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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

October 4, 1946

Present: Messrs Paul E. Klopsteg (Chairman), K. S. Gibson, G. B. Pegram (for part of meeting), Wallace Waterfall.

Guests: Messrs. R. H. Bolt, J. B. Fisk, D. B. Snyder (for part of meeting).

Admin. Staff: Messrs. H. A. Barton, Director; T. Vorburger, Asst Treas; Miss M. S. Griffin, Publications Manager.

In accordance with notices sent by authority of the Chairman the Committee met at 10 a.m. in the office of the Institute at 57 East 55th Street, New York.

1. Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting on February 28, 1946 were voted approved after perusal by Mr. Gibson who was not at that time a member of the Committee.

2. Recommendations of Policy Committee as to Journal Plan:

Mr. Barton reported that the Policy Committee at its September 25th meeting considered three plans for the new journal, as follows:

  1. A journal designed primarily for public information about physics but containing material of a house-organ nature.
  2. A pocket-size journal – solely for house-organ purposes.
  3. A house-organ edited mainly for physicists but having some interest for laymen which could be promoted for the use of others than physicists but which would probably not reach a higher circulation than 20,000.

Mr. Barton stated that the Policy Committee had voted to recommend to the Executive Committee that the new journal should be of the type in 3. above and known as the “Institute Plan.” After having taken such a vote, however, a new proposal was presented by Mr. Bolt which had been prepared by Mr. Harold W. Danser, President of the Ultrasonic Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in cooperation with the Atlantic Monthly publication. (Copies of Mr. Danser’s proposal and the Policy Committee’s opinion on it were circulated at the Executive Committee meeting and a copy is attached to these official minutes.) The Policy Committee then took further action and voted as follows:

“That the Committee, having already voted to recommend the “Institute plan” to the Executive Committee, now took further action to recommend under this Institute plan, but with such financial adjustment as may be found feasible, that an attempt be made to work out the proposal of the Atlantic Monthly.”

After a period of discussion by the Executive Committee, during which certain questions and explanations were given in regard to this proposal, Mr. D.V. Snyder, representing the Atlantic Monthly, joined the meeting and was introduced to those present.

Mr. Snyder said he had regarded his conversations with Mr. Danser as exploratory rather than as a definite proposal and, on further thought, was not sure that a 16-page section in the Atlantic Monthly would be an economically sound venture even though it might be reprinted and promoted by Atlantic Monthly as a separate magazine. He believed a 6 or 8 page section would be more justified. He recognized a real community of interest with the Institute and expressed a desire to discuss all possibilities.

A lengthy discussion followed which resulted in a tentative proposal as embodied in the attached letter addressed to Mr. Snyder with the approval of the Committee.

Mr. Pegram left the meeting at approximately 12:15 p.m. The Committee adjourned for lunch at 12:55 p.m. and reconvened at 1:55 p.m. Messrs. Bolt, Fisk, and Snyder left the meeting at the end of the morning session.

3. Mail Ballots:

The Secretary reported the following mail ballots:

  1. Request to Policy Committee for specific recommendations as to inauguration of the journal “Physics.”

    Approved 4; Opposed 0; Non-voting 1.

  2. Approval of The Barrett Division, Allied Chemical & Dye Corporation as an Associate Member.

    Approved 5; Opposed 0.

  3. Appropriation of $4,000.00 from Rockefeller Foundation grant for Policy Committee to support Office of Scientific Personnel for fiscal year July 1, 1946 to June 30, 1947 contingent upon prior approval by an officer of the Foundation.

    Approved 5; Opposed 0.

  4. Employment of J.C. Patterson as public relations consultant from July 1, 1946 to June 30, 1947 at an annual fee of $5,000; amendment to 1946 Budget to provide half this sum and expenses; further amendment to reduce item in Budget for Director’s assistant by half.

    Approved 5; Opposed 0.

  5. Statement on freedom of dissemination of research information by Policy Committee to be issued in name of Institute.

    Approved 5; Opposed 0.

  6. Recommendation to Governing Board to adopt plan submitted by Committee on Retirement Plan for Employees of Institute.

    Approved 4; Opposed 0; Non-voting 1.

  7. Endorsement of recommendation by Policy Committee regarding continuation of The Review of Scientific Instruments.

    Approved 4; Opposed 0; Non-voting 1.

On motion it was unanimously voted that mail ballots Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 be confirmed and recorded in the minutes as official actions. After some discussion the Committee also voted unanimously to approve mail ballot No. 6, i.e., recommending that the Governing Board adopt the plan submitted by the Committee on Retirement Plan for Employees of the Institute to become effective November 1, 1946.

4. Amendments to Budget:

On motion of Mr. Waterfall and seconded by Mr. Gibson it was voted to amend the 1946 Budget with respect to the following items:

  1. Subject to approval by the Governing Board of the Retirement Plan for the Employees of the Institute, the sum of $1,500.00 be provided to cover the approximate cost of the plan for 1946 if put into effect as of November 1, 1946. The item of $1,500.00 is to be included as part of the General Operations Budget.
  2. To increase the item of Travel Expense from $1,500.00 to $2,000.00 to defray the cost of increased travel to meetings and conferences by the Administrative Staff and Institute Committee members.
  3. To increase the item of Special Projects from $3,000.00 to $4,500.00 to cover additional expenses incurred through more active operation of the Placement Service.

A copy of the revised budget for the General Operations Department was circulated at the meeting and a copy is attached to the official minutes.

5. Appointment of special committee to study public relations problems:

Mr. Barton requested that a committee be appointed to study public relations policies for the guidance of Mr. J.C. Patterson, the Institute’s public relations consultant. After discussion it was agreed that the Director should decide the policy of public relations for the Institute but that Mr. Patterson should consult the Secretaries of the Member Societies in so far as abstracts for forthcoming meetings are concerned.

6. Conflict of Meeting Dates:

Mr. Barton reported that the Policy Committee is concerned over the conflict of meeting dates between the Member Societies and has recommended that a committee be appointed to consult with the Member Societies. The Chairman stated that there is machinery now in effect between the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society to avoid conflict of meeting dates.

On motion of Mr. Waterfall and seconded by Mr. Gibson, it was voted to adopt the resolution of the Policy Committee, as follows:

That the Institute advise the Secretaries of the Member Societies that it is ready to assist them in avoiding conflict of meeting dates.

7. National Society for Medical Research:

The Secretary referred to an exchange of correspondence with the National Society for Medical Research, which has as one of its aims the combating of propaganda against the experimental use of live animals, who had requested that the Institute become a non-contributing member of that Society. On Mr. Waterfall’s recommendation, the Committee voted unanimously:

That the Institute endorse the aims of the National Society for Medical Research without becoming a member.

8. Award for Distinguished Service to Physics:

The Director suggested the possibility of the Institute making an award for distinguished service to physics which was not directly scientific or pedagogical. This award would be available to authors of favorable legislation, industrial executives who have set an example of leadership in the support of research, and government officials such as the recently retired director of the National Bureau of Standards. The Committee approved the suggestion and

On motion it was voted

That a statement of the idea be prepared for submission to the Governing Board.

9. Travel Expense Accounting:

A proposal for a standardized procedure for traveling expense accounting presented by Mr. L.W. Taylor was not adopted by the Committee.

10. Professor Max Planck

A letter which had been sent by the Secretary of the American Physical Society to Professor Max Planck in Germany extending the greetings of that Society and of the Institute was read to the Committee by Mr. Barton. He also read a letter written by Mrs. Planck to a friend in America which described the tragic circumstances under which they are now living in Germany. The Committee agreed that it would be commendable to get what clearances are necessary and to publish the letter in The Review of Scientific Instruments with an accompanying explanation of how relief supplies might be sent by sympathetic readers to the Plancks.

11. Contract with Chemical Publishing Company:

A proposal to contract with the Chemical Publishing Company for the publication of a book containing papers on High Polymer Physics presented at a recent meeting of the High Polymer Division of the American Physical Society was presented to the Committee. This proposal was similar in nature to that under which the Temperature Symposium was published. The Executive Committee then authorized the Director to proceed with this proposal.

12. Status of Occupancy Permit:

It was the sense of the Committee that an attempt be made to secure the easement governing the fire exit of the Institute Building on a longer term basis than yearly which it is at present.

13. Retirement Plan:

It was on motion voted:

That the Committee recommends to the Governing Board that the Chairman of the Governing Board be empowered to appoint the trustees and any necessary committees in connection with the Retirement Plan for the Employees of the Institute.

14. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 3:30 p.m.