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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

August 16-17, 1949

Present: George R. Harrison (Chairman), Paul E. Klopsteg (August 17 only) F. Wheeler Loomis, George B. Pegram, Wallace Waterfall.

AIP Staff: Henry A. Barton, Betty Hofstadter, T. Vorburger

The Executive Committee met at 10:05 a.m. on August 16, 1949 in the office of the Institute, 57 East 55th Street, New York.

1. Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of May 25 were approved as distributed.

2. Mail Ballot:

#1 – RESOLVED that fifteen percent of the dues collected by each Member Society in 1949 be set as the amount to be contributed by each Society to the support of the Institute for 1950.

5 approvals, 0 disapprovals.

On motion made and seconded, it was voted unanimously that the mail ballot be confirmed.

3. PHYSICS TODAY:

Copies of the report on “Physics Today in 1950” which had been prepared for the Governing Board meeting in March 1949 were distributed. Current indications are that expenses for 1949 will be about as budgeted but income will be about $4000 less than anticipated because of failure to realize the income budgeted from subscriptions and advertising. This will leave an anticipated deficit of about $38,000 for 1949. The Committee agreed that a budget for next year should not be adopted continuing Physics Today on the present basis and that it is necessary at this time to consider the alternatives. The two most feasible alternatives considered were (1) to discontinue the publication of Physics Today as of December 1949 and (2) to put Physics Today on a subscription basis.

Exploring the second alternative, the average of various guesses was that, of our approximately 12,000 members who now receive Physics Today without charge, 4000 may be willing to subscribe for 1950 at a $4.00 rate. This, with other reasonable assumptions about revenue from advertising and non-member subscriptions, indicated that the deficit for 1950 might be reduced to $15,000 or possibly less.

After considerable further discussion of the editorial policy of Physics Today of the reactions received from members, and of the Institute’s responsibility for providing some journal of the proper technical level to meet the needs of the large number of less articulate workers in applied physics, the following actions were taken:

MOVED that Physics Today be discontinued as of December 31, 1949. Seconded.

The motion failed to pass. The following motions were made, seconded, and carried:

MOVED that the practice of sending Physics Today to Members of the Institute now receiving it without charge be discontinued as of the December 1949 issue.

MOVED that a letter be prepared and sent to Member recipients of Physics Today requesting that subscriptions be sent in effective January 1 at $4.00 a year in order that the interest of the Members may be tested.

The Secretary was instructed to call this action to the attention of the Board Members and invite their comments.

4. Backlog of Journal of Chemical Physics:

It was reported that there is a backlog of at least 500 acceptable pages awaiting publication in the Journal of Chemical Physics but that because of the 1200 page budget established for 1949 these cannot be published. A full discussion of this journal and its financial history revealed that the net income during the war years justified increasing the number of pages up to possibly 2000 even though that would result in a deficit for the current year of $8000 or $9000. The interest in the journal continues strong and an increase in subscription rate appears warranted. That, plus the proposed increase in publication charge, should make it possible to set up a 2000 page budget for 1950 and still operate without a loss.

After the discussion, the following motions were made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

MOVED that subscription rates to the Journal of Chemical Physics be revised as follows:

Members of the Institutefrom $10.00 to $12.00
Non-Membersfrom $12.00 to $15.00
Foreign Membersfrom $11.00 to $13.00
Physical Society Group Subscriptionsfrom $10.00 to $11.00

MOVED that a budget up to 2000 pages be authorized for the current year, the exact number of pages to be determined by the publications office.

(Note: After the meeting it was realized that it will not be physically possible in the few remaining issues to increase the total pages for 1949 to more than about 1500. Further reduction of the backlog will be possible in 1950.)

5. Publication Charge:

Mr. Barton reported that he had polled the editors on the question of an increase in the publication charge but there was no general agreement. It was the consensus of the Committee that the page charge does not have to be uniform and the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

MOVED that, effective immediately, the page publication charge for the Journal of Chemical Physics be raised to $10.00, for The Review of Scientific Instruments to $8.00, and for the Journal of Applied Physics to $8.00, and that subject to the approval of the Publications Board, the following revisions be suggested to other journals:

Physical Review$10.00
Journal of the Optical Society of America$8.00
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America$8.00
American Journal of Physics(to be discussed with Editor)

6. Student Sections:

Mr. Pegram read a draft of the plan for student sections which his committee prepared. After some discussion, the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

MOVED that the report of the Committee on Student Sections (copy attached) be approved for presentation to the Governing Board.

7. Institute Anniversary Meeting:

Mr. Barton printed out that some action should be taken toward the planning of the Institute meeting in 1951 and recommended that a committee on arrangements be appointed. Accordingly, the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously approved:

MOVED that the Chairman appoint a general committee to handle arrangements and program for the 1951 meeting of the Institute and Member Societies, and that each Member Society be invited to nominate a member of the general committee.

8. D. E. Gray’s Report on Science Abstracts Meeting:

Mr. Barton submitted Mr. Gray’s report on the UNESCO science abstracts meeting which Mr. Gray attended in Paris as the Institute’s representative. It was moved, seconded, and unanimously carried that Mr. Gray’s report be accepted and referred to the Committee on Physics Abstracts.

9. Committee on International Relations:

Mr. Barton reported that from time to time the Institute is asked to send representatives to various conferences of international interest and suggested that a committee be appointed to handle such invitations. It was moved, seconded, and unanimously carried that the Chairman be authorized to appoint a Committee on International Relations.

10. Associate Dues:

Mr. Vorburger reported that the Institute is realizing less income than formerly from Associate (corporation) dues because the cost of most journal subscriptions, which are given free, has been increased while dues have remained at $175 a year. The cost to the Institute is now $74.00 a year per Associate; in 1950 the cost will be $88.50 per Associate. It was the consensus of the Committee that Associate dues should not be increased at present.

11. Page Size:

Mr. Barton reported that Rimbach Associates believe that the Institute could sell more advertising if the page size of Institute journals which carry advertising were increased to take standard size plates. He also reported that our present page size can accommodate standard plates at a slightly increased cost to the Institute and that no advertising had been refused to date because of our page size. It was the consensus of the Committee that action on the page size should be tabled until more evidence could be produced to show that this would make it possible for the Institute to sell more advertising.

12. Next Meeting:

The date for the next meeting was tentatively set for Tuesday, October 25, at 9:30 a.m.

13. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 12:50 p.m., August 17, 1949.