Scientific academies and societies:
Mitglied vieler wissenschaftlicher Gesellschaften,
”…I became a member of many scientific societies and I was awarded many medals, …“
Einstein, Berlin 1932
ACADEMIES AND SOCIETIES
Albert Einstein‘s membership in scientific academies and societies
Albert Einstein was a member (full member, corresponding member, foreign member, honorary member) of many national and international scientific academies and societies such as the Preußische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin (Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin) and the Kaiserlich Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher zu Halle an der Saale (German Imperial Academy of Natural Scientists in Halle/Saale).
Albert Einstein then got more and more requests and in the following years he became a member of many national and international scientific institutions.
In the following table you can see that Einstein‘s membership with all the German academies and societies ended in 1933. The reason were the political balance of power and the associated incidents in Nazi Germany after 1933. Einstein had already left Germany for good when he asked his friend and colleague, the German physicist and Nobel Prize laureate Max von Laue (1879-1960), in a letter dated June 5, 1933 to cancel the membership with all German scientific institutions for him. In the letter Einstein asked von Laue „dafür zu sorgen, dass sein Name aus den Verzeichnissen dieser Körperschaft gestrichen wird [...] Dieser Weg dürfte der richtige sein, da so neue theatralische Effekte vermieden werden.“ "to make sure that his name be struck from the lists of these bodies [...] This is probably the right way, because this way new theatrical effects are avoided." Einstein also cancelled his membership with the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei on December 15, 1938, after the exclusion of its Jewish Italian members.
However, at this point of time there were academies and societies which already had excluded Einstein from the respective community, among other things because of his Jewish roots and probably also due to political reasons.
In 1933 Albert Einstein found a new home in the US. He lived in Princeton, New Jersey and worked at the Institute for Advanced Study. During the following years he became a member of ever more societies.
some of the named institutions Einstein was also awarded the
honorary membership, such as on occasion of the 150th
anniversary of the Naturforschende Gesellschaft in Bern (Bern
Society for Natural Sciences) on November 21, 1936. In the certificate is
says that the society "[...] Herrn
Professor Dr. Albert Einstein [...] ihr ehemaliges aktives
Mitglied [...] zu ihrem Ehrenmitglied ernennt".
Post-war requests for a new membership in German institutions
(1945) were rejected by Einstein. This also applies for a
request of the German physicist Arnold Sommerfeld
(1868-1951), who wanted to persuade Einstein to again become a
member of the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften
(Bavarian Academy of Sciences).
reply to Sommerfeld dated December 14, 1946, it reads:
"[...] will ich nichts mehr mit
Deutschen zu tun haben, auch nichts mit einer relativ harmlosen
Though Einstein‘s membership in the academies and societies only existed on paper, in the later years this membership was kept over the years, even decades. Many memberships only ended with Einstein’s death on April 18, 1955.
Einstein‘s membership in national and international scientific
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