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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

November 28, 1950

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

Absent: F. Wheeler Loomis


AIP Staff: Henry A. Barton, Wallace Waterfall, R. R. Davis, B. H. Goodfriend

1. Minutes:

The Secretary reviewed briefly the minutes of the meeting of August 8, 1950 and the minutes were approved as distributed.

2. Mail Ballot:

The Secretary requested confirmation of the following motions which had been approved by mail ballot:

MOVED that a new account be opened at Bankers Trust Company, to be known as the “current account”, to be used for payment of current operating expenses and to have a maximum balance of $5000.00

MOVED, furthermore, that checks on the “current account” may be signed by any one of the following: George B. Pegram, Henry A. Barton, Wallace Waterfall, Theodore Vorburger, or Kathryn Setze.

MOVED, furthermore, that Kathryn Setze be authorized to sign checks on the payroll account.

MOVED, furthermore, that the “special refund account” set up at Bankers Trust Company for use in refunding a large number of small subscription payments on facsimile signature, be closed.

The mail ballot was confirmed.

3. Reports of Editors:

Editors Harnwell and Mayer reported on progress during the past year and prospects for 1951. In Editor Hutchisson’s absence, Mr. Barton reported on a telephone conversation with him and relayed his anticipated page requirements for 1951. In compliance with the requests of the Editors, the following motion was passed:

MOVED that page budgets for 1951 be set as follows:


4. Appointment of Editor:

On motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, Gaylor(d) P. Harnwell was reappointed Editor of the REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS for a three year term commencing January 1, 1951.

5. Appointment of Associate Editors:

On recommendation of Editor Harnwell and on motion made, seconded, and carried, the following Associate Editors for RSI were appointed for a three year term commencing January 1, 1951:

  • J. A. Hipple
  • J. R. Richardson
  • (?) C. Elmore
  • V. Z. Williams
  • L. L. Nettleton
  • (one more to be appointed)

On recommendation of Editor Mayer and on motion made, seconded, and carried, the following Associate Editors for JCP were appointed for a three year term commencing January 1, 1951:

  • H. G. Dirckamer
  • H. E. Gunning
  • J. O. Hirschfelder
  • Donald F. Hornig
  • John R. Platt
  • D. P. Stevenson
  • Anthony Turkevich

Since Editor Hutchisson had not submitted his recommendations for new Associate Editors, the Chairman was authorized to appoint Associate Editors for JCP when recommendations are received from the Editor.

6. Student Sections:

In order to facilitate action on applications already received from Student Sections, the Director had polled the Executive Committee, by mail, and received tentative approval of accepting sections after careful check by the Director and Secretary and after receiving the affirmative vote of the Chairman. The Committee confirmed this mail poll and passed the following motion to provide for future action:

MOVED that a committee consisting of the Chairman, the Director, and the Secretary be authorized to accept or reject Student Sections.

The Director reported that, to date, Student Sections have been approved for six colleges and eleven others are in the process of investigation.

There was some discussion regarding the qualifications of individual members of Student Sections and the Committee agreed that the student should have a primary interest in physics but he need not necessarily be a physics major.

7. National Science Foundation:

It was reported that other scientific organizations have appointed committees to survey the research needs of their particular fields and prepare recommendations for the National Science Foundation. Should the Institute do likewise? Discussion resulted in a decision that research sponsorship plans of the National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research and other government organizations are all of interest to physicists and AIP and we should have a committee to keep in touch with the situation and advise the Institute when action is desirable. To that end the following motion was passed.

MOVED that the Chairman appoint a committee to advise the Institute on any action necessary in connection with government aided research.

The following were appointed:

  • A. H. Compton
  • R. C. Gibbs
  • W. V. Houston
  • P. E. Klopsteg
  • F. W. Loomis
  • M. H. Trytten
  • M. A. Tuve
  • H. A. Barton

8. Manpower and Mobilization:

Mr. Barton referred first to the work of Committees advisory to General Hershey of the Selective Service System. The recommendations of these Committees (as published in Physics Today for November) have now been revised to avoid a possible discrimination against students in selective and technical institutions.

He then referred to a letter he had addressed to Mr. Clark of the National Security Resources Board. (Copies of this letter and of Mr. Clark’s original inquiry of September 7 have been mailed to the members of the Governing Board and of the Councils of the Member Societies, and are attached to the official copy of these Minutes).

The letter was drafted by Mr. Barton for the group of advisers which met September 29. A final draft was prepared on the basis of suggestions from the group and also the members of the Executive Committee. This draft was submitted to the Executive Committee by mail for approval. All conveyed approval by phone or wire except Mr. Loomis who explicitly withheld approval.

On November 13, Messrs. Harrison, Loomis, and Barton met at the NRC in Washington together with representatives of the American Chemical Society, Engineers Joint Council and the NRC. Each of these organizations had received the same inquiry from Mr. Clark and it was desired to compare – and, as far as possible, reconcile – the several answers. Considerable progress was made and a tentative report of the meeting had just been received for consideration by those who had been present.

The Executive Committee members took copies of this report for study.

Reference was also made to the “Conant plan” for universal service for two years at the end of high school. Since it had not yet been published, there were not sufficient details for discussion.

The manpower problem was discussed at length. No formal action was taken.

9. Anniversaries:

The Director presented an invitation from the American Chemical Society to take part in its 75th Anniversary celebration in New York City on September 5, 1951. With the approval of the Committee, the Chairman appointed R. S. Mulliken to represent the American Institute of Physics at the American Chemical Society anniversary celebration.

The Director read a letter from the President of Columbia University inviting the Institute to participate in some way with the University in its 200th Anniversary celebration in 1954. It was the consensus of the Committee that this is too far ahead for specific planning but that the Institute will be glad to participate in whatever way seems appropriate.

10. Budget:

The Secretary presented copies of a statement of operations for the first nine months of 1950 and a projected statement to the end of the year. He pointed out that whereas a $12,000 deficit had been budgeted, it appears that there will be approximately a $9,000 surplus, due in large part to the fact that JCP and JAP have worked off their backlogs of papers without requiring the extra pages anticipated.

The Secretary also presented a budget for 1951 which provides for the actions taken regarding page budgets and also provides for about a six percent increase in printing prices and other costs. After some discussion, the following motion was passed:

MOVED that the proposed budget for 1951 (copy attached) be adopted.

The Treasurer suggested that the Institute might consider selling some of its Government bonds and putting the proceeds into other securities which would give a higher yield. The Committee recommended that the Treasurer consult with the Finance Committee and take action as recommended by it.

11. Appointment of Tellers:

Messrs. John Tyler and Frank Cooper were appointed as Tellers to count ballots for the election of the member-at-large of the Governing Board to take office after the annual meeting in February 1951.

12. Affiliated Societies:

The Staff suggested that the Committee consider giving Affiliated Societies member rates on Institute Journals. After some discussion, the following motion was made, seconded, and carried:

MOVED that members of Affiliated Societies be offered the same rates on Institute Journals as members of Member Societies.

13. Dates for Future Meetings:

The following dates were agreed upon for future meetings:

Annual MeetingFebruary 24, 1951
Executive Committee MeetingMarch 16, 1951
Governing Board MeetingMarch 17, 1951

14. Leave of Absence for the Director:

Mr. Barton asked whether he might take leave of absence for three months without pay during the summer of 1951 to take his family on a trip to Europe. While there, he would plan to visit the Institute of Physics in London as well as organizations and individuals interested in physics in other parts of Europe. It was the opinion of the Committee that, in view of his twenty years of service to the Institute, he is entitled to a leave of this kind. The Committee was sorry they did not feel justified in making this a sabbatical with some compensation. It was finally suggested and Mr. Barton agreed to accept one-half month’s compensation for the time he will spend on Institute business while abroad.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:05 p.m.