward request of writing an essay on this topic for his magazine.[3] I would not have accepted this charge and would not have written this letter if I were not of the opinion that with such an article you would also be doing a service to science. Your ideas are, of course, of such a far-reaching nature that they need to be made known among wider circles as well. Perhaps you find this a matter for your students and do not want to concern yourself with such a popularization of your concepts in my view, though, it is a matter of importance not to be underestimated that the master himself also let his voice be heard once among the laypeople. The article in question would, of course, have to contain as little mathematics as possible. The main emphasis would be placed on the general principles, the exper- imental consequences, and primarily the deductions regarding our worldview— such as, how to replace the Newtonian-Copernican universe with another, or the like. The editor is willing to pay for the essay—which could perhaps be 16 pages— 3000.– (three thousand) marks (= about 300 Swed. kronor).
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