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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

November 17, 1948

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

Absent: E. U. Condon

Special Adviser: R. C. Gibbs

Guests: G. P. Harnwell, Editor, The Review of Scientific Instruments; Elmer Hutchisson, Editor, Journal of Applied Physics; J. E. Mayer, Editor, Journal of Chemical Physics; Melvin Loos, Director of Printing, Columbia University Press

AIP staff: Henry A. Barton, Cleveland Norcross, Ruth F. Bryans, Betty Hofstadter, David A. Katcher, Theodore Vorburger

The Executive Committee met at 10 a.m. on November 17, 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 September 16, 1948 were approved as circulated.

2. Budget for 1949:

Mr. Norcross presented a budget for 1949 based on present operations and increased printing costs. The Committee examined the budget in detail and made several revisions. There was considerable discussion of the $32,000 deficit of PHYSICS TODAY for 1949 and the possibility of its being self-supporting by 1951. It was the consensus of the Committee that since income from advertising and subscriptions probably will not cover expenses, members will have to pay for PHYSICS TODAY if it is to be continued. Pending changes which the Committee felt might be made as a result of a study of printing costs, the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

MOVED that the revised budget for 1949 be tentatively adopted.

A copy of the revised budget is attached.

3. Reports of Editors:

  1. REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS. Mr. Harnwell presented a written report on RSI (copy attached to official minutes). He reported that it had been less difficult than he anticipated to keep within his 1948 page budget. He indicated that he would prefer a 1000 page budget for 1949 but that he could keep to the 950 page budget proposed. This means that RSI cannot expand even though this is probably the time it should expand.

    on Mr. Harnwell’s recommendation, the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

    MOVED that the terms of office of the Associate Editors of THE REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS be changed from one year to be coterminous with the Editor’s appointment which is for three years.

  2. JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS. Mr. Mayer reported that as a result of the limitation on the number of pages the Journal could publish in 1948, he has a holdover of about 200 pages for 1949 and that if the present rate continues he will have approximately 2000 pages to publish in 1949. He indicated that he could see four ways of solving this problem, namely, to reject articles, to cut length of articles, to limit fields covered in JCP, and to continue the holdover policy. Mr. Mayer does not believe his editors can reduce the length of papers and he believes that holdover is the least desirable of the possibilities. To reject worthwhile articles would be contrary to the present editorial policy of the Institute and to limit fields would probably mean loss of subscribers. He recommended an appeal for industrial support from companies which contribute articles and use the journal.

  3. JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS. Mr. Hutchisson presented a written report on JAP (copy attached to official minutes). He reported that the severe rejection policy he has had to adopt has led to criticism of the Journal and indicated that in spite of the rejection policy he has a holdover of 660 pages. He recommended a page budget of 1600 pages for JAP for 1949.

    Mr. Hutchisson suggested that his Board of Associate Editors be elected by the AIP membership, that a three year term be provided, and that three new members be elected each year, thus providing a nine member board. After some discussion, the Committee agreed to Mr. Hutchisson's suggestion regarding rotating membership on his Board of Associate Editors but felt that the Editor should make the final nominations for his Associate Editors.

  4. Election of Editorial Board and Associate Editors. On recommendation of the respective Editors, and on motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, the following Editorial Board and Associate Editors were elected for the terms indicated:


    Editorial Board – Term January 1, 1949 to December 31, 1951

    • W. Bleakney
    • J. B. H. Kuper
    • T. Lauritsen
    • J. R. Pappenheimer
    • L. B. Snoddy
    • C. H. Townes

    Associate Editors – Term January 1, 1949 to December 31, 1950

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


    Associate Editors – Terms as indicated

    Term January 1, 1949 to December 31, 1949
    R. Bowling Barnes
    Paul E. Sabine
    J. R. Townsend
    Term January 1, 1949 to December 31, 1950
    Otto Beeck
    W. James Lyons
    Philip Morrison
    Term January 1, 1949 to December 31, 1951
    Raymond J. Seeger
    Frederick Seitz
    Charles S. Smith


    Associate Editors – Term January 1, 1949 to December 31, 1951

    • Paul Doty
    • Paul Emmet
    • C. A. Hutchison
    • J. G. Kirkwood
    • R. S. Mulliken

  5. PHYSICS TODAY. Mr. Katcher distributed copies of the questionnaire which he had used to make a reader survey of subscribers to PHYSICS TODAY, members of the Institute, and the Advisory Committee of PHYSICS TODAY. He reported that the sampling was fairly small but that there was considerable interest shown in that 30% of those polled answered. Mr. Katcher’s conclusions as a result of the survey were as follows:

    1. The majority of readers like the way in which the magazine is going and it is somewhat more satisfying to members of the Institute than to subscribers.
    2. Readers find variety, length, appearance, and approach about right although support was indicated for the policy of more profuse illustrations.
    3. In the spread of opinion about articles, the most popular were those which were fundamentally on physics and not on peripheral subjects.
    4. Of the departments, Books was most popular and Notes from Abroad second. It is interesting to note that there was a large amount of indifference to Whereabouts as compared to other departments.
    5. The general consensus is that the magazine is going well.

    Mr. Katcher presented samples of color for the cover of PHYSICS TODAY. It was the consensus of the Committee that the cover should be in color beginning with the first issue of the next volume and that if possible the cover color should be changed each month.

  6. After hearing the reports of the Editors and studying the budget, the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

    MOVED that the Editors of REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, and JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS be informed that they may respectively publish not more than 950, 1150, and 1100 pages in 1949, but that if a saving can be made through more economical methods of printing the savings may be made available for publishing additional material, and if the income can be increased more than anticipated, the Executive Committee will consider authorizing a larger page budget.

4. Printing Costs:

Mr. Norcross reported that he had called on Mr. Loos of Columbia University Press for advice on Institute printing problems and Mr. Loos was asked to join the meeting. Messrs. Loos, Waterfall, and Norcross discussed the meeting they had had with Mr. Rohrer of Lancaster Press regarding printing costs. As a result of that meeting, it was their feeling that Lancaster Press satisfactorily justified the price increase of which the Institute had been notified. Mr. Rohrer had been asked to suggest changes which would result in savings and he had sent samples of a slightly larger type page using a more condensed type face which would save about $14,000 a year for all journals, including Society journals.

Mr. Loos recommended that PHYSICS TODAY be placed with another printer to avoid undue concentration of printing with one printer and presented a quotation from another printer which is better than the Lancaster price. It was the consensus of the Committee that at least PHYSICS TODAY and probably one or two other journals should be placed elsewhere.

Mr. Norcross reported that Mr. Loos had been helping the staff study the possibilities of substitute printing processes. Mr. Loos described the process of offset printing and presented samples of Institute journal pages done by offset.

After considerable discussion of the possible changes that could be made to effect savings, the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

MOVED that a Printing Costs Committee be appointed and instructed to investigate, in consultation with the Board of Editors, ways of reducing printing costs by (a) typographical changes and paper changes, (b) substitute processes, and (c) changing printers; with the understanding that a definite proposal be made at the January meeting of the Executive Committee.

The Chairman appointed the following Printing Costs Committee:

  • J. T. Tate, Chairman
  • Paul E. Klopsteg
  • Wallace Waterfall

Mr. Waterfall stated that Mr. Loos had been very helpful to date and that it would be desirable to make some arrangement with him whereby he would be available for continued consultation on printing problems. The Committee agreed and the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

MOVED that Mr. Loos be appointed Consultant on Printing and that he be compensated for out-of-pocket expenses.

5. Advertising in Society Journals:

Mr. Waterfall reported that the Acoustical Society had requested a chance in its contract with the Institute to permit the Journal of the Acoustical Society to carry advertising. He stated that he had discussed the possibility with Mr. Rimbach and it was Mr. Rimbach's opinion that advertising in such journals as JASA and JOSA would not adversely affect Institute advertising. Mr. Waterfall therefore recommended that AIP agree to modify Society contracts to permit advertising and he further recommended that the Institute take the initiative in offering this as a service to the Societies. After considerable discussion, it was agreed that the Institute should ask the Societies for permission to use their Journals for advertising with the understanding that about 85% of the net revenue would go to the Societies. Mr. Norcross was requested to draft an agreement of this kind to present at the next meeting.

6. Institute Contract with Acoustical Society:

Mr. Waterfall reported that the Institute contract with the Acoustical Society providing for secretarial services to the latter would expire at the end of the year. Under the present agreement, the Acoustical Society pays $150 a month for secretarial services and it has been found that the work of the Society does not require as much time as had been anticipated when that amount was agreed upon. On Mr. Waterfall's recommendation, the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

MOVED that the Director be authorized to sign a new contract with the Acoustical Society agreeing to provide secretarial services for $100 per month plus charges instead of $150 per month plus charges as in the present contract.

7. Representative on Cooperative Committee on Science and Mathematics Teaching:

Mr.Barton presented a letter from Mr. Lefler, Secretary of the Cooperative Committee on Science and Mathematics Teaching, regarding the vacancy on the committee through the death of Dr. L. W. Taylor who had been the Institute's representative. Since physics is the only science which has more than two members on the Committee, Mr. Lefler asked whether the Institute would be willing to consider Dr. Lark-Horovitz as the representative of both the Institute and the American Association of Physics Teachers. The Executive Committee agreed to Mr. Lefler's suggestion and the Secretary was instructed to write him accordingly.

8. Circulation of Work Report:

Mr. Barton reported that he had sent a draft of his report on the work of the Institute to the Chairman and the Secretary for comments and that it was now ready to be put in final form and circulated. It was the consensus of the Committee that the report should be sent to members of the Institute Governing Board and the members of the governing bodies of the Member Societies.

9. Physical Society of Japan:

Mr. Barton read a letter from the Physical Society of Japan indicating that the Society had been reorganized since the war and would like to receive back issues of all Institute Journals as well as an exchange of current issues. The members of the Committee indicated that they would like more information as to the destination of the journals before they agreed to this and it was suggested that Mr. I. I. Rabi, who is going to Japan soon, might be willing to investigate this matter for the Institute.

10. Exhibit and Joint Meeting in 1951:

Mr. Norcross asked the Committee's opinion of a joint meeting and exhibit in 1951 to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Institute. He had discussed this with Mr. Rimbach who believed a very successful exhibit could be arranged if preparations were started soon. It was the consensus of the Committee that it would be desirable to have a joint meeting and exhibit and MR. Norcross was authorized to proceed with the plans and present a definite proposal at the next meeting.

11. Rental of Mailing List:

Mr. Norcross reported that he had received a request for the rental of one of the Society’s mailing lists but it was his understanding that he was not authorized to rent any part of the Institute list without Society permission. The Committee confirmed this understanding. Mr. Norcross pointed out that the Institute could probably realize some revenue from the rental of the entire mailing list and the Committee agreed that Mr. Norcross should be given authority to liberalize his policy on renting the list.

12. Report of Committee to Study Qualifications of Associate Members:

The report of the Committee on Qualifications of Associate Members (copy attached) was accepted and the committee was discharged with thanks.

13. Organization Chart:

Mr. Norcross presented an organization chart which had been revised in accordance with instructions at the last meeting and the Committee approved the revised chart, copy of which is attached to official minutes.

14. Selective Service Proposals:

Messrs. Gibbs and Barton reported tentative recommendations for the deferment of scientists and science students which are being considered by advisory committees to the Director of the Selective Service System. The wisdom of these recommendations was discussed and Messrs. Gibbs and Barton were given permission to report a favorable reaction to them.

15. Sigma Pi Sigma:

It was reported that actions previously authorized have been found to fall short of meeting the needs of the situation. The whole problem of rendering service and stimulation to student physicists was discussed afresh and a new line of approach was indicated involving the establishment of a national student society with specifications determined by the Institute. The Committee informally suggested that this proposal be deferred for presentation at a later meeting.

16. Next Meeting:

The date for the next meeting was set for Friday, January 14, 1949.

17. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.