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Albert Einstein’s Gold Medal

The award given to Einstein

On February 12, 1926, Albert Einstein was awarded the Gold Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society. The Gold Medal is the highest award given by the RAS and was awarded to Einstein for special performance in the field of astronomy. The RAS was formed in 1820 with the mission of promoting astronomy and geophysics. The society awards an individual with the Gold Medal for their outstanding achievements in the field. Astrophysicist Arthur Stanley Eddington proposed giving Einstein the award in 1920, but the issue of his non-British citizenship prevented him from receiving it. He was finally awarded the Gold Medal six years later.

Einstein was unable to attend the Royal Astronomical Society in person to accept the Gold Metal and sent a letter instead. The following is an excerpt from his acceptance letter:

“He who finds a thought which lets us look into the secret of nature – even if only a little bit deeper – has won mercy. He who then still experiences the recognition, sympathies and promotion of the greatest persons of his time almost obtains more luck than a human being is able to bear.”

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