Einstein himself had a few words to say about the writing of the history of science. From the first of his famous conversations with Einstein, Robert Shankland relates: “Then he gave me his ideas on historical writing of science. ‘Nearly all historians of science are philologists and do not comprehend what physicists were aiming at, how they thought and wrestled with their problems… .’ The struggle with their:problems, their trying everything to find a solution which came at last often by very indirect means, is the correct picture.” (Shankland 1963, p. 50).
Why should we take these words seriously? After all, Einstein was not an historian, and, unless we are to pose him as an authority on every topic, these comments represent but a personal opinion. This, however, is precisely why they should be taken seriously, if we are interested in the history of Einstein's own accomplishments.