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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

February 20, 1941

I. The Executive Committee met in response to a call of the Chairman, on February 20, 1941 at the Hotel Commander, Cambridge, Massachusetts, at 8:00 p.m. following a dinner together.

Present: Chairman Klopsteg, Messrs. Fletcher, Hardy, Harrison and Tate; also former Chairman Compton, Mr. Pegram, Secretary of the Board, Mr. Kelly, Chairman of the Committee on Applied Physics, Mr. Barton, Director of the Institute, and Miss Mitchell, Publications Manager.

Absent: Mr. Hunter

II. Minutes of Meeting, November 22, 1940:

On motion the Minutes of the Meeting of November 22, 1940 were approved as manifolded and distributed.

III. Report of the Board to the Annual Meeting:

The Director submitted a draft of an annual report on the operations of the Institute to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Corporation on February 22, 1941, and presented also a copy of the financial report, consisting of the complete report of the auditors for 1940.

On motion it was voted:

that the Committee approves the operations report as drafted by the Director, plus the auditor’s report, as the Report of the Governing Board to be presented to the Annual Meeting of the Institute on February 22, 1941.

(For copy of the Report on Operations see Minutes of the Annual Meeting.)

IV. Appointments:

The Secretary reported for record the following appointments that the Chairman was authorized to make.

  1. To be Associate Editors of the Journal of Applied Physics for the year 1941:

    • Francis Bitter
    • Warren F. Busse
    • Robley D. Evans
    • Morris Muskat
    • B. E. Warren
    • J. B. Whitehead

  2. To be Associate Editors of the Review of Scientific Instruments for the year 1941:

    • J. A. Becker
    • A. R. Olpin
    • L. N. Ridenour
    • W. F. Roeser

    To be members of the Editorial Board of the same journal for the term January 1, 1941 to December 31, 1946:

    • E. C. Crittenden
    • Saul Dushman
    • D. W. Kerst
    • P. E. Klopsteg
    • J. D. Strong
    • H. B. Williams

  3. To be Associate Editors of the Journal of Chemical Physics for the term January 1, 1941 to December 31, 1943:

    • Simon Freed
    • Maurice L. Huggins
    • J. G. Kirkwood
    • George Scatchard
    • J. H. Van Vleck

V. Draft of Budget of 1941:

The Director submitted a tentative draft of a budget for the Institute for 1941. The draft showed an excess of expenses over income in the total budget.

On motion it was voted:

that an item of $1,000 to be expended on the projected joint meeting of the Societies and the Institute in October 1941 be taken out, thereby leaving in the budget a surplus of $600.

This was done because the opinion in the governing bodies of the Societies and in the Board appeared strongly to favor deferring the joint meeting.

On motion it was then voted:

to approve the draft of the 1941 budget, substantially as set up by the Director, for presentation to the governing Board at its meeting on March 15, 1941.

VI. Deferment of Joint Meeting:

On motion it was voted:

that it is the opinion of the Executive Committee that it would be wise to defer the Joint Meeting of the Societies and the Institute, scheduled to occur in October, 1941, until a more propitious year because many of our most active physicists are engaged in national defense research, about which they will not able to talk next October, and because all physicists are likely to be very busy at that time and many of them unable to attend a meeting.

On motion it was also voted:

that a statement of this opinion of the Executive Committee be transmitted to each member of the Board and a mail ballot be taken as to the judgment of the Board on the proposal to defer the Joint Meeting, if agreeable to the Societies.

VII. Report of Director, Survey of Shortage of Physicists:

Mr. Barton outlined the inquiry he had undertaken by questionnaires sent to a large number of universities as to the number of physicists taken away from the universities for national defense work and by the draft, also the number and grade of physicists still available, and stated that he hoped to make a report soon which should be mainly factual and guarded in any statements about draft exemptions or deferments.

VIII. Director’s Report: A Report for General Circulation, Especially to All Physicists:

Such a report was authorized at the Board meeting in March, 1940. Mr. Barton submitted a draft (copy attached to Secretary’s copy of these Minutes.)

After considerable discussion of the proposal to send out a report about the Institute it appeared to be the sense of the Committee that two different reports should be prepared. One report for general circulation should be short and possibly take the form of questions and answers. The other report for transmission to the Members of the Councils and to others who express special interest should contain fairly complete information about the Institute and its finances, including much of the material which Mr. Barton submitted for consideration. Mr. Compton suggested that in presenting any figures showing the finances of the Institute for a number of years a last column should show the budget for 1941.

No formal action was taken.

IX. Nominating Committee:

On motion it was voted:

that the Chairman be authorized to appoint a Nominating Committee to report at the meeting of the Governing Board on March 15, 1941.

The Chairman appointed as the Nominating Committee:

  • George R. Harrison, Chairman
  • Wheeler P. Davey
  • Harvey Fletcher

X. The Committee then adjourned.