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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

April 17, 1932

I. The Executive Committee met at the call of the Chairman at 11:10 a.m., Sunday, April 17, 1932, at the office of the American Institute of Physics, 11 East 38th Street, New York City.

Present: Chairman K. T. Compton, Messrs. Davey, Fletcher, Jones, Palmer, Pegram, Director Barton and Treasurer Buffum, and by special invitation, Mr. E. C. Crittenden, President of the Optical Society of America, and Mr. F. K. Richtmyer, Editor of the Optical Society of America.

II. The Minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee on January 27, 1932 were read and approved.

III. Report of Director

  1. Office:

    Mr. Barton referred to the advantageous arrangements which had been made with respect to an office for the Institute, space of 1700 square feet having been leased in the building at 11 East 38th Street at an annual rental of $2800 and furnished at a cost for furniture and carpet of less than $1000.

  2. Publications:

    It was stated:

    1. that the editorial mechanics for the three journals of the Physical Society are now being taken care of in the Institute office and that Miss Mitchell and Miss Works have come from Minneapolis to be on the pay roll of the Institute as of March 28th;
    2. that the business management of these journals will be taken over in two steps, that pertaining to "Physics" being now in process of transit while the business of the "Physical Review" and the "Reviews of Modern Physics" will not be transferred until after the 1st of May;
    3. that arrangements are being made to take over the editorial mechanics of both journals of the Optical Society some time during the summer, that it is planned not to transfer the books and business management of these journals until the end of the year except in so far as it is necessary to undertake in advance any negotiations which properly apply to the business of 1933; and
    4. that arrangements concerning the Journal of Acoustics are yet to be discussed in detail with the Acoustical Society which meets May 2nd and 3rd.

  3. Financial:

    The Director stated that negotiations with the Societies in accordance with instructions received at the last Governing Board meeting are being made to provide:

    1. they shall turn over all money released by transfer so that the cost to each Society for its publications this year shall be the same as if no change had been made;
    2. this means that transfer costs and temporarily increased expenses due to reorganization are borne by the Institute;
    3. the details of the arrangement with each Society are to be recorded in a memorandum acceptable to Mr. Buffum as Treasurer of the Institute and to a corresponding authority in each Society.

    It was pointed out that the rapid progress of the Institute incurs now, instead of later, expenses not provided for in the initial budget. The total of such expenses of new office and transition for this year, including the first twelve months' rent, was estimated at $10,000 or less. In a conference between Mr. Buffum, Dr. Compton and the Director, Mr. Buffum for the Chemical Foundation agreed to try to make this amount available as actually needed.

  4. $2 A Page Plan:

    Mr. Barton reported further that action had been taken by the Rockefeller Foundation at the meeting of its executive committee on February 24, 1932 which authorized appropriations to the Institute of Physics for underwriting the plan of charging $2 per page for papers published in journals under the care of the Institute as follows:

    1. an amount not to exceed $6000 for the year beginning July 1, 1932;
    2. similarly $5000 for the year beginning July 1, 1933; and
    3. similarly $4000 for the year beginning July 1, 1934.

    It was requested by the Rockefeller Foundation that the name of the underwriter of this $2 a page plan be kept strictly confidential.

IV. Journal of Chemical Physics

The Chairman introduced the subject by referring to the circumstances that brought it to the attention of the Institute and asked the Director to report on a conference with Mr. Buffum, representing the Chemical Foundation, and Mr. Bancroft, editor of the Journal of Physical Chemistry, in which conference it was made clear that the Journal of Physical Chemistry can no longer be maintained under the present arrangements, and Mr. Bancroft expressed as his ideal that the material at present flowing to that journal should be divided and the more chemical part should go to the journal of the American Chemical Society while the part pertaining more to physics should go to a journal of chemical physics which should start as a new journal, letting the Journal of Physical Chemistry close its career at the end of this year.

The question of the continuation of the old name for a new journal was discussed by Mr. Richtmyer and others. Certain difficulties of such continuation were brought out and the expressed desire of Mr. Bancroft that the journal complete its existence with his editorship was quoted. The Director stated that he had already sent letters to a number of members of the American Physical Society who were known to be interested in the field of chemical physics to sound them out on their views as to the need of a journal for this field, and that he had suggested a possible conference of a number of those interested at some time during the April meeting of the American Physical Society in Washington.

On motion of Mr. Fletcher it was voted:

that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that the American Institute of Physics undertake the publication of a journal of chemical physics to begin in January l933.

On motion it was voted:

that the Chairman appoint a committee to make specific recommendations as to plan of editorial management of publication for the journal of chemical physics.

The Chairman appointed as this committee: Mr. Davey, chariman, Messrs. Barton and Tate, with the Chairman and the Treasurer as consultants.

On motion it was voted:

That the proposal to publish a journal of chemical physics be communicated, in as much detail as practicable, to the Founder Societies for their action as to approval and cooperation.

At this point the Committee took a recess for luncheon.

V. Advertising Policy

Mr. Richtmyer was requested to discuss for the Committee the Review of Scientific Instruments and its relation to the Optical Society of America, which now owns it, on the one hand, and to the Association of Scientific Instrument Makers, and to state the result of a conference of representatives of the Optical Society of America, the Association of Scientific Instrument Makers and the American Institute of Physics, which was held in March at Philadelphia. In discussing at that conference the possibility of having the Review of Scientific Instruments published under the auspices of the American Institute of Physics it appeared that the Scientific Instrument Makers did not feel that they could continue to guarantee the sum of $8000 (later changed to an specified sum) annually as income from advertising; that they would desire the responsibility in obtaining advertising to pass over to the Institute of Physics but that the Association would undertake to aid in getting advertising, particularly from its own members.

After discussion it appeared to be the sense of the Executive Committee that it would be desirable to concentrate all advertising in a single one of the publication under the Institute and arrange for that publication to have as wide a circulation as possible and certainly to each member of each Founder Society. The Director read a memorandum report by Mr. Tate, Adviser on Publications, in which he suggested as the medium which should carry the advertising a section of the Institute's publications in which could be collected all material that now appears in the several publications such as 'Letters to the Editor' in the Physical Review, 'Book Reviews' in several of the journals, 'Proceedings of Meetings' of the several societies, and in which could be published news items of various kinds of general interest to physicists without adding very greatly to the number of pages now published in the journals. Several members of the Committee expressed themselves as believing that the advertising should really go with the Review of Scientific Instruments.

The question of how to secure general circulation either of the news journal proposed by Mr. Tate or of the Review of Scientific Instruments was discussed and it was the sense of the Committee that it would not be desirable to ask the Founder Societies to require their members to subscribe for the Journal of Scientific Instruments or even a new journal as proposed by Mr. Tate.

On motion of Mr. Davey it was voted:

that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that the Review of Scientific Instruments be taken over by the Institute with the understanding that it shall carry the combined advertising of the various journals of the Institute and that it be arranged to send it to all members of the Founder Societies.

It appeared to be understood informally that the Review of Scientific Instruments may properly be enlarged to carry some of the news features of the section of publications proposed by Mr. Tate.

VI. Financial Statements

On motion it was voted:

that a committee consisting of the Adviser on Publications as chairman, the Secretary and the Director be charged with preparing statement of financial arrangements to be agreed upon in connection with the handling of publications and other matters between each of the Founder Societies and the Institute of Physics, the statement of such an arrangement to be submitted to the Governing .Board for approval and through the Board to the respective societies.

At this point Chairman Compton was compelled to leave and asked Mr. Fletcher to take the chair.

VII. Redraft of Constitution

The Secretary submitted for the approval of the Committee a redraft of the proposed constitution and by-laws of the American Institute of Physics which had been made in accordance with instructions of the Governing Board to conform to requirements for incorporation of the Institute under the laws of the State of New York.

On motion it was voted:

that the redraft of the Constitution and Rules as submitted be approved and that incorporation should be proceeded with.

On motion it was voted:

that the Secretary be authorized to employ a lawyer for putting through the certificate of incorporation.

VIII. Abstracts Journal

In response to questions as to the status of communications as to the abstracts journal the Secretary reported a letter from Mr. R. H. Fowler indicating that the British physicists will this spring be giving consideration to the question of an abstracts journal through the Royal Society.

IX. Unemployment Among Physicists

The Director stated that he had received some urgent requests that the Institute do something about an employment service for physicists. It was the sense of the Committee that at the present time the Institute could not effectively undertake a service of this kind.

X. Time of Meetings

On motion it was voted:

that the Executive Committee should not hereafter be called to meet on a Sunday.

XI. The committee adjourned at 5:15 p.m.