RELYING ON CHANCE
Fundamental as [the relativity theory] of Einstein has proved to be for the development of the principles of physics, its applications are for the present still at the very limit of the measurable. His tackling of other questions that are at the moment at the center of attention has proved to be much more significant for applied physics. Thus he was the first to demonstrate the significance of the quantum hypothesis also for the energy of atomic and molecular motions…. That he might sometimes have overshot the target in his speculations, for example in his light quantum hypothesis, should not be counted against him too much.
—PLANCK, NERNST, RUBENS, AND WARBURG, LETTER NOMINATING EINSTEIN FOR THE PRUSSIAN ACADEMY ...