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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

November 30, 1939

I. The Executive Committee met at the call of the Chairman at 4:10 p.m., Thursday, November 30, 1939 at the Windermere Hotel, Chicago, Illinois.

Present: Chairman Tate, Messrs. Hardy, Klopsteg, Pegram and Waterfall; also Director Barton and Mr. M. J. Kelly, Chairman of the Committee on Applied Physics.

Absent: Mr. Peek

Deceased: Mr. Richtmyer on November 7, 1939.

II. Minutes of Meeting, September 15, 1939:

The minutes of the previous meeting on September 15, 1939 were approved as manifolded and distributed to the members.

III. Floyd K. Richtmyer, member of this committee; editor of the Review of Scientific Instruments, editor of the Journal of the Optical Society, died suddenly on November 7, 1939. The Governing Board will wish to make an appropriate record of Mr. Richtmyer’s service to the Institute. For the Executive Committee the cessation of his work raises immediate and important problems, particularly as to the Review of Scientific Instruments.

IV. The Review of Scientific Instruments:

Mr. Barton gave a report on Mr. Richtmyer’s effort to secure cooperation with the Association of Scientific Instrument Makers and Mr. Barton’s conversation, when on the way to Chicago, with Mr. Witherspoon of that Association. A contribution from the Association of $1500 toward the expenses of the Review of Scientific Instruments, to be used in part for survey articles on important classes of instruments still seemed to be possible. To broaden interest in the presentation of such informational articles it had been suggested that an old Committee on Apparatus of the National Research Council should be reconstituted and set to work again. It was proposed that Mr. Klopsteg follow up this whole matter further.

As to the editorship of the Review of Scientific Instruments there was general discussion. Among suggestions that had been obtained were the following:

  • Mr. J. Boyce suggested Mr. Harnwell
  • Mr. Klopsteg suggested Mr. George Harrison
  • Mr. H. B. Williams suggested Mr. George Harrison or Mr. DuBridge
  • Mr. Hutchisson suggested combining Review of Scientific Instruments with the Journal of Applied Physics.

The proposal of a temporary editorship prevailed and upon assurance from Mr. Kelly that arrangements could be made for Mr. Becker to serve for a few months it was on motion voted:

that Mr. J. A. Becker of the Bell Telephone Laboratories be asked to serve as Acting Editor of the Review of Scientific Instruments pending the election of an editor.

There followed discussion of how to put in motion further study of the policy. It was agreed that certain questions should be referred to the Committee, appointed by the Board in March, 1939, on Interrelations of Journals (Barton, Chairman, Pegram, Kelly, Roller, Hutchisson and Richtmyer), that questions on relations with the Scientific Apparatus Makers of America be referred to a special committee.

The Committee on Relations with Scientific Apparatus Makers of America was constituted as follows:

  • Mr. Barton, Chairman
  • Mr. Hardy
  • Mr. Pegram
  • Mr. Rayton

with the understanding that the Editor of the Review of Scientific Instruments, if and when appointed, should also be on this Committee.

V. Nominating Committee:

On motion it was voted:

that the Chairman should, as soon as the new members of the Board have been elected at the Annual Meeting, appoint a Nominating Committee to nominate officers of the Board to be elected at the March Board meeting.

VI. Klopsteg to Executive Committee vice Richtmyer:

The Chairman announced the appointment of Mr. P. E. Klopsteg as a member of the Executive Committee, in place of Mr. Richtmyer, deceased; the appointment to be effective as from the beginning of this meeting.

VII. Assistant in the Office of the Director:

On motion the Director was empowered to employ a male assistant at a salary of not more than $1800 yearly.

VIII. Payment to Richtmyer Estate:

On motion it was resolved:

that the mail ballot of the members of the Committee recently taken authorizing payment of the salary of Floyd K. Richtmyer, deceased on November 7, 1939, as Editor of the Review of Scientific Instruments be ratified and that the editor’s salary be paid to the end of the year to the estate of Floyd K. Richtmyer.

IX. $1800 Underwriting for Uncollectible Per Page Charges:

At the September 15, 1939 meeting of the Executive Committee it was voted:

that the Institute appropriate the sum of $1800 or such amount thereof as may be necessary as underwriting for the uncollectible "per page" charges, not otherwise underwritten, for articles published in the journals previous to July 1, 1939.

It was further ordered that a confirmatory letter vote of the members of the Board be taken on this action of the Executive Committee. The Secretary reported that thirteen members by letter vote had indicated approval of the action of the Executive Committee, no member of the Board expressed disapproval, and that therefore the action of the Executive Committee is confirmed.

X. Policy as to Less than One Year Subscriptions:

The Director spoke of enquiries from certain agencies, especially from the Buknida Reiss Subscription Agency, as to the cost of subscriptions to journals for less than one year. It was agreed that the simplest plan would be to accept subscriptions for less than one year only at single copy rates.

XI. Report on Temperature Symposium:

The Director reported the successful outcome of the recent Temperature Symposium. The attendance was unexpectedly large, over 615 individuals paying registration fees, ten or eleven instrument companies took part in the exhibits paying a small fee for the privilege, two companies contributed to the entertainment, and the dinner was well attended. It is hoped that a record of the symposium papers may be published in a book with certain additional papers making a volume of eleven to twelve hundred pages. It was expected that the book would be published by a firm of publishers.

On motion it was voted:

to approve the proposal for publication of a book provided it could be done without expense to the Institute and that the following committee be appointed a Committee on Publication of the Symposium Record with power to arrange a contract without the financial commitment of the Institute:

  • C. O. Fairchild, Chairman
  • H. T. Wendel
  • R. B. Sosman
  • J. D. Hardy
  • H. A. Barton

XII. Request from China for Journals:

Mr. Hardy spoke of the requests that had been received from Chinese institutions for free subscriptions for journals of the Institute because of the fact that the Chinese institutions are not able to pay subscription fees at present. It was agreed that such enquiries from China be answered by a statement that we can not give subscriptions to the journals but will print no fewer copies and shall expect to be in a position to supply the back numbers later.

XIII. The Committee adjourned about six-thirty p.m.