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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

December 11, 1954

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

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

Guest: Clark Williams

Chairman Seitz called the meeting to order at 10:10 a.m.

1. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of October 8 were approved with the removal of the name of R. A. Sawyer from those present.

2. 1955 Budget

The Secretary distributed copies of a financial statement including (1) the budget for 1954, (2) a statement of income and expense for nine months of 1954, (3) projected income and expense for the full 1954 calendar year, and (4) a suggested budget for 1955. He said these had been discussed in detail with the Treasurer and had his approval. (Copy of statement attached with 1955 budget corrected as approved by the Executive Committee.)

The Secretary went through the statement and proposed 1955 budget in detail, explaining the various items and answering numerous questions asked by the Committee. A digest of the principal points follows:

  • Income from subscriptions is expected to be higher in 1955 because of certain increases in subscription rates already approved and the normally anticipated increase in number of subscriptions.
  • Income from back number sales has been unpredictable but the amount budgeted for 1955 represents an average of recent years and the best guess the staff can make.
  • Net income from advertising appears to be down a little for 1954 but the Advertising Department should be credited with approximately $7000 net revenue from the sale of booths in the September instrument exhibit sponsored by the Instrument Society of America which is included in Special Projects. Instrument and book exhibits present interesting possibilities for obtaining more income and the staff has some plans this during the next few years. To handle this promotion and to increase advertising sales requires more manpower in the Advertising Department and the 1955 budget includes this.
  • Increasing the dues of corporate Associates from $175 to $250 and favorable experience to date in collecting dues at the higher rate justify the 1955 budget figure for that item.
  • Income from Special Projects is budgeted conservatively for 1955. If certain projects now under consideration should materialize, the income from that source may be considerably higher.
  • Printing and mailing estimates for 1955 reflect a 10% increase in monotype composition prices from Lancaster Press to which we have agreed. On December 10, too late to be included in the sheets distributed at this meeting, we were advised by our engraver of a 10% increase in his prices. To cover this the total cost of engravings should be increased to $25,000, with proper distribution to the different journals (This correction has been made in the approved budget attached to these minutes).
  • Editorial Management salaries are budgeted higher for 1955 because the setups we have made with new editors on JAP and RSI are more expensive than heretofore.
  • Editorial Mechanics costs are up because of recent reorganization and relocation of that department. This is being studied with the hope of reducing it.
  • Circulation Department costs are lower in spite of increased volume, probably reflecting changes made in equipment and procedures during the last two years.
  • Office salaries are lower for 1954 because of the Director’s absence without pay during the Summer.
  • The Placement Register is increasing in activity and importance and commendation from both employers and applicants justifies expansion of the service. Changes in procedures may make it possible to recapture some of this expense and give better service at no greater cost to the Institute.
  • After a substantial addition to Institute surplus for 1952, the Executive Committee authorized the transfer of $7500 from Surplus to the account for building improvements at its meeting of March 13, 1953 and instructed the staff to include $7500 in each year’s operating budget to be put in a reserve for building improvements. At the request of the staff, the Committee waived that instruction in adopting the 1954 budget because it would have resulted in budgeting a deficit for that year. It is the opinion of the Treasurer and the staff that the action of March 13, 1953 should be rescinded since building up a reserve for building improvements at the expense of an operating deficit just means reducing surplus to build up a reserve for which we have no immediate need. This reserve, if needed, can be built up during the years when a net income from operations is anticipated or actually experienced.
  • Although revenue possibilities from advertising are limited with such journals as ours, we believe greater selling manpower will produce more net revenue and the 1955 budget provides for this. Physics Today and RSI advertising is increasing slowly but JAP advertising has been hard to sell and is off, probably because of the archival tendency of that journal. A new editorial policy seems to be in the making and greater sales effort will be made to recover old and develop new advertising.
  • Advertising in Society-owned journals will be accounted on a new basis in 1955 in accordance with the new contract. The net revenue per page to AIP will be somewhat less under the new accounting but the total revenue to AIP should be higher if the new magazine Noise Control lives up to expectations.
  • Considering all income (advertising, subscriptions, etc.) RSI continues to be the Institute’s most profitable publishing enterprise. JAP produces a profit but can do better. JCP, which carries no advertising, is operating on approximately a break-even basis in line with previous decisions. The editor continues to request more pages and, since there was a small surplus from 1954 operations, he has been given a 200-page increase in the 1955 budget.
  • Physics Today is the Institute’s most expensive single project in general promotion of the welfare of physics and the Institute. Two years ago it was decided we were financially able, because of revenue from other sources, to give PT to all AIP members without charge. It was hoped that certain economies plus increasing advertising revenue would, in a few years, bring the net cost of PT down to a figure which could be justified for the maintenance of a physics house organ. The editor has been cooperative in slowly reducing the number of pages and most comments seem to indicate the magazine is continuing to improve as a news medium for organized physics, but the net cost still remains high – approximately $32,500 for 1954. Advertising is increasing but so are costs and free circulation. With the present trends, time may bring the net cost to a satisfactory figure but not as soon as originally anticipated. A number of projects for the advancement and welfare of physics have been suggested for which Institute funds might be used if available. The bulk of the Institute’s income from advertising, Member Societies and elsewhere, which might be used for such projects, no goes to support Physics Today. The staff suggests that a sub-committee study financial trends of PT and other projects requiring money and recommend to the Executive Committee what course should be followed in appropriating Institute funds.

Following the above presentation, there was much discussion in which Mr. Knowles stressed the desirability of reviewing the scope of Institute activities each year before the budget for the succeeding year is prepared and adopted. He said he had heard criticism about the lack of a foreword-looking program. If new projects are desirable, they should be planned ahead of time, budgetary provisions should be made for them, and new sources of income obtained for them if necessary.

During further discussion, the Director read a list of projects for the advancement of physics on which the Institute might well spend money if available. He also said that the Institute would probably be asked for a contribution to the Scientific Manpower Commission during 1955. Such a contribution, amounting to $1,000 was made in 1953. None was requested in 1954 but the needs of SMC are growing. No formal request having been received, it was not included in the 1955 budget.

The following motion was finally made by Mr. Darrow, seconded by Mr. Knowles, and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED, that the proposed budget for 1955 be approved with the provisions that (1) the item for engraving and art work be increased to a total of $25,000 and (2) the $7,500 reserve for building improvements not be included in the budget; and that the approval be contingent upon the Chairman’s appointing a committee to review the program of the Institute, proposed desirable new enterprises or modifications of present enterprises, such committee to report to the Executive Committee at its next meeting.

After luncheon recess, the Chairman appointed as the above-mentioned committee: H.S. Knowles, Chairman; K. K. Darrow and D. B. Judd. It was suggested that the committee prepare a written digest of its report which, after discussion with the Executive Committee, could be presented to the Governing Board if so decided.

3. Report on Engineers Joint Council Meeting on Nuclear Science and Engineering

Since the last meeting of the Committee the Institute had been invited by the Engineers Joint Council to send a representative to a meeting to discuss organization in the field of nuclear science and engineering and particularly the planning of an annual meeting in this field. Mr. Clark Williams of Brookhaven National Laboratory had been appointed as the Institute’s representative and had attended the meeting.

At this point Mr. Williams joined the Executive Committee to report on the Engineers Joint Council meeting. He discussed it along with the interest of the older engineering societies in this new field and he also mentioned the American Nuclear Society, a new group just being formed. During the last several years several of the older engineering societies have organized divisions or groups devoted to problems of nuclear engineering and a number of symposia have been held. It is the feeling of the older societies that nuclear engineering cuts across the entire field of engineering, physics and chemistry and that the planning of an annual congress on the subject should be the joint undertaking of a number of scientific and technical societies, probably spearheaded by the Engineers Joint Council. The American Nuclear Society may have ambitions to be the prime sponsor of such a congress sometime in the future but it is still not organized and is generally regarded by Engineers Joint Council as unable to undertake an activity of this magnitude at the present time. The specific proposal of Engineers Joint Council is that the older engineering societies, in cooperation with organizations representing physics and chemistry, plan a congress on nuclear science and engineering to be held sometime during 1955. Engineer Joint Council asks that the American Institute of Physics act as a co-sponsor of the congress and appoint a representative to act on the General Committee and also on the Program Committee of the congress. It is understood that no financial contribution is involved as Engineers Joint Council and its member societies take care of finances.

The meeting recessed from 12:40 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.

Following Mr. Williams’ report there was discussion of the propriety of sponsorship of the congress by AIP and whether the American Physical Society should be suggested as a sponsor in place of AIP. Mr. Pegram expressed the opinion that a congress such as that proposed is a very appropriate one for the Institute to sponsor. Since all branches of physics may be interested, he believed that co-sponsorship was the responsibility of the Institute rather than its Member Societies. Mr. Pegram made the following motion which was seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED, that the American Institute of Physics agree to co-sponsor a congress on nuclear science and engineering as suggested by Engineers Joint Council and that Mr. Clark Williams be appointed as the Institute representative on the General and Program Committees.

Then followed some discussion of the new American Nuclear Society and its probable position in the field of nuclear science and engineering. It was the consensus that our action in agreeing to sponsor the congress as proposed by Engineers Joint Council was not intended as prejudice to the formation of the new society. It was merely an expression of our desire to cooperate in sponsoring a congress in this field and our recognition of the status quo.

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

Mr. Pegram moved, Mr. Darrow seconded the following motion which was passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED, to accept the recommendation of the editor of Journal of Applied Physics for vacancies on the editorial board of that magazine occurring in 1955, and to empower the Chairman to accept the recommendations of the editors of the Journal of Chemical Physics, and Review of Scientific Instruments for the vacancies on the editorial boards of those magazines in 1955, all appointments to run for terms of three years, to expire December 31, 1957.

The appointments are as follows:

Journal of Applied Physics

  • Elmer Hutchisson
  • D. O. North
  • Walker Bleakney

Journal of Chemical Physics

  • James R. Arnold
  • Jacob Bigeleisen
  • Walter Gordy
  • Alvin H. Nielsen
  • Earle K. Plyler
  • Wave H. Shaffer
  • T. F. Young

Review of Scientific Instruments

  • Robert L. Walker
  • Simon H. Bauer
  • John J. Livingood
  • Howard L. Schultz
  • Walter Selove
  • George T. Reynolds

The Director pointed out that the replacements on the editorial board of Physics Today should be made in line with such policy for the magazine as may be determined at the next meeting. Mr. Darrow moved, Mr. Pegram seconded and the following motion was passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED, that those members of the editorial board of Physics Today whose terms expire on December 31, 1954 be continued in office until further action.

5. Dates for Future Meetings

The following dates were established for future meetings:

Annual MeetingFebruary 26, 1955, Saturday
Executive CommitteeMarch 11, 1955, Friday
Governing BoardMarch 12, 1955, Saturday

6. New AIP Member Society Contract

The Secretary reported that signed contracts had been received from all Member Societies except APS and that Society has approved the contract and will send a signed copy. He said the Institute should now take action to declare the new contract in effect on January 1, 1955. Mr. Darrow moved and the following motion was unanimously passed:

MOVED, that the new AIP-Member Society contract shall go into effect 00:01 a.m. January 1, 1955 and that the officers of the Institute be authorized to do that which is necessary to implement it.

7. National Science Foundation Sponsored Institutes for Improvements of Physics Teaching

The Director said that the National Science Foundation had been sponsoring summer institutes at various universities, designed for high school and college teachers of science who are interested in improving their knowledge of physics and other sciences. These programs have been stimulating and many teachers have participated. NSF has now requested the Institute to cooperate by suggesting various colleges and universities where such institutes can be held in the future. The Director said he had already assisted by making several suggestions but believes NSF might like to have a more formal organization for the purpose, possible a committee appointed by the Institute.

There was some discussion of whether this activity should be the function of the Institute or AAPT. Since NSF had approached the Institute directly on the matter, it was the consensus that the Institute should probably accept the responsibility but that officers of AAPT should first be consulted. On motion made and carried, it was agreed that this subject should be held over until the next meeting of the Executive Committee and that the Director should consult with the officers of AAPT in the meantime.

8. Russian Translation Project

The Director reported that the Institute had received an additional grant of $3,800 and that Dwight E. Gray had been employed on a full-time basis to continue the study and complete a report which will be made to NSF along with whatever proposal the Institute may decide to make. It is expected that this report and proposal will be ready for Executive Committee action in February.

9. NRC Planning Committee on “The Production of Physicists”

The Director reported that plans for this three-day closed conference are about completed. The conference is expected to be held late in March. The Institute has no direct responsibility for the conference except for informal consultations with the Planning Committee of which G. R. Harrison is chairman.

10. Nominee to Scientific Manpower Commission

G. R. Harrison and H. A. Barton are at present the two AIP representatives on the Scientific Manpower Commission. The Director reported that Mr. Harrison has asked to be relieved because of serious illness in his family. The Executive Committee favored Mr. Harrison’s replacement be Chairman Seitz. Mr. Seitz said that he was willing to accept the assignment but that he would consult with Mr. Wheeler Loomis and, if he is agreeable, might ask him to be the official representative of the Institute. The Committee agreed. (Dr. Loomis was subsequently appointed.)

11. Appointment of Tellers

The following motion was made by Mr. Darrow, seconded by Mr. Zemansky and passed unanimously:

MOVED that the appointment of W.F.C. Ferguson and Irving Resnick as tellers to count the ballots for the Member-at-Large of the Governing Board be confirmed.

12. Election of New Student Section

The application of Loyola University at Baltimore, Maryland for the establishment of a Student Section there was unanimously approved by the Committee.

13. New Member on Finance Committee

The Director reviewed the purpose of the Finance Committee, that is, to advise the staff on financial and realty matters. He then recommended the approval of B. S. McCutcheon as a member of that Committee. Mr. Pegram moved and Mr. Knowles seconded the following motion which was unanimously approved:

MOVED, that B. S. McCutcheon be approved as a member of the Finance Committee.

14. Election of New Associate

The Secretary requested approval of the application for membership as an Associate of AIP made by the Missile Systems Division of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. The following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED, that the Missile Systems Division of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation be approved as an Associate of the American Institute of Physics, Inc.

The Secretary distributed a list of the Associates with the suggestion that each member of the Committee go over the list and present his ideas for new members at the next meeting.

15. Advisory Committee for Physics to the National Bureau of Standards

The Chairman reported that it was desirable to enlarge this Committee to provide for the establishment of several sub-committees corresponding to divisions at the Bureau.

The following motion was made by Mr. Sawyer, seconded by Mr. Darrow and passed without dissenting vote with Mr. Judd not voting:

MOVED, that the members of the Advisory Committee for Physics to the National Bureau of Standards be reconstituted as follows:

Terms to December 31, 1955

  • J. A. Bearden
  • M. Deutsch
  • E. M. Purcell
  • Hale Sabine

Terms to December 31, 1956

  • D. M. Dennison
  • R. B. Lindsay
  • R. A. Sawyer
  • F. Seitz

Terms to December 31, 1957

  • A.C.C. Nier
  • E. A. Martinelli
  • M. W. Zemansky
  • C. T. Lane

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