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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

November 21, 1947

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

Guest: R. C. Gibbs

AIP Staff: H. A. Barton, C. Norcross, T. Vorburger; Ruth Bryans and David A. Katcher (for part of meeting.)

The Executive Committee met at 10 a.m. on November 21, 1947 in the office of the Institute at 57 East 55 Street, New York.

1. Minutes:

At the request of Dr. Gibbs, item 7 (d) of the minutes of the last meeting was corrected to read:

“that there is a considerable degree of uncertainty in the minds of scientists in Washington as to whether or not science legislation of some sort will be enacted and approved during the next session of Congress.”

The minutes of the meeting held September 9, 1947 were approved as corrected.

2. Mail Ballots:

The Secretary reported two actions approved unanimously by mail ballot for confirmation:

  1. A revised schedule of advertising rates (as set forth in Annex 1 attached to the official minutes.)

  2. The name PHYSICS TODAY for the new journal scheduled for publication early in 1948.

On motion duly made and seconded, it was voted unanimously that the mail ballot approval of these actions be confirmed.

3. Report of the Director:

The Director reported briefly on the following:

  1. Agreement with Union of Crystallography: This agreement has been signed by Dr. R.C. Evans, General Secretary of the International Union of Crystallography, and the copy of the legal instrument is in safekeeping at the office of the Institute.

  2. Donors’ Plaque: The Director read a brief letter from Dr. H. L. Dodge reporting his progress in contacting the Aluminum Company of America and Eastman Kodak Company for the materials and processes necessary to fulfill this project. Discussion indicated the feeling of the Committee that early completion of this project was desirable even at the expense of the Institute.

  3. Building Alterations: At the request of the Director, the Assistant Treasurer summarized the alterations completed and under-way and indicated that the work would be completed shortly at a cost which would approximate the original estimates.

  4. Enlargement of Committee on Survey of Professional Work: Dr. W. H. Crew has accepted appointment as the third member of this Committee. There is no further report by this Committee.

  5. Member Societies’ Nominees on the Governing Board: According to the Constitution the Member Societies should have been asked how many members they had on October 1, and the Member Societies should have been subsequently advised as to the number of nominees to which they were individually entitled. This was overlooked, but fortunately no harm was done. There was no increase in the number of nominees because no society membership had increased sufficiently to alter the present number of nominees.

4. Amendment of Budget:

The various pertinent items of the budget were reviewed. It was indicated that expenditures under certain items, namely travel, office expenses, special projects (placement), would exceed the amounts budgeted, while expenditures under other items might be less than the amount budgeted.

On Mr. Pegram’s motion, duly seconded, it was voted and carried unanimously

That the contingency fund in the 1947 budget be increased from $2,000 to $3,000 with the authorization and understanding that the contingency fund be used to cover necessary expenditures in the deficient budget items above enumerated.

5. Building Reserve Fund:

According to current best estimates, approximately $7,000 will remain in this account after payment for alterations. Discussion indicated the desirability of maintaining and accumulating regularly a building maintenance reserve fund. It was agreed that such an item should be kept in mind in preparing the budget for 1948.

6. Interim Expenditure in 1948:

The 1948 budget cannot be approved by the Executive Committee until its next meeting in February 1948. Therefore, interim authorization to meet expenses is necessary.

On motion duly made and seconded, it was voted unanimously

That the Director and Officers of the Institute be authorized to meet necessary expenses at the rate of expenditure in the 1947 budget, as amended, until a 1948 budget is approved by the Executive Committee.

It was agreed that hereafter a budget for the succeeding year will be prepared for consideration before the end of each calendar year.

7. AIP Membership Card:

After consideration of the tentative designs of cards presented for discussion and after further deliberation of the desirability and prospective benefits of membership cards, it was the sense of the Committee that its action of September 9, 1947 directing issuance of such cards be confirmed and that personalized cards be prepared and distributed at a cost not exceeding $500.

8. Report of the Committee on Revision of Rules:

The Director read the revisions recommended by the Committee consisting of Messrs. Waterfall, Lawther, and Barton, to revise Articles III, V, VI, and XI and to renumber Articles VIII, IX, X, and XI of the Rules.

On motion duly made and seconded, it was voted unanimously

That these revisions be recommended to the Governing Board for approval (copy attached to official minutes.)

9. Appointment of Associate Editors for AIP Journals:

On recommendation of the respective Editors and on motion duly made and seconded, it was voted unanimously to elect the following Editorial Board and Associate Editors for the terms stated:


Editorial Board – Term January 1, 1948 to December 31, 1950:

  • W. Fowler
  • S. A. Korff
  • F. N. D. Kurie
  • C. G. Montgomery
  • L. S. Taylor
  • R. E. Zirkle

Associate Editors – Term January 1, 1948 to December 31, 1948:

  • D. W. Bronk
  • F. K. Harris
  • P. H. Miller, Jr.
  • W. A. Wildhack


Associate Editors – Term January 1, 1948 to December 31, 1948:

  • R. Bowling Barnes
  • Otto Beeck
  • W. F. Busse
  • W. James Lyons
  • Philip Morrison
  • Paul E. Sabine
  • Frederick Seitz
  • J. R. Townsend
  • John Von Neumann


Associate Editors – Term January 1, 1948 to December 31, 1950:

  • J. G. Aston
  • Terrell L. Hill
  • Gilbert W. King
  • F. London
  • Glenn T. Seaborg
  • Nathan Sugarman

10. Election of an Associate:

On motion duly made and seconded, the United Gas Pipe Line Company was elected an Associate of the American Institute of Physics.

11. Future Funds for Policy Committee:

The Director reviewed the initiation and history of the Policy Committee and the contributions it has made to the progress of the Institute. Discussion centered about the general form which the Committee and its activities might take in the future and how such a Committee might be financed.

It was agreed that decision in this matter should be deferred until the next meeting of the Executive Committee when the work which might be assigned to such a Committee could be described by Dr. Gibbs and the Director.

12. Nominators for AIP Associate Members:

A question was raised about the screening of applicants for Associate Membership. It was agreed that this should be left to the Committee consisting of the Director and the Secretary. If the interest of the applicant seems reasonable, his application should be endorsed by the most convenient means available and he should be accepted for membership upon payment of the necessary fee. Provision is made for removal from membership where warranted.


  1. General status: The editor reported the general status of the new journal; he expressed the hope that the first publication could be in March.

  2. Editorial Advisers: The Director reported the selection and appointment of R. H. Bolt, Joseph C. Boyce, Philip M. Morse, and John Pierce as Editorial Advisers in accordance with the direction of the Executive Committee that editorial advisers should be selected and appointed.

  3. Appointment of Larger Advisory Board: The Director suggested the desirability of the appointment of a group of individuals who have encouraged the publication of the new journal and who have been helpful in its conception. The appointment of such a group, and listing their names on the masthead of PHYSICS TODAY, might indicate the kind of support behind the new journal and be helpful in its promotion. Discussion indicated it to be the consensus of the Committee that any step leading to the impression of permanence of such a group was undesirable and on motion duly made and seconded it was voted unanimously

    That the selection and appointment of such a group be left to the discretion of the Director and the Editor of PHYSICS TODAY, provided that any impression of the permanence of such a group be confined to the initial issues of PHYSICS TODAY.

  4. Subscription price of PHYSICS TODAY and Second Class Mailing Privilege: The Director described the complications in qualifying for second class mailing privilege unless the price for PHYSICS TODAY were set at the undesirably low price of $3.00. He further indicated that he believed $5.00, which had been considered, was too high and recommended $4.00 instead.

    On motion duly made and seconded it was voted unanimously

    That the subscription price of $4.00 for PHYSICS TODAY, previously approved by the Committee be confirmed.

  5. Expansion of Fund Campaign: The Director reported the compilation of a list of organizations to be contacted; the provision to members of the Journal Fund Committee of information about AIP in convenient form; the plan to designate particular organizations to be contacted by the individual members of the Committee.

  6. Honoraria for Articles in PHYSICS TODAY: On the recommendation of the Editor and the Director payment of honoraria in the amount of $50 per important article was considered. It was the sense of the Committee that such payments were appropriate and justified.

  7. Reprint Rights: After discussion in which fairness to the author and to the Institute as publisher of PHYSICS TODAY was carefully considered, it was the consensus of opinion of the Committee that generally all rights for sale of reprints of articles appearing in PHYSICS TODAY will be reserved by the American Institute of Physics; that 50% of the net proceeds from sale of such reprint rights shall go to the author; and that, if the author desires to reprint in a book of which he is the author, material from his article appearing in PHYSICS TODAY, the reprint privilege will be granted without charge.

    It was agreed that a formal statement of policy should be prepared by the AIP staff for consideration by the Executive Committee at its next meeting.

  8. Budget: On motion duly made and seconded it was voted unanimously

    That the budget for PHYSICS TODAY as indicated in Annex 2 attached be approved.

    It was the consensus of opinion of the Committee that an over-run of at least 1,000 copies of PHYSICS TODAY should be provided in order to care for the prospective needs of libraries and others desiring complete issues of PHYSICS TODAY.

  9. Advertising:

    1. Free ads for donors: It was agreed that all donors to the Journal Fund should be offered a free quarter-page ad to appear in one of the first three issues of PHYSICS TODAY, space permitting.

    2. Wider Range of Advertising Prospects for PHYSICS TODAY: It was agreed that it would be appropriate for PHYSICS TODAY to solicit advertising for a wider range of products than is appropriate in the case of other AIP journals, but that advertising which is flamboyant or tawdry in the opinion of the AIP staff should be avoided.

  10. Initial Conservative Circulation Promotion for PHYSICS TODAY: It was the consensus of opinion of the Committee that initial circulation promotion should be conservative.

  11. Statement of Executive Committee Concerning PHYSICS TODAY: The Director read a suggested statement by the Executive Committee to be printed in the initial issue of PHYSICS TODAY. It was agreed that the statement revised as suggested at the meeting, should be circulated to the members of the Executive Committee for approval.

14. Report of Publications Board:

The Chairman reported the consensus of opinion of the Publications Board that articles in RSI, JAP, and other Institute-published journals must not be condensed beyond the point of understanding. He stated the policy of the American Physical Society, as reported by Dr. Tate, to publish everything worthy of publication regardless of cost. He described the effect on other publications which limit limitations on publication in AIP journals might have in terms of the volume of material to be published in other journals. He raised the question whether the Institute should observe the same policy as the Physical Society with respect to publication of deserving articles in Institute-owned journals.

It was the consensus of opinion of the Committee that the back-log of articles for publication in Institute-owned journals compelled consideration of one of two alternatives:

  1. Re-define the scope of Institute-owned journals
  2. Develop means to raise funds to cover cost of greater volume of publication

It was agreed, unanimously, that the Institute could not financially afford to adopt the policy of publishing every worthwhile article in the field of its publications.

On motion duly made and seconded it was voted unanimously

That a budget of 1000 pages for THE REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS be provided in the 1948 budget estimates of the Institute.

The Committee directed that the Editor of THE REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS be urged to exert every effort to continue to condense articles as much as practicable and to divert to other publications all articles which do not clearly and absolutely fall in the field of THE REVIEW OF SCIENTIFC INSTRUMENTS.

15. Future Program of Policy Committee:

Dr. Gibbs presented an agenda of items suitable for consideration of the Policy Committee and indicated generally the extent of financial support necessary to continue the Policy Committee for such purposes.

This subject was held over for future consideration as indicated under Item II of these minutes.

16. Suggested Dates for Future Meetings:

Executive CommitteeFriday, February 13, 1948
Governing BoardThursday, March 25, 1948
Annual MeetingSaturday, February 28, 1948

17. Adjournment:

The meeting adjourned at 4:10 p.m.