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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

December 3, 1941

I. The Executive Committee met in response to a call of the Chairman, on December 3, 1941 at the office of the American Institute of Physics Incorporated, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y., following a luncheon together.

Present: Chairman Klopsteg, Messrs. Fletcher, Hardy, Harrison and Tate; also by invitation Mr. Homer L. Dodge, Mr. Elmer Hutchisson, Editor of the Journal of Applied Physics, Mr. G. P. Harnwell, Editor of the Review of Scientific Instruments, Mr. M. J. Kelly, Chairman of the Council on Applied Physics, Mr. H. A. Barton, Director of the Institute, and Miss M. M. Mitchell, Publications Manager.

Mr. Elmer Hutchisson was appointed Secretary pro tem.

Absent: Mr. Hunter.

II. Minutes of the Meeting, February 20, 1941:

On motion the Minutes of the Meeting of February 20, 1941 were approved as manifolded and distributed.

III. Reports:

Mr. Barton reported on the cooperation between the Institute and the Office of Scientific Personnel and the present statistics on physicists now engaged in National Defense. He further commented on the work of the Academy Research Council Committee on Publication, and the sub-committee of which he is Chairman. The primary object of this committee is to examine abstracts of papers submitted for programs of American Physical Society meetings prior to publication and to determine which of these it may seem advisable to withhold.

Mr. Barton reported that he had submitted a report to the Society of Apparatus Makers of America on the use of their grant of $1500 in support of the Review of Scientific Instruments during the current year and had requested a further grant for 1942. The Chairman announced that a third of the grant for 1942 had already been appropriated by the Society of Apparatus Makers of America and later during the meeting word was received that two thirds had thus far been voted. The Chairman made the suggestion that the members of the Society of Apparatus Makers of America should have the privilege of the $3.00 subscription rate for the Review of Scientific Instruments offered to members of scientific societies. After discussion it was the sense of the group that the members of the Scientific Apparatus Makers of America, under whatever arrangement the Chairman makes with Mr. Roberts are to be regarded as members of scientific societies.

Mr. Barton referred briefly to a new plan for the Placement Service of the Institute which will probably be inaugurated on an experimental basis during one or more meetings in 1942.

IV. Cooperation with ESMDT Program:

By invitation Dean Dodge explained to the Committee the present status of the Engineering, Science, and Management Defense Training program of the United States Office of Education. He referred especially to a plan developed largely by himself to direct a part of the program to the establishment of full time summer courses at suitable institutions in subjects important to the defense program. He stated that this plan had received tentative approval by the Office of Education, provided that assistance be given by those familiar with the fields concerned in the selection by the Office of Education of suitable institutions.

After discussion it was on motion voted:

that the Executive Committee authorize the Director to cooperate with the Advisory Committee of the ESMDT, and to recommend to the Member Societies the extension of such assistance in this connection as may be requested by the Director for the furtherance of the program.

V. Resolution concerning 1942 ESMDT Program:

Mr. Barton read a Resolution from the Association of Engineering College Administrators of the New York Metropolitan Region recommending government aid through engineering schools to engineering and scientific students in order to maintain a supply of trained men. (Exhibit A.) The Committee was informed of action by the Council of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in endorsing this resolution, which is also being submitted to other engineering societies and to the American Chemical Society for endorsement.

The following resolution was moved and carried unanimously:

RESOLVED: that the American Institute of Physics go on record as endorsing the principle expressed in the Resolution from the Association of Engineering College Administrators of the New York Metropolitan Region and recommends that the Founder Societies take similar action.

VI. Tentative Budget for 1942:

Mr. Barton submitted a tentative budget for 1942 and discussed several matters pertinent thereto including:

  1. The decline in foreign subscription income due to war circumstances.
  2. The application of funds from the Rockefeller Foundation in compensating these losses in 1940 and 1941.
  3. The fact that declining subscription lists and number of pages in some of the journals must result in increased costs for all Publication Department work.
  4. The necessity of making some payroll increases in order to maintain the efficiency of the Institute staff.
  5. The desirability of making a definite recommendation to the Societies concerning the percentage basis for the 1942 supporting allowance.

On motion it was voted:

that the Executive Committee of the Institute recommends that the Societies suspend the extra 5% allowance which they have been making for the support of the Institute.

On motion it was voted:

To approve for recommendation to the Governing Board the tentative budget as submitted with such minor adjustments as may prove desirable. (Exhibit B.)

VII. American Society for X-Ray and Electron Diffraction:

Mr. Barton reported to the Committee on his correspondence with officers of the above Society devoted to a field which is primarily to be classified under the head of physics. This correspondence made available the names of officers, the number of members and their names, and also the Constitution and By-Laws of the Society. He recommended that this Society be invited to become an Associated Society of the Institute as provided for in the By-Laws of the Institute (Copy attached: See Rules, Article IV, Section 1.) Inasmuch as no such invitation had before this time been issued by the Institute to any society there was some discussion concerning this relationship.

On motion it was voted:

that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that the American Society for X-Ray and Electron Diffraction be invited to become an Associated Society of the American Institute of Physics under such conditions as the Board may decide.

VIII. Professional Status of Physicists:

The following resolutions adopted by the Council of the American Physical Society were presented for the attention of the Executive Committee:

“Motion: that the Council of the American Physical Society request the American Institute of Physics to afford what aid it can to physicists who are liable to be coerced into joining labor organizations, or whose status is liable to be influenced by collective-bargaining agreements achieved by labor organizations.”

“Motion: that the Council of the American Physical Society request the American Institute of Physics to give attention to the general problem of the professional status of physicists.”

It was realized that these resolutions open up many questions of policy of the first importance which confront the Founder Societies of the Institute and all members of the profession of physics. It was decided to take no action at the present time regarding the resolutions of the American Physical Society but that the Committee should give the matter considerable thought between now and the Governing Board meeting in March 1942. The Chairman suggested that the Director should in the meantime circulate the Governing Board members with any pertinent information on this subject.

IX. Vocational Guidance and Physics in High Schools:

Discussion included the advisability of appointing a committee to include a number of prominent authorities to promote the study of physics in high schools and colleges. It was suggested that suitable available material should be gathered for a booklet to be issued by the American Institute of Physics and sent to heads of physics departments and others. While it was the sense of the Committee that these things should be encouraged no action was taken.

X. Appointments:

On motion it was voted:

that the Chairman be empowered to appoint the Associate Editors for the Review of Scientific Instruments, the Journal of Chemical Physics, and the Journal of Applied Physics, in accordance with the recommendations already in hand from the Editors of these journals.

The Chairman subsequently made the following appointments:

  1. To be Associate Editors of the Journal of Applied Physics for the year 1942:

    • F. Bitter
    • W. F. Busse
    • S. H. Caldwell
    • Robley D. Evans
    • Morris Muskat
    • Frederick Seitz
    • B. E. Warren
    • J. B. Whitehead

  2. To be Associate Editors of the Journal of Chemical Physics for the term January 1, 1942 to December 31, 1944:

    • C. O. Beckmann
    • B. L. Crawford Jr.
    • P. Debye
    • D. Harker
    • F. H. Westheimer

  3. To be Associate Editors of the Review of Scientific Instruments for the term:

    January 1, 1942 to December 31, 1942:

    • J. A. Becker
    • D. W. Bronk
    • John P. Harvey
    • A. R. Olpin
    • L. N. Ridenour
    • W. F. Roeser

    January 1, 1942 to December 31, 1944:

    • E. Newton Harvey
    • Selig Hecht

On motion it was voted:

that Gaylord P. Harnwell be appointed Editor of the Review of Scientific Instruments for the period beginning January 1, 1942 and ending December 31, 1944, at his present salary.

XI. On motion the Committee adjourned at 4:55 p.m.