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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

August 8, 1950

Present: George R. Harrison (Chairman), Gaylord P. Harnwell, F. Wheeler Loomis, George B. Pegram, John C. Steinberg

AIP Staff: Henry A. Barton, Wallace Waterfall, Betty H. Goodfriend

The Executive Committee met at 9:55 A.M. on August 8, 1950 in the office of the Institute, 57 East 55th Street, New York.

1. Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of May 25, 1950 were approved as distributed.

2. National Roster of Physicists:

Mr. Barton reported that the National Security Resources Board is planning the preparation of a national register of scientific personnel and has asked the Institute to contract to handle the register of physicists. This would involve mailing questionnaires to all AIP members and to other physicists who are not members. Returned questionnaires would be sent to a central agency for tabulation but it would be the Institute’s responsibility to keep the register up to date. It was the consensus of the Committee that AIP should cooperate on this and that, in addition, it would be very desirable to publish an AIP directory. Mr. Barton was asked to find out whether the NSRB would permit AIP to use the questionnaires for the compilation of an AIP directory. This directory should include the members’ institutions and a code indicating special fields of training and activity. As a result of this discussion, the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

MOVED that the appropriate officers of the Institute be authorized to sign a contract with the National Security Resources Board for the preparation of a roster of physicists on a cost plus fixed fee basis.

The Committee recommended that the overhead fee should be ample as experience has indicated overhead figures on such contracts are usually too low.

3. Selective Service:

Mr. Barton reported that he had met with General Hershey’s Advisory Committee and that the Committee’s recommendations regarding the deferment of students had been agreed to by General Hershey. A special bulletin regarding the draft deferment of physics students is being prepared and will be mailed to all heads of physics departments.

4. Vacancies in Federal Jobs:

It was pointed out that from time to time there are vacancies in a number of important federal jobs on which the Institute is asked for recommendations. It was agreed that the Institute should help, where possible, by submitting lists of qualified persons without specific recommendations.

5. National Policy on Mobilizing Physicists:

Mr. Barton read a memorandum, prepared by himself and Mr. Gibbs, recommending a policy of decentralizing war research so that physicists can remain at their home institutions where they can teach as well as help on war research projects. It was the consensus that this recommendation was too strong and should be modified. Mr. Harnwell suggested modifications which met with approval and he and Mr. Barton were authorized to redraft the policy statement (copy attached).

6. Plans for 1951 Anniversary Meeting:

Mr. Barton reported on the decisions reached at the last meeting of the Anniversary meeting committee. It was the consensus of the Executive Committee that some provision should be made for paying expenses of a few invited speakers and that the symposium should be held in downtown Chicago. There was general discussion of possible themes and speakers and the report of the committee was accepted with the understanding that changes in the program may be made as planning progresses.

7. Student Sections:

At the last meeting the Committee adopted a plan for student sections and instructed the staff to work out details. Mr. Barton read the plan proposed by the staff and reported that, if acceptable, it would be published in the September issue of Physics Today. After some discussion, it was moved, seconded, and carried that the plan for student sections be adopted (copy attached to official minutes).

The adoption of the student section plan contemplates eliminating the $2.00 dues rate for undergraduate associates of AIP unless they are members of student sections. The present individual handling of Physics Today subscriptions and ballots makes the $2.00 rate unprofitable to AIP and group mailings to section members would introduce a desirable economy. Effecting this change requires a Rule change which the Executive Committee was authorized by the Governing Board to make. Accordingly, the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

MOVED that the fourth sentence of Article IX of the Rules be changed to read: “The annual dues of an associate member who is a member of a Student Section shall be $2.00.”

8. Statement of Operations First Six Months 1950:

Mr. Waterfall presented for the information of the Committee, the statement of operations for the first six months of 1950. He pointed out that actual operations appear to be following the budget adopted for 1950 except it appears that backlogs for JCP and JAP can be handled without using much of the reserve funds appropriated for this purpose.

Mr. Harnwell reported that he might exceed his RSI page budget for the year if he publishes all papers he expects to accept. It was the consensus of the Committee that the Editor should be permitted to exceed his budget by 100 pages if necessary.

9. Physics Today Committee Report:

The report of this committee is attached. In accordance with this report, the following motions were made, seconded, and carried:

MOVED that G. P. Harnwell be appointed Editorial Director of Physics Today until December 31, 1951.

MOVED that the following be appointed Editorial Board for Physics Today until December 31, 1951.

  • R. D. Bennett
  • R. H. Bolt
  • W. R. Brode
  • D. W. Bronk
  • J. B. Fisk
  • S. A. Goudsmit
  • A. W. Lawson
  • W. V. Houston
  • P. M. Morse
  • T. H. Osgood
  • J. R. Pierce
  • L. N. Ridenour
  • L. I. Schiff
  • A. T. Waterman
  • M. W. Zemansky

It was agreed that there should be an announcement of the new arrangement in an early issue of Physics Today.

In discussing the economies which might be made in Physics Today operations, Mr. Waterfall presented some figures taken from preliminary work on the 1951 budget. These figures indicate that the Physics Today annual deficit may be reduced from $21,000 this year to approximately $12,000 next year with the anticipated circulation changes and if one-third of Mr. Katcher’s time is charged to publicity and the 1951 meeting and one-half of Mr. Davis’ time is charged to the Handbook of Physics. Some reduction in art work is included in this estimate. Other economies, up to about $3000, are possible by changes in paper, cover, etc. It was agreed that plans should be made to reduce the Physics Today deficit as much as possible and the subject was left for further consideration by Mr. Harnwell and the staff.

10. Member Rate of $3.50 for Physics Today:

It was suggested that since the special group rate for Physics Today will not be offered to members of member societies next year, some special rate should be offered to members of member societies. The staff recommended that this be set at $3.50 and the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried:

MOVED that the subscription rate to Physics Today for members of Member Societies be set at $3.50 beginning January 1, 1951.

11. Advertising:

At the last meeting, the staff, with the approval of the Chairman and the Treasurer, was authorized to make what it believed to be the most advantageous arrangement for handling advertising after August 1, 1950, when the contract with Rimbach Associates terminated. Mr. Waterfall reported that the staff had studied the situation and believed that the best arrangement would be for the Institute to handle its own advertising. Since Mr. Vorburger has expressed an interest in handling advertising, it is planned that he be relived of some of his present duties to do this. Under such a plan he would receive his current compensation plus a small percentage of advertising sales. A salesman would be employed as soon as a suitable young man could be found. Mr. Vorburger would continue as Assistant Treasurer but the Institute would replace him in the Accounting Department with someone who can be employed at a lower salary. It might be desirable to make some arrangement whereby Rimbach would continue to handle advertising on the west coast. It is estimated that under this new arrangement the Institute would net about $10,000 more from the present volume of advertising than it has in the past. It was the consensus of the Committee that this is a good plan and the staff was authorized to proceed with the necessary arrangements.

12. Next Meeting:

The date for the next meeting was set for Tuesday, November 28.

13. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 3:20 p.m.