By Satow E.
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Only if the faculty accepts the thesis as of sufficient merit and only if the candidate is able to hold his own against criticism raised and questions asked, will he be promoted to a lectureship. The exercise is called 'habilitation' and is used to bar entry into the academic career for competent but unoriginal men. Failure to become a lecturer does not end their career which, with successive promotions, leads to positions which usually carry a fair amount of administrative duties. After only two years in Leipzig, and using the theory of the galvanic cell as his thesis, Nernst was made a lecturer.
Nernst's book became, for many years, the standard text in physical chemistry and it went through no less than ten editions. Only when, in the 'twenties, he himself was turning to other fields, was the book replaced by others, written characteristically by his own students Arnold Eucken and John Eggert. The book was translated into English, French and Russian and gained wide popularity. Nernst once made a point of telling me that Edison had wrongly been called an unsound scientist. In evidence, he recalled that Edison had argued with him over some point and had tried to prove it from a passage in Theoretical Chemistry.
Fencing scars graduated to a mark of social distinction. To be sure these were not the sign of duels but of a highly ceremonial procedure carried through with elaborate safety precautions. The combatants were heavily bandaged, leaving free only those areas of the face on which the scars were to be produced. Corps rules, in addition, specified that a doctor be in attendance who, as soon as blood was drawn, would see to it that the wound did not close up too well so that the victim was not cheated out of his scar.