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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

June 19, 1945

1. In accordance with notices sent by authority of the Chairman, the Executive Committee met at 1:30 p.m., in the office of the Institute, 57 East 55 Street.

Members Present: Mr. P.E. Klopsteg, Chairman, presiding; Messrs. G.B. Pegram, A.G. Worthing, Wallace Waterfall.

Absent: Mr. Harvey Fletcher. Present by invitation: Mr. R.E. Lawther, Mr. R.C. Gibbs; Mr. H.A. Barton, Mr. T. Vorburger, Miss M.M. Mitchell, Miss M.S. Griffin of the Institute Staff.

2. The minutes of the Joint Meeting of the Executive Committee and Policy Committee held on March 8, 1945 were presented and approval was voted.

3. The Secretary reported Mail Ballot #1, as follows:

Authorizing the Chairman of the Governing Board to appoint a Committee on Mathematical Typography and a Committee on Vocational Guidance. Favorable 4; Opposed 0.

On motion it was voted that the results of this mail ballot be confirmed and recorded in the minutes as an official action.

4. Request for share in expense of assessment reduction on Physics Building:

Mr. Lawther explained that by  proceeding brought against the Tax Commission of the City of New York in the Supreme Court, the assessed value of the Institute’s premises at 57 East 55th Street for the tax year 1943-44 was reduced from $125,000 to $95,000, resulting in a net saving to the Institute in real estate taxes for that period, of $912.00. This proceeding was started by the former owner of the property, and although it is Mr. Lawther’s opinion that the Institute is not legally obligated to bear any part of the expense, he recommended that it be done. After considerable discussion of the subject it was moved by Mr. Worthing and unanimously carried:

That the Treasurer pay Joshua Bernstein, Esq., attorney for 57 East 55 Street Corporation, from which the Physics Building was purchased, an amount equal to three-fourths of the fees incurred by that corporation for attorney’s services and for the services of a real estate expert in the said action in so far as it related to the tax year 1943-44, and not to exceed $367.35.

5. Recommendation of Counsel:

Mr. Lawther explained the status of the Institute’s request for tax exemption on the building and recommended that we pay immediately the reduced assessment for the year 1943/44, the gross amount of which is $3,185.98 including accrued interest to date. It was moved by Mr. Pegram and unanimously carried:

That the Treasurer be authorized to pay the 1943/44 tax on the building as soon as possible, the amount not to exceed $3,185.98

Mr. Lawther explained that he hopes to get an exemption on the 1944/45 taxes. Although they are overdue at present it was Mr. Lawther’s recommendation that they should not be paid. The Committee agreed with this recommendation and requested that the situation be viewed again before October 31, 1945.

6. Use of Fifth Floor apartment and other Bedrooms:

Mr. Barton reviewed the experience of the Institute in connection with the Fifth Floor apartment formerly occupied by Mr. Burnham and the three Bedrooms on the Mezzanine which have occasionally been occupied by physicists and others visiting the city. Mr. Lawther commented on the legal aspects of the situation. There was general agreement with Mr. Vorburger’s suggestion that a caretaker be employed, if possible, to live in the apartment and thereby reducing the present high cost of cleaning. After discussion of the policy to be followed in connection with the bedrooms on the Mezzanine, it was moved by Mr. Pegram and unanimously carried:

That the assignment of overnight facilities of the Institute building is to be made only to a person who has come to the city on Institute business and at the expense of the Institute.

7. Financial:

  1. Recommendation of Finance Committee:

    The Assistant Treasurer read the minutes of a meeting of the Finance Committee of June 12, 1945, a copy of which is attached to the official copy of these minutes. Included in these minutes is a recommendation that the Institute purchase $30,000 U.S. Government Bonds, 2 ¼% due 1959/62, and it was reported that the recommendation has since been carried out by the Treasurer. On motion the Committee unanimously voted:

    To approve the action of the Treasurer made on the recommendation of the Finance Committee to invest $30,000 in the manner so described.

  2. Budget of Policy Committee and Its Work:

    The Director presented a Statement of Expenditures of the War Policy Committee covering the period January 1, 1944 to March 31, 1945, a copy of which is attached to the official copy of these minutes. He presented also a proposed budget (copy also attached) for the work of the Policy Committee for one year periods to March 1946, 1947, and 1948. He outlined the future work of the Office of Scientific Personnel, the support of which was included in the proposed budget. He also read the recommendation of the Policy Committee that:

    “The Policy Committee approves in principle and recommends to the Governing Board that the American Institute of Physics continue to support the Office of Scientific Personnel by contributing an additional amount not to exceed $3,000 for the period ending June 30, 1946.”

    Upon request of the Director, Mr. Gibbs, Chairman of the Policy Committee, briefly described the program of the Committee’s work upon which was based the proposed budget herewith submitted. It was the sense of the Committee that the Policy Committee’s budget was reasonable and should be supported if and when it is submitted for formal approval. Since immediate action regarding the support of the Office of Scientific Personnel seemed desirable, it was on motion of Mr. Pegram unanimously voted:

    “That an attempt be made to procure funds from the Rockefeller Foundation to cover first, the commitment of $3,000 to the support of the Office of Scientific Personnel from February 1, 1945 to September 30, 1945, and second an item of $3,000 for support of the Office of Scientific Personnel from October 1, 1945 to June 30, 1946.”

    It was agreed by the Committee that the Director should approach the Rockefeller Foundation for support of the entire Policy Committee program as soon as he sees fit.

  3. Current Support of Office of Scientific Personnel:

    The Director outlined the work of the Office of Scientific Personnel during the period in which it has been supported by funds appropriated by the Institute. He further stated that a commitment of A.I.P. to pay $3,000 for the period February 1, 1945 to September 30, 1945 had been made by the Institute in line with promises made earlier to the Office by representatives of other supporting scientific societies. He pointed out that this commitment had been made contingent upon receiving a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation for the work of the Policy Committee. No approach has thus far been made to the Foundation because the program of the Policy Committee’s work had not until recently been formulated and, further, because the two officers in the Foundation through whom the application should be made were both absent because of ill health. In the meantime, the Institute is more or less obligated to support the OSP to the extent of $3,000 covering the period mentioned above. He therefore requested the Committee to allow a payment of $3,000 to the Academy for the OSP even without assurance that this payment would be underwritten by the Rockefeller Foundation. Upon motion of Mr. Worthing it was unanimously voted:

    That the Treasurer be authorized to pay $3,000 to the National Academy of Sciences for the support of the Office of Scientific Personnel for February 1, 1945 to September 30, 1945.

  4. Revision of Budget:

    Mr. Vorburger stated that in the event that a grant is not eventually made by the Rockefeller Foundation to cover the budget of the Policy Committee there would necessarily have to be a revision in the budget of the Institute for 1945. It was the sense of the Committee that the Policy Committee should continue with its present program until further notice, charging expenses after June 30, 1945 to a special A.I.P. project pending receipt of a possible grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

  5. Chart History of the Institute:

    For the information of the members of the Committee, Mr. Vorburger presented a Chart History of the Institute Finances over a period from 1938 to 1944, and also for the year 1944. A copy of this chart is attached to these minutes.

8. Advertising:

By action of the Governing Board on March 9, 1945 the question of advertising rates in the Institute’s journals was referred to the Executive Committee. Mr. Barton called upon the Publications Manager to present a number of charts showing past and present trends in cost of and revenue from advertising. A list of Comparative Advertising Rates between A.I.P. journals and other scientific journals as of 1944 was also presented and a copy is attached to the official copy of these minutes. After discussion of the subject it was moved and unanimously carried:

That a sub-committee be appointed by the Chairman to consider advertising rates and policies of current journals and the possibility of changes which may be brought about by the institution of a new journal such as the one being considered by the Policy Committee.

9. Proposed RSI Editorial on Military Training:

The Director read a letter from the Editor of The Review of Scientific Instruments asking whether it would be agreeable to publish an editorial in that journal on the subject of University Military Training. It was the sense of the Committee that as this was such a controversial subject the matter should be referred to the Policy Committee for consideration.

10. Nomination of Willard Gibbs for Hall of Fame:

Mr. Barton reported that the Institute had been asked by the President of the National Academy of Sciences whether it would consider supporting the nomination of Willard Gibbs for the Hall of Fame. It was generally acknowledged that this would be an appropriate action and on motion it was voted:

That Chairman Klopsteg be made a committee of one to carry through the nomination of Willard Gibbs by the Institute to the Hall of Fame.

11. Election of New Associate Member:

The Bell & Howell Company was, upon motion, elected an Associate Member of the Institute.

12. Appointment of delegates to U.S.S.R. Academy of Science:

The Director  reported the appointment of Dr. Edward U. Condon, and Dr. Detlev W. Bronk as the delegates of the Institute to the 220th Anniversary of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Science from June 15 to June 28. This action was ratified by the Committee.

13. Retirement System for A.I.P. Staff:

The Secretary recommended to the Committee that a sub-committee be appointed by the Chairman to study a retirement system for the staff of the Institute and make recommendations to the Committee. On motion it was voted:

To adopt the Secretary’s recommendation herein – before stated.

14. Adjournment:

The Committee adjourned at 5 p.m.