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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

March 8, 1945

(This was a joint meeting with the Executive Committee and the Policy Committee.)

I. The Committees met at 1:20 p.m., in the office of the Institute, 57 East 55th Street.

Present: Members of the Executive Committee, Mr. Klopsteg Chairman, and Messrs. Fletcher, Pegram, and Tate. Members of the Policy Committee, Mr. Tate, Chairman, and Mr. Klopsteg, ex officio, Messrs. Buckley, Dodge, DuBridge, and Gibbs. Mr. Barton, Director, Miss Mitchell, and Mr. Burnham of the Institute Staff were present. Mr. Waterfall and, later in the meeting, Mr. Trytten, Director of the Office of Scientific Personnel of the National Research Council, were present by invitation.

II. The minutes of the Executive Committee meeting of January 19, 1945 were presented and approval was voted.

III. The chief item of business was a consideration of the “Preliminary Report of the Policy Committee on the Reorganization of Physics” which report had been sent to the Secretaries of the member societies with the request that a copy be sent to each member of the governing council together with a request for comments. Copy of the report is attached to the official copy of these minutes.

Mr. Barton read several letters that had been received as a result of this distribution of the report from (see appended sheet) and distributed copies of letters or editorials that had appeared in the Review of Scientific Instruments by (see appended sheet).

Extended discussion of the report followed. (Mr. Buckley left toward the close of the discussion).

On motion of Mr. Fletcher the Executive Committee adopted the following resolution:

RESOLVED: That the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that the Board express agreement in principle with the objective stated in the Preliminary Report of the Policy Committee, and that in accord with Section IV of the Report the Board authorize the Policy Committee to appoint committees as therein suggested, also to call such conferences of physicists as may be desirable for consultation on any revisions or developments of the Preliminary Report; and that the Board request the Policy Committee to report the results of its further work to the Board through the Executive Committee.

(At this point Mr. Fletcher left the meeting).

IV. Scientific Personnel Problems:

Mr. Trytten, Chairman of the Committee on Scientific Personnel of the National Research Council, was called upon to tell something of the situation as to the present and prospective supply of physicists, particularly as affected by National Selective Service regulations and the prospective postwar needs. He indicated that there is even now no way to avoid a serious postwar shortage of physicists, that although certain efforts are still being made to conserve a certain number of students and teachers of physics under 30 years of age, the prospect of any success is not good. He discussed also the work that the N.R.C. Committee on Scientific Personnel has done and what it could do in the future if continued.

Mr. Barton added remarks about the desirability of enabling this Committee to continue its work after the war and of somehow insuring its financial support. He referred to the fact that the Institute of Physics certainly needs representation in Washington of the kind that this Committee can give.

V. The Committee adjourned at 5:30 p.m.