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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

December 10, 1955

Members Present: Frederick Seitz – Chairman, S. A. Goudsmit, D. B. Judd, H. S. Knowles, E. Rodgers, R. A. Sawyer, M. W. Zemansky

AIP Staff Present: Henry A. Barton, Wallace Waterfall, Robert R. Davis, Mary Johnson

Others Present: Treasurer G. B. Pegram, who was present for the morning session only.

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m.

1. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of September 24, 1955, were approved as Circulated.

2. Reports of Editors of JAP, JCP, RSI and PT

The Director discussed briefly a report from Mr. Kuper, Editor of RSI, in which he stated that he had pretty well eliminated his backlog and publication is now prompt. He has been receiving more papers recently and requested a 200-page larger budget for 1956 which he hopes to use mostly for review articles. The Director said that the 1,400 pages requested for 1956 had been included in the budget which would be presented later.

Discussion of the report of the Editor of JAP was postponed until a later item on the agenda except that the Director said the Editor had requested a page budget of 1,600 pages for 1956 and this figure had been used in preparing the budget to be presented later.

The Director presented a letter from Mr. Hutchison, the Editor of JCP in which he indicated that he would require approximately 3,800 pages for 1956 to take care of his backlog and new material as received. The Director said that, following previously established policy to operate the journal on a break-even basis, a page budget of 2,600 pages had been set up for 1956.

Mr. Davis, Editor of PT, said that most of the points he wished to discuss with respect to PT would come up in connection with other items on the agenda. He said it is no longer necessary for him to solicit articles and that he is currently rejecting approximately one-third of the articles received on grounds that they are unsuitable for the magazine.

3. Information Service

The Director explained that the staff so far had been able to find only one suitable candidate for this post. He had been interviewed by members of the Executive Committee and the consensus was that he would be a good man for the job. An offer which was acknowledged to be attractive was made to him and his reply was being awaited. (Greater detail of the discussion is not given in these minutes because, since the meeting, the candidate has advised us that for personal reasons he has decided to continue in his present position.)

4. Report of JAP Committee

The Director had mailed copies of the Committee's report, prepared by Chairman F. V. Hunt, to all members of the Governing Board prior to the present meeting. Mr. Hunt said he was pleased and gratified with the competent grasp of his problem displayed by Editor Sproull and the Committee felt JAP was in excellent editorial hands. The Director summarized the points made in Mr. Hunt's report as follows (copy of full report attached to official minutes):

  1. "Readability" of the journal is an asset which should be zealously guarded.
  2. Special articles are judged to be proper and desirable and are to be encouraged, but no disproportionate effort to solicit them is warranted.
  3. Special "symposium" issues could profitably be solicited on a once- or twice-a-year basis from divisions of the American Physical Society and chairmen of these divisions might be invited to serve as ad hoc associate editors for assembly and refereeing of such symposia.
  4. It was recommended that the Governing Board ask the various divisions of APS to elect one member each to serve on the Editorial Board of JAP.
  5. It was recommended that the Editor be authorized to circulate a questionnaire regarding distribution of reader interest and reactions to the present distribution of material offered by JAP.
  6. It was agreed that no change in the title of the journal be made at this time.

After some discussion the Executive Committee approved of the recommendations made but, at the suggestion of the Director, it was agreed that the subject should be brought up at the next meeting of the Governing Board to obtain any further ideas which Board members may have.

  1. Publication Charge on JAP and RSI

    With the agreement of the two editors involved, the Director recommended that the page charge for both JAP and RSI be raised from $8.00 to $15.00 per page with the understanding that the editors will continue to have the privilege of waiving page charges on invited articles. The following motion was then made and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the page charge for JAP and RSI be set at $15.00 per page.

  2. Enforcement of Publication Charge

    The Director said that a number of letters have been received recently regarding the publication charge. Policies regarding payment vary among Government agencies, educational institutions and industrial organizations and most Institute publications are losing many thousands of dollars in revenue which they should be able to collect. He suggested that a committee be appointed to study the situation and recommend procedures for enforcing payment in all possible cases. The Committee agreed and the Chairman named Mr. F. Wheeler Loomis to act as chairman of the committee.

5. Report of Committee to Recommend AIP Programs for 1956

Mr. Knowles, Chairman of the above Committee, said that he had met with members of his Committee and members of the AIP staff on the previous day and he reported the conclusions reached.

Mr. Knowles said that the principal recommendation made by his Committee on March 11, 1955, had not yet been implemented and he urged that every effort be made to organize an active physics information center and find a suitable staff man to handle it. When the man is found, Mr. Knowles believes that his Committee should meet with him to help plan a balanced short and long range program to attain the objectives stated by the Committee.

Mr. Knowles said his Committee had made a brief review of the special projects carried on by the Institute and it was the Committee’s conclusion that these were justifiable and worthwhile. His Committee had considered a suggestion made by the staff that an outside consulting agency be employed to make a management survey of the Institute and a study of its cost accounting procedures. For such a survey to be effective it would require the cooperation of some of the officers of Member Societies and the proposition should therefore be discussed with the Member Societies. Mr. Knowles said his Committee was in favor of the survey and suggested that it be discussed.

Then followed general discussion of the report made by Mr. Knowles. It was agreed that implementation of the recommendations of March 11, 1955, was urgent and should be given first consideration. It was also agreed that the proposal of a management survey should be given further study. The staff was asked to obtain further information about the cost of such a survey and to place the subject on the agenda for the next Governing Board meeting. The Secretary was instructed to write to secretaries of Member Societies and request that the subject be discussed at meetings of their governing bodies. An effort is also to be made to determine the value of similar surveys which have been made of other scientific organizations.

6. Financial Statement for Third Quarter 1955 and Budget 1956

The Secretary distributed copies of an Income and Expense Statement showing the budget for 1955, performance for nine months ended September 30, estimates for the 1955 calendar year, and a proposed budget for 1956. The various items were discussed in detail, as follows:

Over-all subscription income for 1955 will be approximately as budgeted and the same figure is used in the 1956 budget. Subscription income from some journals is not satisfactory, as explained later, and an effort is being started to increase it.

Income from publication charges and reprint sales is budgeted at a higher figure for 1956 because of the higher publication charges established recently. It is assumed that publication charges will continue to be honored at approximately the same rate as at present.

Advertising net income for 1955 will be substantially above budget. This applies to all journals in which advertising is carried. This increase has been due to more pages sold. The 1956 budget figure has been placed still higher because conditions at present look good. Realization of the 1956 budget figure will depend on the general economic picture.

Support from Member Societies is increasing because of increased membership and increased dues.

Income from Corporate Associates is up because of productive suggestions for new Associates made by Board members. At this point there was discussion of ways of attracting new Associates and suggestions made were noted by the staff. It was also suggested that the Placement Register book might be sent to current Associates.

Net income from special projects will be higher in 1955 than budgeted because of unanticipated projects. 1956 is budgeted still higher but this is due mostly to a change in accounting procedure. In the past part of administrative salaries has been charged to various special projects. It is proposed not to do this in the future which will make the income from special projects higher and it will also make the administrative salary item higher in the expense side of the budget, as indicated below.

On the expense side of the statement, printing and mailing costs for 1955 will probably be a little higher than budget due to a few more pages published. The 1956 budget figure is considerably higher because of more pages contemplated. Unit printing costs will remain the same through most of 1956 but may be increased somewhat in the latter part when a new labor contract is negotiated. Paper costs are expected to increase slightly during 1956.

Engraving costs are expected to increase a little during 1956.

Editorial management expenses are, except for "Physics Today”, the expenses of editorial offices outside of the Institute building. Some salaries have had to be increased to keep in line with other salaries where the offices are located and some additional increases are expected in 1956.

Editorial mechanics expenses are budgeted higher for 1956 because of the greater number of pages planned.

Circulation expenses will be higher in 1955 than budgeted because of the expense involved in making a number of major changes in the procedures in that department. These should result in lower future costs and hence the 1956 budget is placed lower.

General administrative salaries and office expense will be a little lower in 1955 than budgeted. The 1956 budget figure is considerably higher, partly due to the change in accounting procedure on special projects as explained above and partly due to staff salary increases contemplated in 1956.

Furniture and fixtures have cost more in 1955 than budgeted because it has been necessary to buy new Addressograph and mimeograph equipment. Some of our equipment is still not in good shape but it is hoped that major expenditures for new equipment can be avoided in 1956.

RSI: Subscription income for 1955 is disappointing. Based on past experience, we expected an increase in the number of subscriptions in 1955 but it has not been realized. This is being studied and a circulation promotion campaign is planned. RSI continues to be our biggest advertising moneymaker and a decrease in circulation could have serious results. More revenue is expected from publication charges because of the increase in the per-page charge and also because of the greater number of pages. Also greater expenses are budgeted for 1956 because of more pages.

JCP: Circulation continues to increase and so does the number of pages published. This results in greater income and also in higher expenses. The number of pages budgeted for 1956 has been set so the journal will operate on as nearly a break-even basis as possible.

JAP: Income for 1955 will be about as budgeted. 1956 income is budgeted higher because of the increased publication charge established. The number of subscriptions is holding about steady but it is hoped it can be increased by promotion, as in the case of RSI.

PT: Income in 1955 will be about as budgeted and 1956 should be about the same. The subscription income shown is mostly from non-member subscriptions. Expenses for 1955 will be a little lower than budget because fewer text pages were published. The 1956 budget throughout is approximately the same as the 1955 budget.

The over-all “Physics Today” picture for 1955 is quite encouraging. Net income from advertising in “Physics Today” showed a big jump in 1955. The net cost of operating “Physics Today” in 1954 (net expense minus advertising income) was approximately $30,700.00. Because of the increase in advertising income in 1955, the net cost of operating “Physics Today” for the current year will be approximately $23,300.00. Advertising in PT for 1956 looks very good at present. The January issue (25th Anniversary issue) is expected to have forty-eight pages of advertising which is nearly twenty-five per cent of the total number of pages in 1955.

After presentation of the statement and the Budget for 1956, there was general discussion by the Committee. Mr. Knowles congratulated the staff on including the item for Information Service but said that, in general, it appeared that the budget for 1956 was somewhat conservative and probably reflected the status quo rather than goals to be achieved. The Secretary admitted it might be somewhat conservative but there was considerable uncertainty about business conditions in 1956 and the staff had attempted to be as realistic as possible. Mr. Pegram said he favored a conservative budget as he believed it furnished an incentive to do better. The following motion was made and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the budget for 1956 be adopted as presented.

At 12:30 p.m. the Committee adjourned for luncheon and reconvened at 2:20 p.m.

7. Advertising Revenue

Since income from advertising has come to be so large a part of the Institute's total income which may be used to finance various activities, the Secretary said he believed a review of our experience in that operation would be worthwhile. He presented figures and made various statements, summarized as follows:

In 1946, gross sales amounted to about $35,600 and net income from this was $19,800.00. Both figures have increased fairly steadily each year since until in 1955 we have a gross sales figure of $163,000 and a net income of $71,000.00. The biggest dollar jump has been in 1955. For a two-year period during 1948, 1949 and 1950 sales were handled on a commission basis by Rimbach Associates. Rimbach did not greatly expand our page volume but he can be credited with selling our advertisers on substantially higher page rates. In 1950 the deal with Rimbach was cancelled and Mr. Vorburger, who had formerly been Assistant Treasurer, was made Advertising Manager. Out of each advertising dollar received by the Institute at the present time about thirty per cent is spent for printing and distribution, twenty-five per cent for sales (including office and clerical), and forty-five per cent remains as net income to the Institute.

When Mr. Vorburger was made Advertising Manager, a sliding scale of commissions was worked out for him whereby he would receive from one and one-half per cent to seven and one-half per cent on various increments of gross sales. At the present level of sales his gross income is approximately the same as that of other top staff officers. Additional sales will be in the seven and one-half per cent bracket and this is believed to be adequate incentive to sustain sales effort. Mr. Vorburger now has an assistant to help him with field coverage of our advertising prospects.

Figures indicate that our Advertising Department is now doing the best job it has ever done. New magazines are in the field and competition has become stiffer but we propose to continue our efforts to increase our advertising volume. We believe our sales and production costs are in line with experience elsewhere. It must always be remembered that our advertising revenue is dependent on the general economic picture and radical changes in that could seriously affect the Institute.

After the Secretary's statements there was some discussion by the Committee and it appeared to be the consensus that the management of our advertising should continue as at present.

8. AIP Salaries – Retirement Age – Pension Plan

It had previously been pointed out that the 1956 budget includes provisions for an increase in staff salaries of approximately ten per cent. Following previous custom, the Director and Secretary will continue from time to time to make such adjustments as are necessary in staff salaries except their own.

The Chairman said that he had discussed the above matter with the Director and that they had also discussed the adequacy of the present Institute pension plan and also the establishment of some policy regarding the age of retirement of staff members. He proposed that a committee be set up to investigate and report on these three matters and, hearing no objection, he named Philip Morse as chairman of the committee and indicated he would name the other members later.

9. Inclusion of Non-Scientific Material in “Soviet Physics – JETP”

The Director pointed out that the Russian-language journal of which "Soviet Physics – JETP" is a translation occasionally contains non-scientific articles such as biographies of prominent Soviet physicists, etc. Such articles may contain what appears to be propaganda and it has been questioned whether we should translate and publish such material. The National Science Foundation, which supports the project, has been questioned and their officials indicate they prefer to take no stand on the matter.

After some discussion by the Committee it was concluded that the subject should be left to the discretion of the Institute's Advisory Board on Russian Translations and to the Editor of "Soviet Physics – JETP".

10. AIP Housing Problem

The Secretary reviewed the present situation, saying that present pressure to do something seems to be greater from without than from within. There has been no great staff expansion recently and we can probably still find room for a few more by internal juggling. However, the Institute is in the center of a fast-moving real estate market with property being sold and new buildings going up on all sides. A firm offer of $250,000 was recently received for the Institute building. Still higher offers may be received but we also could find ourselves holding a small island, of limited value by itself, in the midst of skyscrapers. Selling the property at the price presently offered might then be difficult.

Following previous instructions of the Committee, the staff has made further investigation of the Columbia University area and has talked with the officers of the Watson Laboratory of IBM about their experience. Nothing promising in that area has turned up. Careful study has also been made of the property on 54th street belonging to the English-Speaking Union. A trade of properties has been proposed but the additional space which can be acquired there does not appear to be worth the cash difference asked for it.

From the discussion which followed it became evident that the Institute needs impartial expert advice and assistance and Mr. Zemansky made the following motion which was passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the staff be authorized to spend from $5,000 to $7,000 to hire an expert to find suitable housing for the Institute at a suitable price within New York City.

Before proceeding on the above authorization the Director suggested that an Institute housing committee be appointed to study the entire problem and that Mr. Mervin Kelly be asked to act as chairman. The Chairman agreed to this suggestion and indicated that he would appoint such a committee.

11. Dates for Annual and Governing Board Meetings

The following dates for future meetings were agreed upon,

Annual MeetingFebruary 25, 1956
Executive Committee MeetingMarch 23, 1956
Governing Board MeetingMarch 24, 1956

12. Election of New Associates

The Secretary reported that applications have been received from two potential Associates and it was moved and carried without dissenting vote that the following organizations should be elected Associates of the Institute:

  • International Telemeter Corp.
  • Advanced Development Div., Avco Manufacturing Corp.

Several suggestions were made by Committee members about other possible new Associates and these will be followed up by the staff.

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

On recommendation of the Director the following three men were appointed to three-year terms on the Editorial Board of JAP:

  • John C. Fisher, General Electric Company, Schenectady, NY
  • H. D. Hagstrum, Bell Telephone Labs., Murray Hill, NJ
  • B. E. Warren, Physics Dept., MIT, Cambridge, Mass.

On recommendation of the Director the following seven men were appointed to three-year terms on the Editorial Board of JCP:

  • C. F. Curtiss, Chemistry Dept., U. of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc.
  • G. Herzberg, Div. of Physics, Nat. Research Council, Ottawa, Ont., Can.
  • Henry Margenau, Yale University, Sloane Physics Lab., New Haven, Conn.
  • Donald S. McClure, RCA Laboratories, Princeton, NJ
  • Norman H. Nachtrieb, Chemistry Dept., U. of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
  • Robert G. Parr, Chemistry Dept., Carnegie Inst. of Tech., Pittsburgh, PA.
  • S. I. Weissman, Chemistry Dept., Washington U., St. Louis, Mo.

On recommendation of the Director the following six men were appointed to three-year terms on the Editorial Board of RSI:

  • George H. Bancroft, Consolidated Vacuum Corp., Rochester, NY
  • Casimer J. Borkowski, Oak Ridge National Lab., Oak Ridge, Tenn.
  • John DeWire, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Robert I. Hulsizer, University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill.
  • Raymond Pepinsky, Penn. State University, University Park, Pa.
  • Clayton A. Swenson, Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa

The Director reported that, on invitation of the Institute, the Member Societies had nominated the following men to the Editorial Board of PT. Their appointment was confirmed by the Executive Committee:

  • Frank Verbrugge, American Association of Physics Teachers
  • Karl K. Darrow, American Physical Society
  • Cyril Harris, Acoustical Society of America
  • Stanley S. Ballard, Optical Society of America
  • William Willets, Society of Rheology

The Director suggested that Clyde Hutchison be reappointed for another three-year term as Editor of JCP and the Executive Committee confirmed the appointment.

The Chairman suggested that three additional members of the Editorial Board of PT might be elected by mail ballot of the Institute members. The Committee appeared to favor this suggestion but it was finally agreed to hold the matter over for later consideration.

14. Election of Student Section – St. John’s University

The Secretary reported that a petition had been received for a student section at St. John’s University and that qualifications had been met. On motion made and carried the establishment of St. John’s University Student Section of the AIP was authorized.

15. 25th Anniversary Celebration

Plans for the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Institute were discussed informally at luncheon.

16. Appointment of Tellers for Election of Member-at-Large

With the approval of the Committee the Chairman appointed the two following men to act as tellers for the election of a member-at-large of the Governing Board:

  • Robert H. Randall, Physics Dept., CCNY, New York, NY
  • Philip W. Anderson, Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ

17. Pergamon Press’ New Journal, “Physics and Chemistry of Solids”

The Chairman stated his understanding that such a new journal was to be published by Pergamon Press. He said he understood it was to be a quarterly containing about 400 pages per year and that Harvey Brooks is to be the Editor. He understands it will be printed in four languages and that the American contribution will be from 100 to 200 pages per year.

18. Society of Biophysicists

The Secretary described correspondence he had had with Selle of UCLA and with Clifford V. Nelson of the University of Utah, and said that arrangements had been made to furnish a meeting room at our 25th Anniversary Celebration where a number of interested biophysicists. The Chairman stated that William J. Fry of the University of Illinois was interested and had talked to him about the meeting. It was the consensus that the Institute should be as helpful as possible to this new group but should not engage in proselyting.

19. Affiliation with AAAS

The Director said that the Institute’s Member Societies are affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science but there is no direct formal connection between the Institute and AAAS. He suggested that the Institute apply to become an affiliated society and the Committee approved such action.

20. Other Business

The Director questioned whether it should be the policy of the Institute to pay the traveling expenses of AIP-appointed members of committees of other organizations such as the American Standards Association. It was the consensus that the Institute should not pay such traveling expenses.

The Secretary stated that, as originally planned, arrangements are being made to continue the operation of the Physics Register and that the National Science Foundation has been requested to grant $10,000 to cover the operation for next year.

The meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.