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Dr. Arnold Berliner and Die Naturwissenschaften


WE much regret to learn that on August 13 Dr. Arnold Berliner was removed from the editorship of Die Naturwissenschaften, obviously in consequence of non-Aryan policy. This well-known scientific weekly, which in its aims and features has much in common with NATURE, was founded twenty-three years ago by Dr. Berliner, who has been the editor ever since and has devoted his whole activities to the journal, which has a high standard and under his guidance has become the recognised organ for expounding to German scientific readers subjects of interest and importance. A personal friend of Dr. Berliner writes: “When addressing the editor on his seventieth birthday in the inaugurating page of a festival issue, Albert Einstein said, ‘His journal cannot be imagined as absent from the scientific life of our time’. Extremely small, indeed, is the number of journals which fulfil the task of uniting by a strong bond the separated and highly specialised work of the leading students in the various domains of science. The editor's important role and his active contribution to the progress of research, in conducting a periodical of this kind, are of a different order of magnitude from that of an ordinary ‘Fachzeitschrift’. In order to cope with his task, he is obliged to exert very definite leadership on a body of prominent men, everyone of whom is liable to see things distorted from the point of view marked by his own interests and achievements. The editor is the one who has to survey the broad stream of scientific development, to select which subject-matters are suitable for presenting to his readers, to have intimate knowledge of the abilities (scientific and otherwise) of his contributors and, finally, after deciding upon the best writer upon a particular subject, to coax him into fulfilling towards his colleagues a duty of which sometimes neither he nor they are aware and to which the man himself often feels little inclination. It would need a large volume (and, maybe, more than one) to embody only those first-class essays which would never have been written, had it not been for the impossibility of resisting our dear and esteemed friend's gentle command”.

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Dr. Arnold Berliner and Die Naturwissenschaften. Nature 136, 506 (1935).

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