I am looking for any documented, historical reference to an oft-cited humorous reply by German astronomer Walter Baade (1893 – 1960).

After having asked if other astronomers were familliar with the quote below in astronomy SE, I managed to contact the person I had heard it from and they sent me the following which I have posted there as an answer:

Baade was asked:

If you had your life to live over, would you be an astronomer again?

To which he answered:

Only if the ratio of total to selective absorption is everywhere the same.

which was meant to be a humorous reply. Comments there point to the web page Dust in Galaxies that also recounts the quote but with a slightly different wording but alas does also not provide a source. A comment there mentioned this SE community, so I came here to ask a related but different question:

Are there any historical records or published accounts of the above exchange taking place?


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