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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

November 29, 1945

1. In accordance with notices sent by authority of the Chairman, the Executive Committee met at 11:45 a.m. in the office of the Institute, 57 East 55 Street.

Members Present: Mr. Paul E. Klopsteg, Chairman, presiding; Messrs. Harvey Fletcher, G. B. Pegram, A. G. Worthing, Wallace Waterfall. Present by invitation: Mr. R. E. Lawther, Mr. John T. Tate; Mr. H. A. Barton, Mr. T. Vorburger, Miss M. S. Griffin, of the Institute Staff.

2. Tax Exemption:

It was reported that the Tax Commission of the City of New York, on advice of the Corporation Council, had order the cancellation of certain tax bills on the Physics Building and that the reserves allowed in the budget for 1945 to cover these items could now be liquidated. The Director suggested that in view of the very satisfactory result of the handling of the application for tax exemption by our Counsel without recourse to costly litigation, a resolution of appreciation might be in order. Accordingly, the following resolution was voted.

RESOLVED that the Executive Committee takes this occasion to express on behalf of the American Institute of Physics its appreciation of the able services of Mr. R. E. Lawther, representing this Institute’s attorneys, in obtaining a decision on the part of the City authorities that the Institute building is to be regarded as tax exempt, and for achieving this result without recourse to costly litigation.

3. Atomic Energy Problems:

Mr. Barton cited several examples of Atomic Energy Problems on which the Institute had been requested to express an opinion and requested the Committee’s advice as to whether the Institute is meeting these problems in a satisfactory manner or what steps should be taken for improvement. There was considerable discussion on this subject and it was the sense of the Committee that because the Institute does not have the mechanism for knowing (and hence for speaking) the mind of the profession as a whole, extreme caution is needed in issuing recommendations and stating viewpoints for public use. On the other hand, circulation of independent comments and resolution could well be undertaken by the Institute if it were indicated clearly that they were not expressions endorsed by the Institute.

(Shortly before the conclusion of this discussion Mr. Fletcher had to leave the meeting and Mr. Worthing joined the meeting.)

The Committee members and guests adjourned for lunch and reconvened at 1:45 p.m.

4. Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on June 19, 1945 were approved as circulated.

5. Mail Ballots:

The Secretary reported the following mail ballots:

  1. Recommendation to Governing Board to adopt resolution voting 15% for 1946 contributions of Member Societies.

    Favorable 5; Opposed 0.

  2. Approval of A.B. Dick Company as an Associate Member.

    Favorable 5; Opposed 0.

6. On motion it was voted that these mail ballots be confirmed and recorded in the minutes as official actions.

Physics Building:

Mr. Barton reported that he had received requests for office space in the Physics Building from the President of the American Meteorological Society and the President of the National Academy of Sciences. He referred also to the space which might be required for editorial offices if the proposed plans for a new journal were put into effect.

After discussion it was on motion voted:

That the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Director be empowered to investigate the amount of unused office space still remaining in the Physics Building, and to decide whether, in view of anticipated expansion, any space could be provided for the use of outside parties without impeding the business of the Institute.

7. Financial:

  1. The Director stated that no formal budget would be presented to the Committee to authorize, pending adoption of a formal budget for 1946, continuation of operations after January 1, 1946 at approximately the same rate of expenditure as the 1945 operations plus a percentage suitable to provide for some increased costs. It was moved by Mr. Pegram and unanimously voted:

    That the Director’s suggestion be approved and that the percentage to cover increased costs be 10% (ten percent).

  2. It was moved by Mr. Pegram and unanimously voted:

    That the firm of Pasley & Conroy be appointed the auditors of the Institute for the 1945 annual audit.

  3. On motion of Mr. Waterfall it was voted:

    To request the Finance Committee to discuss with the auditors the type of audit which should be made.

  4. The Committee approved the suggestion of the Finance Committee to sell at this time, providing a price not less than par can be obtained, the $15,000 of short-term Treasury Notes maturing January 1, 1946, and to purchase $25,000 of United States Treasury Bonds, 2 ¼% due 1959-62. This was recommended because of the present Government Victory Loan Drive affording an opportunity to purchase Government Bonds at par. If such action were not taken now it would be necessary to reinvest the $15,000 on January 1, 1946 when the short-term Notes become due and a premium would then have to be paid for the 2 ¼% Bonds heretofore mentioned.

8. Proposal of Society of Rheology:

Mr. W.F. Fair, Jr., President of the Society of Rheology, joined the meeting at the invitation of the Director and described in some detail the publication problems of the Society of Rheology. He indicated that it was his desire to request, by mail ballot, the desires of the membership of the Society of Rheology on two questions: (1) the possibility of requesting the American institute of Physics to publish the Society’s bulletin or journal; (2) the offer by the Academic Press to publish the Society’s papers in the new Journal of Colloid Science. Before taking a mail ballot, however, Mr. Fair wished to know the view of the Institute with regard to publishing a bulletin for the Society. Mr. Barton suggested that the Institute’s reaction be expressed as follows: (1) That the Society through its officers be asked to consider further just how it might be possible to publish the bulletin through the Institute; (2) That the Institute sees no departure from the generally acknowledged policies between the Societies and the Institute in the Society of Rheology arranging with the Journal of Colloid Science for the publication of its papers. Upon motion of Mr. Pegram it was voted unanimously:

That the Director’s suggestions be adopted by the Executive Committee and that the Director be authorized to reply as indicated.

9. Disposition of Surplus in Building Fund:

At the request of the Director, Mr. Vorburger reported that there was a surplus of between $3,000 and $4,000 in the Physics Building Fund account. Upon motion of Mr. Pegram it was voted unanimously:

That the surplus should be set aside at December 31, 1945 as a special Building Fund surplus to meet any contingent repairs or improvements, and should not revert at the close of the year to the general surplus account of the Institute. (Owing to another engagement, the Treasurer, Mr. Pegram, had to leave the meeting after voting on the above motion.)

10. Establishment of Additional Banking Facilities:

The Committee without resolution evinced agreement with the proposal of the Director and the Assistant Treasurer that additional and more convenient banking arrangements be made for the Institute, the proposed bank being the Bankers Trust Company with offices at the corner of 57th Street and Madison Avenue. It was left that the officers would prepare the necessary enabling resolutions for action at the meeting of the Governing Board next March.

11. Miscellaneous Items:

  1. Nomination of Willard Gibbs: The Chairman reported that Willard Gibbs, who had been nominated by the Institute, was not elected to the Hall of Fame.

  2. Office Hours of AIP: Mr. Barton reported the working schedule of the AIP staff and asked the Committee to consider the necessity for the Physics Building to be open on Saturday mornings. It was the sense of the members present that the Physics Building should not be closed on Saturday mornings.

  3. New Associate Member: The Battelle Memorial Institute was, upon motion, duly elected an Associate Member of the Institute.

  4. Employment Clearing House: The Director asked the Committee to approve an appropriation of $500 to establish an Employment Clearing House at the meetings of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers in New York on January 24-26. On motion of Mr. Worthing it was voted:

    To appropriate the sum of $500 for the operation by the Institute of an Employment Clearing House at appropriate large gatherings of physicists in 1946, especially the joint meeting of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers in January.

  5. Appointment of new Associate Editors: On motion it was voted:

    That the Chairman be empowered to appoint associate editors for the journals of the Institute upon the recommendations of the Editors.

  6. Case of Max Planck: Mr. Barton reported information he had received concerning the plight of the German Physicist, Max Planck, who needs assistance in his health situation and in perhaps being brought to this country, and also in connection with publication here of his new scientific works. After discussion, the Director was authorized to write such letters in the name of the Institute as might be required to aid Dr. Planck without obligating the Institute financially.

  7. Committee on Donors’ Tablet: The Chairman was authorized to appoint a committee to decide upon a suitable donors’ tablet for the Institute building.

  8. Preparation of Booklet on usefulness of Physicists in Small Industries: Mr. Barton reported on a suggestion to prepare a booklet on usefulness of physicists in small industries. The Committee suggested that such a project is within the scope of the purposes of the Institute and the Director should try to obtain what information he can for preparing the booklet. No special budget item was contemplated.

12. By invitation Mr. Gibbs, Chairman of the Policy Committee, then joined the meeting and stated that the Policy Committee recommends that the Executive Committee consider the desirability of appointing a group of physicists, perhaps six in number, to be available on call to go to Washington to work with the Office of Education on Surplus War Property problems. Mr. Tate stated that the National Academy of Sciences is being urged to take action in this connection. On motion of Mr. Worthing it was voted:

That the Director be authorized to request Mr. M. H. Trytten, Director of the Office of Scientific Personnel, to confer with Mr. F. B. Jewett, President of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Chairman was authorized to appoint a sub-committee to select the appointees if this is deemed necessary after the conference between Mr. Trytten and Mr. Jewet has been held.

13. Revised By-Laws:

Mr. Gibbs presented for discussion a draft copy of proposed by-laws. There was considerable discussion of a number of points and various revisions suggested. Mr. Gibbs will subsequently report back to the Policy Committee.

14. Adjournment:

The meeting adjourned at 4:50 p.m.