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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

February 6, 1948

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

Guest: R. C. Gibbs

AIP Staff: H. A. Barton, C. Norcross, T. Vorburger, D. Katcher

The Executive Committee met at 9:30 a.m. on February 6, 1948 in the office of the Institute at 57 East 55th Street, New York.

1. Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held November 21, 1947 were approved as circulated.

2. Director’s Report:

The Director reported briefly on several matters as follows:

  1. The proposed new British journal on applied physics and plans to clarify the relationships between the Physical Society and the Institute (British) have not progressed as much as was hoped. For the time being the industrial section of the Journal of Scientific Instruments will be enlarged to serve applied physics interests as much as possible.

  2. The AIP Committee on Abstracts and the Director have discussed generally with the Office of Naval Research the possibility of a Navy contract for the study of the abstracting problem. Probably a contract in the amount of about $20,000 could be developed.

    The Executive Committee expressed its approval in principle of the negotiations described and authorized the Director to proceed along these lines.

  3. The ISA Conference and Exhibit in Philadelphia in September is to be sponsored by ISA, AIEE, ASME, and AIP as reported by the Director to the Committee previously. Present plans provide for a symposium on instrumentation now in the laboratory stage and its probable future usefulness. Dr. G. P. Harnwell will be the AIP general representative on the central coordinating committee. Dr. Foster Nix has agreed to serve as chairman of an AIP committee to formulate the Institute program. The Instrument Society will carry almost all of the expense involved. AIP is not committed to any expense.

    The Executive Committee expressed its approval of these arrangements and on motion duly made and seconded, it was voted unanimously

    That the Institute co-sponsor the ISA Conference and Exhibit and that the officers of the Institute be empowered to enter into appropriate arrangements toward that end.

  4. Dues collection service is being provided to the AAPT and the Acoustical Society under arrangements worked out with the respective Treasurers. It is already apparent that the charges for this service may not be high enough to cover actual expense, but they will be adjusted on the basis of experience.

  5. The Survey of the Utilization of Physicists during World War II is about in final draft form. It will be circulated as soon as possible for criticism by the members of the Executive Committee prior to formal approval and submission to the War Department.

  6. The Permanent Occupancy Permit has been received and the alterations to the building necessary to obtain it have been completed. $15,000 was budgeted for the alterations, but to date it seems unlikely that the actual cost will exceed $11,000.

  7. Total pages published during 1947 were 9694 including advertising pages, covers, and bulletins.

3. Report by Chairman of the Policy Committee:

The Policy Committee Memorandum to the Executive Committee, dated February 5, 1948 is attached to these minutes as Annex I. The majority of the recommendations and suggestions contained therein were taken under advisement by the Executive Committee. The items on which discussion resulted in action by the Committee are as follows:

  1. Personnel Situation – it was the consensus of the Committee that an appropriate survey of the professional status of physicists is desirable and that the feasibility and method of conducting such a survey should be investigated.

  1. Cooperation with NRC – on motion duly made and seconded, it was voted

    That the Chairman invited Dr. Detlev Bronk, Chairman of NRC, to attend the next meeting of the Executive Committee to describe the particular ways in which he would like to see greater cooperation between the Institute and NRC.

  1. Publishing Costs – The Director reviewed the situation caused by rising costs of publication and the increased volume of material which should be published. He indicated the limitations preventing or retarding the obtaining of increased income to meet such costs and described some of the possible ways of seeking relief. The most desirable approach might be to seek government assistance on the basis of the increasing appropriations for Government-supported research and the increasing volume of material for publication resulting therefrom. In order to avoid the difficulties of direct government grants, it may be possible to encourage government agencies to consider the cost of publication of results of research as part of the cost of research and include reasonable funds for this purpose in research contracts. Thus government contractors would be permitted to pay from such funds a realistic page charge to cover the cost of publishing the results. The Director requested the advice of the Committee before proceeding further in this direction. The Committee approved the Director’s actions to date and gave its authorization to proceed further in the direction indicated.

The Executive Committee requested that minutes of Policy Committee meetings be circulated to the Executive Committee members in the future.

4. Lighting Second Floor Rooms:

The Director described the criticisms which he has received and the solutions suggested by a representative of General Electric at Nela Park. The Committee concurred in the opinion that the lighting should be improved in the front, second floor meeting room and authorized the Director to obtain bids.


The Editor described the editorial content presently planned on the basis of discussions with the Editorial Advisers; described the proposed membership of the Advisory Committee; and expressed the hope that first publication might occur in May 1948. He described the difficulties being encountered in obtaining the manuscripts for feature articles but expressed confidence that such problems would be less serious in the future once prospective authors could be guided by articles already published by others.

The Editor and Director described the need for additional editorial assistance and on motion duly made and seconded, it was voted

That the journal budget be amended to permit the expenditure of an additional $4000.00 per annum for editorial salary expense.

Examination of the previously adopted budget for PHYSICS TODAY indicated it is out-of-date due to delay in starting publication. It was agreed that a new budget through 1948 should be prepared and presented for approval at the next meeting of the Executive Committee.

On motion duly made and seconded, it was voted

That the foreign subscription price for Physics Today be $5.00 to cover higher costs of handling and mailing.

On motion duly made and seconded, it was voted

That dues of foreign members and Associate members of the Institute should not be increased except that those desiring to receive Physics Today should be charged an additional $1.00 to cover costs of handling and foreign mailing.

The Committee emphasized the importance of enlarging the journal fund to defray initial expenses and recommended that this program be pushed at once with all possible vigor. The Committee urged that top priority be given to advertising in Physics Today and to circulation promotion in that order.

6. AIP Budget for 1948:

The Director presented for discussion a budget based on present operations. This was examined critically and a number of changes made.

On motion duly made and seconded, it was voted

That the revised budget be approved.

A copy of the revised budget is attached to these minutes as Annex II. It was the consensus that the page limitation of JAP to 1100 and RSI to 900 should be explained to the respective Editors as the guaranteed minimum number of pages to be published with the hope that, if finances permit, the pages to be published can later be increased toward 1200 and 1000 respectively.

In consideration of the increased costs of publication and the resultant adverse effect on the AIP financial situation, it was the consensus of opinion of the Committee that the Institute can no longer provide registration and clerical assistance to Member Society meetings without charge to the societies.

7. Percent Support from Member Societies for 1949:

On motion duly made and seconded, it was voted unanimously

That 15% of the dues collected by each Member Society in 1948 be set as the amount to be contributed by each society to the support of the Institute for 1949.

8. Date of Governing Board and Executive Committee Meetings:

It was agreed that March 25, 1948 be the date for the Governing Board meeting and that March 24, 1948 be the date of the next Executive Committee meeting.

9. Nomination of Physics Club of Lehigh Valley as Affiliated Society:

On motion duly made and seconded, it was voted unanimously

To recommend to the Governing Board that the Physics Club of Lehigh Valley be accepted as an Affiliated Society of the Institute.

10. Permission to Reprint from Journals Published by the Institute:

On motion duly made and seconded, it was voted unanimously

That all Institute publications be copyrighted; to recommend to the Member Societies that all society journals be copyrighted; and that requests for permission to reprint articles published by the Institute be considered and handled on an individual basis.

11. Fund for Donating Foreign Subscriptions:

The Director reported the inquiry of Dr. Clark Goodman as to the willingness of the Institute to administer a fund to be contributed by his associates and himself for providing assistance in this respect to foreign libraries, organizations, and others. It was agreed that the Chairman would discuss the matter with Dr. Goodman.

12. The Provision of Secretarial Services to ASA and the Secretary of AIP:

The Director reported a proposal from the Acoustical Society that the secretarial office of the society be housed with AIP and that secretarial service be provided to the society by AIP on a contractual basis. The arrangement proposed would add to the Institute staff one person who would furnish assistance to the society, for which AIP would be reimbursed, and also supply needed assistance to the Secretary of AIP.

There was considerable discussion of the above proposal from both policy and financial viewpoints and it was the consensus that such an arrangement was desirable. On motion duly made, seconded and carried unanimously, it was voted

That the Institute provide secretarial assistance to the Secretary of ASA; that a contract between AIP and ASA be prepared to cover such a service; that a suitable person to handle the work be appointed on or about June 1, 1948; and that $1,000 be added to the 1948 budget of AIP to provide for services to AIP resulting from the arrangement. (This revision is included in the revised budget attached as Annex II.)

13. Adjournment:

The meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.