The great delay in publishing discoveries of myself and brother
on aviation was only the natural result of the circumstances under
which they were made. Even when we were devoting every hour of
our leisure to the question of aviation, and were already on the
track of the laws which were to evolve this problem, people in
Germany still considered every man who occupied himself with this
unprofitable art as little better than a lunatic. This was sufficient
cause for our not attracting unnecessary attention to such studies.
The principal professor of mathematics at the Berlin Gewerbe Academie
in the sixties heard from one of my fellow-students–they had
given me even then an appropriate nickname–that I was occupied
with investigations in aeronautics. The Professor sent word to
me that there was no harm in my amusing myself with such calculations,
but that I “should, for Heaven’s sake, not spend any money
for such things.” The professor, it is true, did not know
that this last advice was (for cause) quite unnecessary.
At that time a special learned commission appointed by the State
had just officially declared, once for all, that man would never
be able to fly; by which declaration naturally public opinion,
in favor of experiments on this problem, was not exactly stimulated.
I guess it is what our State (of Israel) wants to do with the ‘privatization’ and ‘control of funding’ – decide whether some subjects in science should “not spend any many for such things”.