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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

May 15, 1948

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

Guests: R. C. Gibbs

AIP Staff: Henry A. Barton, D. A. Katcher, Cleveland Norcross, T. Vorburger

The Executive Committee met at 9:40 a.m. on May 15, 1948 in the office of the Institute at 57 East 55th Street, New York.

1. Minutes:

On motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, the minutes of the meeting of March 24, 1948 were approved as circulated.

2. Mail Ballots:

The Secretary reported the following mail ballots:

  • Mail Ballot No. 1

    Appointment of the following committee to formulate a plan for local sections:

    • Henry A. Barton, Chairman
    • Harvey Fletcher
    • George B. Pegram

    Favorable 5; Opposed 0.

  • Mail Ballot No. 2

    Reappointment of the following Editorial Advisers to PHYSICS TODAY:

    • R. H. Bolt
    • J. C. Boyce
    • John Pierce
    • P. M. Morse

    Reappointment of the following Advisory Committee for PHYSICS TODAY:

    • R. H. Bolt
    • O. E. Buckley
    • K. T. Compton
    • E. U. Condon
    • H. L. Dodge
    • L. A. DuBridge
    • F. A. Firestone
    • J. B. Fisk
    • Harvey Fletcher
    • R. C. Gibbs
    • K. S. Gibson
    • L. R. Hafstad
    • G. P. Harnwell
    • G. R. Harrison
    • E. Hutchisson
    • P. E. Klopsteg
    • A. W. Lawson
    • D. L. MacAdam
    • W. H. Markwood, Jr.
    • G. B. Pegram
    • L. N. Ridenour
    • Duane Roller
    • F. Seitz
    • R. S. Shankland
    • J. T. Tate
    • Madeline M. Tate
    • M. H. Trytten
    • Wallace Waterfall

    Favorable 4; Opposed 0; Non-voting 1.

  • Mail Ballot No. 3

    Appointment of the following committees:

    Committee for Election of Associate Members:

    • H. A. Barton
    • Wallace Waterfall

    Trustees of Pension Plan

    • The Chairman
    • The Treasurer
    • The Director

    Pension Committee:

    • H. A. Barton
    • Cleveland Norcross
    • T. Vorburger

    Publications Board:

    • H. A. Barton
    • Cleveland Norcross
    • Ruth F. Bryans

    Editors of all journals as specified in contracts with the Societies

    Committee on Physics Abstracts:

    • F. G. Brickwedde
    • H. H. Goldsmith
    • Elmer Hutchisson
    • G. B. Pegram
    • Norman F. Ramsey
    • Howard A. Robinson
    • G. H. Shortley

    Nominating Committee for Governing Board Member-at-Large:

    • Ralph Bennett
    • C. P. Boner
    • G. P. Harnwell
    • J. Henderson
    • D. B. Judd
    • L. N. Ridenour
    • R. Sawyer

    Committee on Donors’ Tablet:

    • H. L. Dodge, Chairman
    • R. H. Bolt

    Committee on Instrument Conference and Exhibit:

    • Foster C. Nix, Chairman
    • R. Bowling Barnes
    • Kenneth Cole
    • Melville Eastham
    • G. P. Harnwell
    • G. R. Harrison
    • James Hillier
    • E. Hutchisson
    • R. Kingslake
    • M. N. States
    • J. C. Steinberg
    • W. A. Wildhack
    • Dean Wooldridge

    Favorable 5; Opposed 0.

On motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, the results of these mail ballots were confirmed and recorded in the minutes as an official action.

3. Election of Associate:

On motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, Armstrong Cork Company was elected an Associate of the Institute.

4. Governing Board Photographs:

The Director reported that it is planned to have a photograph taken of each Governing Board and asked where these should be hung. It was the consensus of the Committee that this should be left to the discretion of the Director.

5. Appointment of Tellers:

On motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, the following Tellers were appointed to count the votes for the Member-at-Large of the Governing Board in the 1948 election.

  • Serge A. Korff
  • Mark Zemansky

6. Correspondence with RSI Contributor:

The Director reviewed correspondence from Leslie Silverman addressed to the Executive Committee concerning delay in publication of an article in RSI. After some discussion, it was the consensus that this matter should be handled by the Director and the Editor of RSI.


Mr. Katcher reviewed briefly the press notices and letters he had received since the publication of the first issue of PHYSICS TODAY. Most of the comments are very encouraging but the magazine has not been out long enough to make a final report on the reactions of subscribers and members. Mr. Katcher asked for criticism from the Committee and was asked to investigate the possibility of varying the color used for the cover.

It was reported that returns from the Journal Fund Campaign were very slow but that the subscription picture was encouraging. There was some discussion as to whether the campaign for subscribers should be continued now or be postponed until Fall and it was the consensus of the Committee that in view of the probability that the fund raising campaign would not produce the results originally anticipated, every effort should be made to increase the revenue from non-member subscriptions and advertising. The Committee felt that the high returns on initial efforts to promote non-member subscriptions emphasizes the importance of continued immediate efforts in that direction.

8. Advertising:

Mr. Norcross reported that the possibilities for promoting advertising are as follows:

  1. That he concentrate on advertising at the expense of his other duties.
  2. Hire advertising manager and staff.
  3. Hire a publisher’s representative.

Of the three possibilities, the last seems to be the most practical since the Assistance Director should engage in other activities and at present hiring a staff is financially prohibitive. Mr. Norcross reported that the terms of most publisher’s representatives would result in immediate substantial expense to the Institute but that Richard Rimbach had indicated his interest in representing the Institute on a more reasonable basis. Mr. Norcross has had personal interviews with Mr. Rimbach and also with a number of persons who have had contacts with Mr. Rimbach over a period of years. All indications are that Rimbach would be a desirable representative and that he is willing to work out an agreement that will be satisfactory to the Institute. After considerable discussion, the following motion was made, seconded, and carried:

MOVED that the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the staff of the Institute be authorized to proceed to draw up a proposed contract with Richard Rimbach covering the promotion of advertising in Institute owned journals and that the proposed contract be circulated to members of the Executive Committee for approval by mail ballot, and that, if approved, the Director, Chairman, and Secretary of the Institute be authorized to sign the proposed contract with Rimbach.

Mr. Condon asked to be recorded as voting in the negative.

9. Assistant Treasurer’s Report:

The Assistant Treasurer distributed copies of the operational statement for the first quarter of 1948 (copy attached to official minutes). The report was discussed at some length and the members of the Committee expressed gratification that the situation at the end of the first quarter indicated that our position at the end of the year may be somewhat better than was anticipated when the annual budget was established.

10. Public Relations Adviser:

The Director reported that the Institute’s agreement with J. C. Patterson, public relations consultant, expires the end of June. Since Mr. Patterson has been very helpful in relieving member society officers of meeting with the press at meetings and since the budget picture is rather encouraging, Mr. Barton recommended that Mr. Patterson be continued as public relations consultant. After some discussion, the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

MOVED that the budget be amended to provide for Mr. Patterson’s employment as public relations consultant for the last six months of 1948 for $500.

(The meeting was adjourned for lunch at 12:50 and reconvened at 2:10 p.m.)

11. Report of Committee on Institute Publications:

Mr. Klopsteg presented and discussed the preliminary report of the Subcommittee on Institute Publications. He emphasized that the committee was handicapped by lack of detailed information and that the suggestions made are for action in principle only. Establishment of rates and amounts must be based on consideration of data available in the Institute office.

As a result of the discussion of Mr. Klopsteg’s report and the general budget situation, the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

MOVED that the page budgets for THE REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS and JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS be increased to a total of 1000 and 1200 pages respectively for the year 1948.

It was the consensus of the committee that the attention of the Editor of the JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS should be called to the fact that he has already used more than a proportionate amount of his 1948 page budget. There was some discussion as to whether the budget should be increased from the 1000 pages previously established and it was agreed that any change of this budget should be deferred for further review at the next meeting of the Committee.

12. Contracts with the Acoustical Society and the Office of Naval Research:

The Director reported that the Institute has two contracts in preparation, one with the Office of Naval Research to study the problems of abstracting physics literature and one with the Acoustical Society to provide clerical services to the Treasurer and Secretary of the Society. Mr. Barton requested the Committee to authorize someone to sign these contracts and the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

MOVED that the Director be authorized to sign the contracts with the Acoustical Society and the Office of Naval Research.

13. Ownership of Equipment:

Mr. Barton reported that all property now in the Institute building is owned by the Institute and asked what should be done about furniture and equipment required to provide services for member societies. After some discussion, the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

MOVED that all furniture and equipment in the Institute building used for services to member societies be acquired and owned by the Institute.

14. Finance Committee:

It was pointed out that the Governing Board had authorized the Executive Committee to appoint a new Finance Committee to advise the Treasurer on investments. The following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

MOVED that the following Finance Committee be appointed and that the Chairman be authorized to appoint an alternate if one of the appointees declines.

  • E. H. Colpitts
  • Alfred L. Loomis

15. Terms of Officers:

At the last meeting of the Governing Board the Executive Committee was instructed to study the question of terms of officers and appointees. Mr. Barton reported that he had checked this point with legal counsel and that aside from the Chairman and the Secretary, the Governing Board has full authority to make the terms either definite or indefinite for any length of time. It was the consensus of the Committee that the terms of office of all officers and appointees not specified in the By-Laws should be at the pleasure of the Governing Board. The Secretary was instructed to investigate whether this should be covered in the Rules and make the necessary recommendations to the Committee at its next meeting.

16. Appointment of Adviser to the Executive Committee:

Since the Policy Committee, which has been advising the Executive Committee on several matters, has been discharged, it was agreed that it would be desirable to ask R. C. Gibbs to continue to serve as special adviser to the Committee. Accordingly, the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

MOVED that Mr. Gibbs be asked to serve as Special Adviser to the Executive Committee and that the Director, in consultation with the Chairman, advise Mr. Gibbs when it is desirable for him to meet with the Committee for special discussions.

17. Office Space at the National Research Council:

At the last meeting of the Committee, Mr. Bronk, Chairman of the National Research Council, offered to provide space for a Washington office of the Institute at the NAS Building. This offer was relayed to the Governing Board which gratefully accepted the offer and left it to the Executive Committee to work out details. It was the consensus of the Committee that the Director should make arrangements with Mr. Gibbs for the occasional use of this space but that for the present it should not be used as an address on letterheads, etc. If in the future it becomes necessary to make expenditures in connection with a Washington office, the matter should be studied further.

18. Next Meeting:

The date of the next meeting of the Committee was set for 9:30 a.m., July 16, 1948.

19. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 3 p.m.