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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

July 8, 1947

Present: G. R. Harrison (Chairman), E. U. Condon, G. B. Pegram, W. Waterfall.

Guests: R. C. Gibbs; Marsh W. White (for part of meeting)

AIP Admin. Staff: H. A. Barton, C. Norcross, T. Vorburger, Ruth Bryans.

The Executive Committee met at 10 a.m. on July 8 in the office of the Institute at 57 East 55 Street, New York. The Chairman welcomed to the Institute staff Mr. Cleveland Norcross as Assistant Director.

1. Minutes: The minutes of the meeting held on April 22, 1947 were approved as circulated.

2. Report of Director:

The Director reported briefly on the following:

  1. Alterations to Institute Building: Alterations the Institute Building (already authorized) to comply with the New York City fire laws had not yet begun due to delay by the contractors.

  2. Acta Crystallographica: There had been further correspondence with members of the Journal Committee of the Union of Crystallography on the proposed publication, which emphasized that the Institute wished to be the American cooperative association with the Journal Committee rather than with the Cambridge University Press. It was hoped that the first issue of the journal might appear in January, 1948 and it will have as its editor Dr. R. C. Evans of the University of Cambridge. The subscription price of the journal will be $10.00 in the U.S.A. and the Institute will retain $1.00 of this amount to cover handling charges on any subscriptions collected for and passed on to the Journal Committee.

  3. Revision of Publication Contracts: The sub-committee to revise the publication contracts between the Institute and the Member Societies has now agreed on new phraseology and draft contracts are ready for submission to the Member Societies.

  4. Purchase of Speedomat Equipment: Parts of the equipment ordered had been received but not all of it. It is anticipated that use of the equipment will start this summer. Arising from a discussion on the future use of this equipment, it was agreed that the Institute would be willing to handle the next general membership mailing for the Secretary’s office of the Acoustical Society of America at a price to be agreed upon between the Institute and the Society.

    There was general agreement with a suggestion that a conference of Member Society Secretaries be held to discuss certain common problems and look into some unified method of changing addresses; Chairman Harrison urged that such a conference be held as soon as possible.

  5. Rearrangement of Departments: Progress is being made on alterations to certain ground floor and basement rooms made necessary by the expansion of business operations and increased personnel.

  6. Reduced rate on Reviews of Modern Physics: The Council of the American Physical Society has considered the Institute’s request to make available to members of the AIP a reduced rate on the RMP, but final action has not yet been taken.

  7. Change in Rules: A revised draft of the Rules is now being prepared by the Institute’s attorney and will be presented at the next meeting of the Committee.

  8. Appointment of Assistant Director: In accordance with instructions of the Committee at its last meeting, Mr. Cleveland Norcross has been appointed Assistant Director of the Institute and assumed his duties on July 1, 1947.

3. Mail Inquiries:

Mr. Barton reported that replies which he had received from the Committee members indicated approval on two questions which he had raised:

  1. It is in order for the Director to participate in government personnel activities if called upon to do so and if they deal with questions of policy rather than with the actual placement of individuals, and

  2. The Institute should co-sponsor the Syposium on Applied Mathematics to be held at Brown University on August 2-4, 1947. This involves no expense to the Institute.

4. Policy Committee’s Recommendations for “Physics”

The Committee reviewed annual budget estimates for the journal “Physics” based on present costs for printing. For reasons of economy, the Policy Committee suggested 24 non-advertising pages as against 32 recommended in earlier proposals. It was reported that $25,000 had thus far been raised from industry to finance the journal. Following discussion, it was the sense of the Committee that there should be no further delay in proceeding with plans for the journal and that the first issue should contain an introductory statement that in accordance with announced plans the journal is being distributed without charge, but because of increased printing costs it may be necessary at a later date to charge for subscriptions.

On motion of Mr. Waterfall, seconded, and carried unanimously it was voted

That the recommendation of the Policy Committee with regard to the journal “Physics” be approved, this recommendation including the following points:

  1. That economy in the number of pages be achieved by reduction in the number of non-advertising pages from 32 to 24.

  2. That the Fund Raising Campaign be carried thought to a goal of not less than $60,000 in due course, in accordance with the feeling of the Policy Committee that this goal can be achieved.

  3. That when a suitable candidate is found for the editorship he be appointed at once.

  4. That the journal be started as soon as possible thereafter, preferably not later than January, 1948.

On motion of Mr. Pegram, seconded, and carried unanimously it was further voted

That not more than $15,000 of the funds already raised for the journal be expended for the initial expenses during the balance of the year 1947.

Mr. Waterfall reported that the Sub-committee to Find an Editor has had some correspondence but that Mr. Gibbs, Mr. Harrison, Mr. Barton, and he had interviewed most of the candidates. He reported that thirty to forty candidates have been interviewed for the editorship by the three gentlemen named above but that the Sub-committee was not yet ready to make a recommendation.

(The Committee adjourned for lunch at 12:20 p.m. and reconvened at 1:40 p.m. Dr. Marsh W. White joined the meeting.)

5. Survey of Professional Work – 1942-1946:

Dr. White reported that approximately 7,000 questionnaires, mailed to its members by the Institute in collaboration with the Research and Development Department of the War Department General Staff late in 1946 for a survey of professional work during the war, have been returned. With two exceptions, all of the questions were designed to be coded and to be punched on machine record cards. This is now in process of being finished and the War Department will be able to prepare a statistical history of physicists during the war years. He proposed that the Institute should appoint a committee to study the answers to the two uncoded questions, namely,

  1. Nature of Military Service.
  2. Comments on your Military Service with reference to effectiveness of physics work in World War II and suggestions for better utilization of physicists in a time of national emergency.

Dr. White stated that the replies to these questions could be placed in five categories. It was on motion voted

That the Chairman be empowered to appoint a committee to analyze the answers to the questionnaire.

6. Cooperation with National Research Council:

Mr. Gibbs summarized at some length a recent meeting of the Division of Physical Sciences of the National Research Council which Chairman Bronk of the NRC attended in part. The relative inactivity of this division and the Division of Chemistry and Technology as compared to other NRC divisions is probably due to the fact that these fields are served by such strong and active organizations as the American Institute of Physics and the American Chemical Society. However, it is believed that NRC can become more active and helpful in these fields if its present activities and its possible coordinating functions are better understood by physicists and chemists.

Mr. Gibbs reported also that at a meeting of the Executive Board of the NRC it was decided to invite the Institute to increase its representation on the Division of Physical Sciences from one to two persons.

On motion of Mr. Pegram, seconded and unanimously carried, it was voted

To approve the proposed plan for increased representation of the Institute on the Division of Physical Sciences and, upon invitation of NRC, to nominate the Chairman and Director of AIP as the two representatives.

7. International Congress:

In response to an invitation, the Committee decided to request Messrs. R. H. Bolt and V. K. Zworykin, who plan to be in Italy at the time, to represent the Institute at the International Congress to be held in Italy in September, 1947 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of Radio by Marconi. This involves no expense to the Institute.

8. RSI Budget:

Mr. Barton read a letter from Editor Harnwell in which he called attention to the difficulty he is having in trying to keep within the 925 pages budgeted for RSI, because of an accelerated flow of manuscripts and because he is retaining in that journal longer than anticipated a number of pages which will eventually be taken over by the new journal “Physics”. Editor Harnwell made no specific recommendation for an increase in the number of pages budgeted and it was the consensus that the budget should be left as is.

9. Amendments to Budget for 1947:

In executive session the Committee reviewed the salaries of administrative officers of the Institute. On motion it was voted

To increase the salary of the Director $1,000 per annum, and that of the Business Manager and Assistant Treasurer $500 per annum, effective July 1, 1947.

It was further voted

To amend the budget item of $17,500 for “General Operations, Salaries” to read $18,500 for 1947, thus providing the $500 additional needed for the Director’s salary plus $500 for increased clerical operations connected with individual memberships and balloting. (The Business Manager’s salary is charged to several budget items and, if necessary, they can be increased later to provide for his salary increase.)

10. Appropriation for Office of Scientific Personnel:

It was on motion voted

That out of monies to be received from The Rockefeller Foundation the sum of $4,000 be appropriated to the Office of Scientific Personnel in the National Research Council for its maintenance for 1947-48 providing the other cooperating organizations make similar appropriations.

11. Election of Members-at-Large of the Governing Board:

Mr. Barton referred to the Report of the Committee to Nominate the Members-at-Large which had already been distributed to the Committee. The ballots received as of this date were 2667 out of a mailing of nearly 8,000. On motion of Mr. Pegram it was voted

That the Chairman be empowered to appoint a Committee of Tellers.

12. Universal Military Training:

At the request of Mr. Gibbs, it was decided to record as the sense of the Committee that the Policy Committee should be asked to cooperate with the National Research Council on the study of a report entitled “A Program for National Security” to find out what things have been included in this report which are of interest to physics.

13. Miscellaneous Items Reported by the Director:

  1. There are at present 16 Associate Members, 3 Student Members, and 1 Sustaining Member of the American Institute of Physics.

  2. A proposal to study the inadequate coverage of Physics Abstracts has been submitted to the Office of Naval Research with a request for an appropriation for this purpose.

  3. The new advertising rates for AIP journals recommended by the Committee on Advertising Rates and Policies have been inaugurated.

  4. The Institute is now rendering its new service to the Acoustical Society Treasurer in the matter of handling member’s dues.

  5. In response to the Director’s suggestion that he should pay a visit to the west and attend Member Society meetings in the Fall, it was the general feeling that such a trip is desirable but that the decision to make it should be left to the Director.

  6. The Committee authorized the Chairman to appoint a Committee on Biophysics whose function would be to advise the Institute on any developments in this field which concern or should be a proper function of the AIP.

14. Date of Next Meeting:

The date of the next meeting of the Committee was set tentatively for September 9th.

15. Consultant to Institute for International Education:

Mr. Barton reported a request for cooperative assistance from the Institute for International Education, a non-profit organization devoted to the facilitation of the international exchange of scholars. The Institute assists various foundations and institutions in the selection of foreign applicants for scholarships and fellowships in the United States. Specifically the AIP was asked to appoint a consultant for physics to advise on matters of general policy and to assist in the selection of scholars and educational institutions.

The Committee voted to empower the Chairman to appoint such a Consultant to the Institute for International Education.

16. Adjournment:

The meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.