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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

October 8, 1954

Present: Frederick Seitz, Chairman, Karl K. Darrow, Deane B. Judd, Hugh S. Knowles, George B. Pegram, Mark W. Zemansky

AIP Staff Present: Henry A. Barton, Wallace Waterfall, Mary Ann Lee

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

1. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of May 23 were approved as circulated.

2. Financial Statement for First Six Months

The Secretary distributed copies of the statement (copy attached). He explained that the figures are about what would be expected for the period and in line with the annual budget. Figures for the third quarter and an estimate for the whole of the calendar year 1954 will be ready for a budget meeting in December.

In accordance with the decision of the last meeting of the Executive Committee, a group of industrial physicists had been invited to meet with the Executive Committee at this meeting for a discussion of matters of mutual interest. The industrial physicists were with the Executive Committee from 10:00 a.m. through luncheon. The attached report indicates who was present at the conference and briefly states the subjects covered. Also attached is some information about physicists and the work of the Institute which was distributed prior to the conferences as a basis for discussion.
The following minutes record the meeting of the Executive Committee when the guests were not present.

3. Registration for Solicitation of Funds in New York State

It was reported that the Institute’s attorney has called attention to a recently enacted law requiring registration and reports by organizations soliciting contributions in the state. The law was instigated by the New York State Welfare Department because of recent scandals connected with solicitation of funds for charities. Many educational institutions and other reputable groups have registered and the Institute has been advised to do so and to pass on information to Member Societies. The principal purpose of the act is to protect individuals from having their names used without their permission in connection with solicitation. Compliance with the act will require our obtaining permission from individuals and organizations to use their names on the Institute letterhead, in published lists of contributors, etc.

After some discussion, the staff was authorized to take such steps as are necessary to comply with the law and instructed to advise Member Societies and offer whatever help they may need in complying.

4. Dues of Associates

At the Executive Committee meeting of March 14, 1954 it was decided to increase the dues of Associates from $175 to $250 per year effective January, 1955. There was some considerable discussion of whether the dues should be further increased and the consensus was that a higher figure could be justified, perhaps as much as $1,000. It was recognized that some preparation would be necessary to “sell” a large dues increase and the $250 figure was allowed to stand for 1955. The staff was instructed to consider the matter further and bring the subject up at the next meeting.

5. Report on Oppenheimer Statement

Mr. Zemansky reported on the activities of the committee on this matter in line with the authorization made at the last meeting. There was no statement issued because of lack of agreement among committee members as to form or desirability for the statement in view of the changing news picture on the Oppenheimer case. The committee was discharged and the chairman commended for the course he had taken.

6. Status of Amendment to Article XI, Section 2, of the Constitution

The Secretary reported that the American Association of Physics Teachers and the Acoustical Society of America had approved the change and that the other Member Societies were expected to vote on the proposed change at their Fall meetings.

7. Status of New Contract Between AIP and Member Societies

Signed copies of the new agreement between the Institute and the Member Societies have been received back at the Institute offices from all Societies except the American Physical Society, and that Society is expected to vote on it before the end of the year.

8. Russian Translation Project

Following authorization at the March 14, 1954 meeting of the Executive Committee, the staff obtained a grant of $3,000 from the National Science Foundation for the support of “A Study of A Comprehensive Russian-English Translating Service in the Field of Physics.” The study was to run for a period of approximately four months. Arrangements had been made with Dr. Elmer Hutchisson to conduct a survey and at this meeting of the Executive Committee he presented a written report which was discussed in considerable detail.

Dr. Hutchisson made three recommendations which are briefly stated as follows:

  1. That the AIP agree to supply microfilm copies of final page proofs of all journals published by the Institute to the Secretary of the ICSU Abstracting Board in Paris at a cost of approximately $1,000 per year. In return for this the Institute would receive microfilm copies of all principal Soviet physics periodical publications (or of other journals as requested) at no more than the cost of microfilm copying plus postage.
  2. That, if adequate funds are made available by other parties, the Institute will undertake the translation and distribution of the following Soviet publications:

    1. 1953 volume of Zhurnal Eksperimentalnoi i Teoretisheskoi Fiziki (Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics)
    2. Current issues of the Zhurnal Eksperimentalnoi i Teoreticheskoi Fiziki (Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics)
    3. Current articles from the Doklady Akademii Nauk USSR (Communications of the USSR Academy of Sciences)
  3. That a request be made to the National Science Foundation to underwrite over a period of two years the activities recommended under (a) and (b) at a cost for the two-year period estimated at somewhere between $80,000 and $150,000.

Dr. Hutchisson indicated that the cost estimates given and the feasibility of the Institute’s undertaking this project both require further study before a proposal should be made to NSF.

After much discussion the following motions were passed:

MOVED that Dr. Hutchisson be commended for his excellent analysis of the situation and thanked for the time and energy devoted to the study.

MOVED that if funds are available from the National Science Foundation, Recommendation (a) be approved and the staff authorized to put it into effect as soon as possible (The feasibility of the entire project depends upon the availability of Soviet material and putting Recommendation (a) into effect will test this availability).

MOVED that the Staff send Dr. Hutchisson’s report to the National Science Foundation as a preliminary report, indicating that the Institute is favorably disposed toward Dr. Hutchisson’s recommendations, and requesting an additional grant of funds and an extension of time in which to complete the study of costs and the feasibility of this project.

9. Report on New Editors for RSI and JAP

The director reported that J. B. H. Kuper accepted appointment as Editor of THE REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS, effective July 1, 1954, at an annual salary of $4,000. R. L. Sproull accepted appointment as Editor of the JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, effective July 1, 1954, at an annual salary of $4,233.

After discussion on the desirability of appointing personnel to the authorized Committee to Evaluate JAP, the Chairman said he would speak to Dr. Sproull informally to get his suggestions.

10. Projects for the Improvement of Education in Physics

  1. The Division of Physical Sciences of the National Research Council had requested the cooperation of the Institute in organizing a small conference on “The Production of Physicists” which will probably be held in March or April 1955. A planning committee of which G. R. Harrison is chairman had already met under the auspices of NRC and are making plans for the conference. The exact nature of Institute cooperation desired is not yet known but it is understood that no financial commitment is involved.

It was the sense of the meeting that the Institute should cooperate with the National Research Council in arranging the conference.

  1. A formal request had been received from the American Association of Physics Teachers asking the Institute to establish a committee to study and report on the “Evaluation of Physics in Engineering Education.” The request indicated that funds for the project might be obtained from the National Science Foundation.

After some discussion the following motion was made and passed:

MOVED that the Staff be authorized to request a grant from the National Science Foundation to finance the work of a committee on “Evaluation of Physics in Engineering Education.”

It is understood, that if funds are granted, the officers of the Institute will consult with the American Association of Physics Teachers and the National Science Foundation about personnel of the committee.

  1. Mr. Northrup of the National Science Foundation had visited the Institute and had subsequently sent a letter requesting that the Institute undertake to organize and operate, using NSF funds, several summer sessions for the training of secondary school teachers such as was done last year at Minnesota and elsewhere. We were asked to provide preliminary information to NSF prior to November 15. It was the consensus of the committee that there is not adequate time for the Institute to organize anything for the summer of 1955 but that we might do something for the summer of 1956. The chairman agreed to appoint a committee to handle the matter if NSF is interested in 1956. (Since the meeting, informal assistance has been given on 1955 arrangements.)

11. Acta Metallurgica

The Secretary explained that, beginning in January 1955 the printing of Acta Metallurgica is being transferred from the University of Toronto Press to Lancaster Press in accordance with a decision made by the Board of Governors at the Amsterdam meeting in July. Editorial mechanics of the magazine are now being handled by Harvard where the editor is located. The editor may wish the staff of the Institute to handle editorial mechanics and the staff requested permission to work out some sort of arrangement whereby this can be done if the Institute is so requested. After brief discussion the Executive Committee authorized the staff to arrange accordingly on some basis which will adequately compensate the Institute for the work to be done. (Since the meeting the editor of Acta Metallurgica has decided not to transfer the editorial mechanics from Harvard to the Institute at the present time.)

12. Report on Exchange of Maturing Government Securities

Last summer, upon the advice of Bankers’ Trust Company, the staff transferred $50,000 of U.S. Treasury 25/8% Certificates of Indebtedness due August 15, 1954, for $50,000 of 11/8% Certificates of Indebtedness due August 15, 1955. These new Certificates are already selling at a premium and are considered a good term investment. If the Institute does not need cash, the Finance Committee should consider the possibility of some investment with a better yield. The staff asked approval of the above transaction and it was approved by the Executive Committee.

13. Report on Physics Register

The Director reported that work on the Physics Register has progressed more rapidly than originally expected and it is now possible to get from our punch cards such information as indicated by the attachments to these minutes. During the first year the Institute has operated within the appropriation furnished by the National Science Foundation, and in line with previous authorization will now request additional funds from NSF to continue the Register for another year. This project is expected to continue indefinitely and is being set up so that funds received from NSF should cover actual cost of operating the Register plus Institute overhead.

14. Report on Temperature and Photoconductivity Symposia

The Secretary reported that everything is proceeding well in connection with the AIP activities with both symposia and a contract has been signed with Reinhold for publication of the proceedings of the Temperature Symposium and with Wiley for the proceedings of the Photoconductivity Symposium.

15. Change in Rules

The Secretary explained that action of the Governing Board is now required to drop an Associate Member (dues $4.00 per year) from membership for any reason, including non-payment of dues. The Director and Secretary have been empowered as the committee to accept Associate Members and there should be some easy way of dropping them when they discontinue dues payments. The staff asked that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that the following changes be made in the Rules of the Institute. The following motion was made and carried:

MOVED that the Executive Committee recommend that the Governing Board make the following changes in the Rules:

Article IV – Executive Committee
Remove “X” from the last line of this Article so that the Executive Committee will have authority to drop Associate Members.

Article X – Dropping from Membership
Change to read as follows:
“The Governing Board or a committee designated for the purpose by the Governing Board may drop from membership any Associate Member who it shall find has failed either to act in the best interests of the corporation or to pay his dues.”

16. Date of Next Meeting

The date of the next meeting of the Executive Committee was set for Saturday, December 11, at 10:00 a.m. at the Institute offices. The budget for 1955 will be discussed at that meeting.

17. Other Business

It was decided to take no action on an invitation to appoint a representative to the sectional committee which is being organized under the sponsorship of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to develop standards on Terminology for Automatic Controls, C85 of the American Standards Association, because it was the consensus that the physicists will be adequately represented by the engineering societies.

18. The meeting was adjourned at 5:20 p.m.