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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

December 10, 1953

Present: George R. Harrison, Karl K. Darrow, Frederick V. Hunt, Brian O’Brien, George B. Pegram, Frederick Seitz, Mark W. Zemansky

AIP Staff: Henry A. Barton, Wallace Waterfall, Robert Davis, Mary Ann Lee. Kathryn Setze was present during the discussion of the budget.

Chairman Harrison called the meeting to order at 9:40 a.m.

1. Minutes

On motion made and carried unanimously, the minutes of the meeting of September 24, 1953 were approved as distributed.

2. Letter of Appreciation to Jacobson & Company

The Secretary explained that Jacobson & Company had made a very nice installation of acoustical tile in the Addressograph Department without charge. He was instructed to express the Institute’s gratitude for this contribution.

3. Report on Contribution to NSTA

The Secretary reported on the appropriation of $600 to National Science Teachers Association made at the last meeting. The total financial support for the project was $2500. The literature distribution has been completed and an accounting of the money has been sent to the Institute.

4. American Council on Education Dues

The Director reviewed the history of the Institute’s membership in the American Council on Education from its beginning as a council of societies devoted to education to its present status as a kind of trade association for universities and colleges having concern with administrative procedures and public and government relations. The Institute has paid dues of $100 a year for membership of AAPT in the ACE, but last year when the dues were raised to $200 they were paid with the provision that the desirability of membership be reviewed. The Director had asked various cognizant persons for opinions on the subject and presented these to the Committee. After discussion, it was

MOVED, that the American Institute of Physics discontinue dues payment to the American Council on Education.

The motion was seconded and unanimously carried.

5. Temperature Symposium – Appointment of Official Representative

The Secretary gave a progress report on the work of organizing the Temperature Symposium. He said that Mark Zemansky has acted as the Institute representative up to this time and it was

MOVED, that Mark Zemansky be appointed the official representative of the American Institute of Physics on the committee to organize the Temperature Symposium.

The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.

The Secretary told of the necessity of having an editor for the papers presented at the Symposium which will be published later by the Institute under the terms of the proposed grant. It will probably be necessary to pay the editor a small honorarium plus expenses. Roman Smoluchowski had been suggested as a possibility. After discussion, the Staff was authorized to complete the necessary arrangements for a suitable editor.

6. Physics Register – Progress Report

The Director made a progress report on the work of compiling a register of physicists under a grant of $14,500 from the National Science Foundation. The questionnaires are expected to be mailed the middle of February after all questions of procedure have been settled in the Washington office. The Director pointed out that all previous registers have been centered in Washington and administered by government bureaus but the present organization is decentralized in nature, placing primary responsibility on the appropriate scientific society for the several fields of science. Copies of punch cards prepared from some of the information on questionnaires will be sent to NSF but the questionnaires as well as other information regarding registrants will remain in the custody of the Institute. This arrangement should be preferable to physicists, especially in case of national emergency.

7. Constitutional Amendment – Progress Report

At the March 14, 1953 meeting of the Governing Board it was voted to submit to a vote of the Member Societies a proposal to amend Article XI, Section 2 of the by-laws to read as follows:

“Officers need not be members of the Governing Board.”

This amendment has now been approved by three societies and disapproved by two. By the rules, therefore, the proposed amendment has been killed.

After discussion, it was the consensus that the reasons for the amendment had not been properly presented to the Societies and that the amendment could be modified and made more acceptable. Therefore, it was

MOVED, that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board the submission to the Member Societies of a modified form of amendment to Article XI, Section 2 of the by-laws which would make eligible for selection as Chairman of the Board any present of former members of the Governing Board.

The motion was seconded and carried unanimously. The Secretary was directed to prepare necessary material for submission to the Governing Board and to obtain legal opinion on the Chairman’s status under the laws of New York State in cases where the vote of the Board results in a tie.

8. Budget for 1954

The Secretary distributed copies of a financial statement, copy attached, showing the budget for 1953, the projection to the end of 1953 based on nine months’ performance, and the proposed budget for 1954. The Committee discussed the statement at length.

Physics Today will show a substantial deficit in 1953, even considering revenue from advertising, and will also show a deficit in 1954. This was anticipated when the decision was made about a year ago to send PT to all Institute members without charge. This decision is also the principal reason for the fact that over-all Institute operations will provide no substantial additions to surplus in 1953 and 1954 as was possible from several previous years’ operations. PT advertising will be pushed and is expected to increase in 1954 but prospect of advertising revenue completely carrying the journal is some years in the future. No radical change in PT editorial policy is contemplated but the editor hopes to continue expansion of news sections and articles, and reduction in the number of technical articles, without increase in total number of pages.

A review of the budget for Journal of Applied Physics showed that the change in the manner of handling dues and subscriptions by the American Physical Society has resulted in a drop in subscriptions to JAP but, when the advertising is considered with the subscriptions, it is a profitable journal.

Journal of Chemical Physics has been budgeted to break even. A study is being made by the Institute and the American Chemical Society to determine the breakdown of membership of these societies among the subscribers to JCP.

Considering the revenue from advertising, the Review of Scientific Instruments is a profitable journal. Compared to other Institute journals, the subscription price is low and, based on experience with JAP, the price could probably be raised without loss of subscriptions. A study of this will be made in 1954.

Revenue from advertising in 1954 is admittedly a guess. The proposed budget reflects some pessimism about JAP and RSI because of probably competition from new journals known to be entering the field. Sales pressure to maintain and improve our position will be applied.

The 1954 budget of income from Societies is lower than income for 1953. This is based on present indication that members of the American Physical Society are somewhat slower in paying 1954 dues than they were in paying 1953 dues. This picture may change when collections are totaled on December 31st.

Dr. Darrow,

MOVED, that the budget for 1954 be accepted as presented.

The motion was seconded and amended by Dean Pegram as follows:

…with the understanding that it can be modified to the extent that any figures found to be in error can be changed on the basis of more complete information available at the end of the year.

The amendment was seconded and the motion and amendment were carried with no dissenting votes.

9. Return of $35,000 Physics Today Reserve to Surplus

After a brief discussion as to the current need for an authorized reserve fund for Physics Today, the Treasurer

MOVED, that the $35,000 reserve for Physics Today be returned to Surplus.

The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.

10. New Editors for JAP and RSI

Brian O’Brien, chairman of a committee to review the editorial policies of Review of Scientific Instruments and to make recommendations for the selection of a new editor, discussed the activities of his committee, composed of Messrs. O’Brien, Barnes, Harnwell, Hutchisson and Stein. Dr. O’Brien said that because his committee was unanimous in their enthusiasm and interest in the magazine, it is difficult for them to agree unanimously on a recommendation for an editor. After discussion, Dr. O’Brien said he would like to have further discussion with his committee before making a formal report. It was

MOVED, that the report of the Chairman of the committee on the progress being made by his committee be accepted with thanks.

The motion was seconded and carried without dissenting vote.

At the last meeting of the Executive Committee, The establishment of a committee to make recommendations for a new editor for Journal of Applied Physics was authorized. At that time, Messrs. Harnwell and Hutchisson were appointed to the committee. At the present meeting, T. V. Hunt was appointed chairman of the committee, and Messrs. James Fisk and Guy Suits additional members.

11. Committee to Review Institute Publication Policy, including JAP, RSI, JCP and PT

The Secretary reported several conversations which led him to believe there should be study of the Institute’s entire publishing program. Why is the Institute publishing its present journals, are they best fulfilling their purposes, how do they tie in with Society journals, should other journals be added, etc? After considerable discussion of these provocative questions, Mr. Pegram offered the following motion:

MOVED, that a committee be appointed to review the publication program of the American Institute of Physics.

The motion was seconded by Dr. Zemansky and carried 3-1, with Dr. Hunt opposing the motion because he felt this was an inopportune time to appoint such a committee. After the vote was taken, Dean Pegram recommended to the Chairman that the committee be given six months to a year in which to report, and pointed out that a time for the appointment of this committee has not been set, nor has a definite time been set for reporting its recommendations.

12. Dates for Meetings

The following meeting dates were established:

Annual MeetingFebruary 20, 1954
Governing Board MeetingMarch 13, 1954
Executive Committee MeetingMarch 13, 1954 immediately after Governing Board meeting

13. Appointment of Editorial Boards for PT, RSI, JCP and JAP

It was

MOVED, that the Editorial Boards of Journal of Applied Physics, Review of Scientific Instruments, and Journal of Chemical Physics, as recommended by the editors, be appointed for terms of three years.

The motion was seconded and carried without dissenting vote. The appointments are as follows:

Journal of Applied Physics

  • Arthur V. Tobolsky
  • Maurice A. Biot
  • A. M. Weinberg

Journal of Chemical Physics

  • William N. Lipscomb
  • George Scatchard
  • G. H. Wannier
  • John W. Stout, Jr.
  • H. S. Gutowsky
  • Bryce L. Crawford, Jr.
  • Elliott W. Monyroll (Montroll)

Review of Scientific Instruments

  • W. A. Higenbotham (Higinbotham)
  • Daniel Alpert
  • Alfred O. Hanson
  • Henry B. Silsbee
  • George A. Morton
  • Thomas H. Wood

In view of the probable emphasis on Physics Today as a house organ, it is desirable to review the basis on which members are appointed to the Editorial Board. To pave the way for this, replacements on the Editorial Board should be appointed for one year only. It was accordingly

MOVED, to reappoint to the Editorial Board of Physics Today for one year Messrs. D. E. Gray, R. V. Langmuir, J. C. Morris, L. I. Schiff and L. A. Turner.

The Editorial Board of Physics Today is composed of the following members whose terms expire:

December 31, 1954

  • D. E. Gray
  • R. V. Langmuir
  • J. C. Morris
  • L. I. Schiff
  • L. A. Turner

December 31, 1954

  • E. U. Condon
  • F. V. Hunt
  • E. H. Land
  • R. Smoluchowski
  • R. F. Paton
  • M. White

December 31, 1955

  • L. J. Haworth
  • J. W. Beams
  • C. G. Suits
  • P. Kusch
  • W. W. Buechner
  • A. M. Clogston

14. Authorization of Director’s Leave and Travel Expense

The Director explained that he will be one of the delegates from the United States to the General Assembly of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics in London next July. The Chairman of the U.S. National Committee has asked the Chairman of the Institute if this organization would pay the expenses of the Director to attend the General Assembly. The Director also applied for leave of absence without pay for two months during the summer of 1954 with the intention of attending the meeting in London during that period. It was

MOVED, that the leave of absence and the requested travel expenses be granted to the Director.

The motion was seconded and carried without dissenting vote.

15. Instrument Exhibit in Philadelphia, September 13-25, 1954

The Institute has been offered a block of booths at the Instrument Exhibit in Philadelphia next September for which we pay about one-half the selling price. The booths have already been sold and should result in a net profit to the Institute of about $6,000. There will be some scientific papers presented at the Show which it is hoped will tie in with the Temperature Symposium in the Fall of 1954.

16. Special Pension

The Secretary read a letter from Lester Goodrich, who handles AIP insurance program, suggesting a special pension for Kathryn Setze, Assistant Treasurer, whose age at employment will make her normal pension at retirement only $58.43 a month. He suggested that the AIP pension be increased to $115 which, with Social Security, will give her a total pension of $200 per month. It was

MOVED, that the Institute adopt a pension plan for Kathryn Setze which will pay her $115 per month at age 65, at an added annual cost of $530.10 per year.

The motion was seconded and passed without dissenting vote.

17. Building Changes and Plans

The Secretary reported on the changes made in the arrangement of the offices at the Institute since the last meeting at which it was decided to postpone building an addition at the rear of the building. Members of the Committee expressed appreciation to the management for this better utilization of space.

18. Gubser Resolution J.R. 307

The Chairman read J.R. 307 concerning visas for foreign scientists. After discussion, the Chairman suggested that the editor of Physics Today might follow the matter, but it was decided the Committee should take no action at this time.

19. Other Business

A general discussion followed the Director’s statement that the non-ad pages in all journals had been 13,000 in 1952; 15,810 in 1953; and the 1954 projection is 16,000, with the possibility that this figure might be 500 pages fewer or as much as 1,000 pages greater.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:55 p.m.