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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

February 3, 1957

Members Present: Frederick Seitz, Chairman; A. V. Astin; S. A. Goudsmit; Eric Rodgers; R. A. Sawyer; M. W. Zemansky

Absent: H. S. Knowles

AIP Staff Present: H. A. Barton; Wallace Waterfall; M. M. Johnson

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

1. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of December 2, 1956, were approved as circulated with the following correction:

Iterm 12, Page 10 – Add sentence to indicate that the AIP and the National Science Foundation are jointly sponsoring the one-day symposium on “Science and Industry.”

2. Progress on New Building

The Secretary reported that the Institute had taken possession of the building at 335 East 45th Street on January 2, 1957, and installation of the new elevator had started on the same day. The general contractor is on the job starting demolition and will be responsible for care and maintenance of the building until remodeling is completed. Our agreement with the contractor is on the basis of cost plus a fixed fee of $15,000.00.

The original estimate on the cost of remodeling was $250,000 but subcontract bids obtained to date total $326,000.00. Various cuts are being made to reduce costs with the expectation that we can get the figure somewhere under $300,000.00.

The purchase price of the new building was $280,000, of which $30,000 had been paid before the closing. At the time of closing we gave the owners a check for $128,353.41 and assumed responsibility for mortgage of approximately $120,000 bearing 4.6 per cent interest. The mortgage is payable at the rate of $2,000 per quarter with the balance due in 1960.

A name for the new building was then discussed briefly. The Chairman said that Dean Pegram had proposed the name, “Physics Building”. Mr. Astin suggested “Physics Center”. It was agreed that the question should be left for consideration by the Governing Board at its meeting on March 16.

The Director reported that our one hope for obtaining the vacant lot next door had not materialized. It is still very desirable for the Institute to own the property but we must await future developments. The Chairman pointed out that in fifteen years or so we will probably again need more space and he urged that the Institute start planning to accumulate funds immediately so that we will not have to embark on another major fund-raising campaign.

3. Fund Raising Campaign

The Director reported that the original mailings to Institute members and to industries had been followed by articles in “Physics Today” and a follow-up mailing would be made within two weeks. The total received to date was approximately $120,000 of which approximately $35,000 was from individual physicists. These results are rather disappointing, particularly the contributions from individual physicists, and it is recognized that a “doorbell-ringing campaign” will have to be organized. Mr. Klopsteg is now preparing lists of prospects who have not yet contributed, both individual and corporate, and will ask friends of the Institute to call on these prospects for contributions. It was agreed that, at its next meeting, the Governing Board should be asked for suggestions and help in stimulating contributions.

Then followed considerable discussion of progress on the campaign to date and it was the consensus that there is little prospect of reaching our $500,000 goal by contribution from private sources. The Director reported that Mr. Klopsteg had anticipated this and had suggested Government agencies concerned with research might be persuaded to contribute as much as $200,000 over a three-year period to support the publication and education projects for which we seek funds. These Government departments recognize that the publication problems now confronting physicists stem from the large amount of research being financed by the Government. The Director said that the Secretary had made a trip to Washington to investigate the possibility of Government support and had returned optimistic about the prospects. The proper procedure appears to be to submit a package proposal to the National Science Foundation covering all of our non-building objectives and it appears probable that other Government agencies would be willing to transfer funds to NSF so that NSF could then make a grant to AIP for all of the projects.

The Director also reported that the President of the Acoustical Society had written to the Presidents of the other Member Societies to ascertain their plans about making contributions to the AIP Development Fund and had suggested a contribution equal to the ten per cent of dues payment. It was pointed out that this would amount to a total of approximately $24,000.00.

The Chairman emphasized the importance of operating the business of the Institute in such a manner that a fund of approximately one-half million dollars can be accumulated during the next fifteen years for future housing requirements. The Secretary said that the staff had been considering changing the Institute’s methods of cost accounting to take building costs into consideration. After some discussion of this, a motion was passed authorizing the staff to consult with expert accountants for the purpose of preparing a specific proposal for further consideration of the Committee.

4. AIP Pension Plan

The Secretary said that the Institute’s attorneys were working on the final draft of the plan preparatory to submitting it to the US Treasury Department for approval.

5. Report of Committee to Study Publishing Problems in Physics

The Chairman reported that the Committee had had its second meeting early in January and the Secretary distributed copies of a report of that meeting (copy attached). Then followed discussion of the report and of the many publishing problems facing the Institute.

Mr. Astin said he had heard some criticism of the motion passed at the last meeting of the Executive Committee which attempted to state the publication policy of the Institute (minutes of December 2, 1956, Item 8, Page 8). The objection had been that the motion as worded made it appear that the Institute was assuming primary responsibility for needed publications in the field of physics whereas many felt that this responsibility should lie in the Member Societies. With the understanding that the motion is to be referred to the Governing Board for approval before it becomes a part of Institute policy, Mr. Astin then suggested that the first sentence of the motion be modified so that the motion will read as indicated below. A motion to incorporate this modification was made and carried without dissenting vote.

MOVED that, in the implementation of the Institute’s purpose of aiding its Member Societies in the publication of scientific journals, it is its policy whenever it appears desirable for the advancement of physics

  1. To assist Member Societies in the publication of their journals.
  2. To assume full responsibility for such physics journals as the Member Societies request the Institute to sponsor.
  3. To initiate new physics journals which the individual Member Societies do not undertake.

During discussion of “The Journal of Chemical Physics”, the Director distributed copies of a proposed request to the National Science Foundation for a grant of $35,000 to cover the cost of printing the present backlog of approximately 1,500 pages (copy attached). After brief discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the suggested proposal for a grant of $35,000 to publish the present JCP backlog be presented to the National Science Foundation without delay.

As recommended by the Committee on Publishing Problems in Physics, the Executive Committee then passed the following motion without dissenting vote with the understanding that the proposed Policy Advisory Board should not be established without the consent of APS since a division of APS is involved:

MOVED that an Editorial Policy Board for “The Journal of Chemical Physics” be established to have as its Chairman, ex-officio, the Chairman of the Division of Chemical Physics of AOS and, as Executive Secretary, the Editor of JCP and with four other members of which two are to be selected by the Division of Chemical Physics and two by the AIP.

During the discussion of JCP it was pointed out that careful watch must be kept so that JCP does not accumulate a backlog in the future. Funds to publish the increasing number of papers submitted should be obtained by increasing the subscription price and by adding to the number of subscriptions. The staff was instructed to consider increasing the subscription price to $20 and to make every effort to increase circulation.

The proposed journal of fluid physics was then discussed. The Chairman said he had received further information from Mr. Frenkiel and believed that plans for the new journal were well in hand and that the Institute should sponsor it. However, he believed that the final decision on the subject should be made by the Governing Board and the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the proposal to publish a fluid physics journal be presented to the Governing Board, with the recommendation of favorable action, and with the understanding that the APS will be asked to join with the Institute in setting up a policy committee on the journal.

With favorable action by the Governing Board it is hoped that the first issue of the new journal can be dated January 1958 and that it will be ready for distribution during November or December of 1957.

The Secretary pointed out that his conversations with representatives of Government agencies in Washington had led him to believe that requests for financial support on publishing programs should be made as a package deal which would include the JCP backlog, the fluid physics journal, a journal of mathematical physics which is understood to be under discussion, vocational literature, and any other items having to do with physics publications or the improvement of physics education for which we are now seeking to raise funds. He said that representatives of Government agencies have expressed definite interest in the various items of such a package and he felt the package proposal should be submitted as soon as possible. Executive Committee members appeared to agree in principle with the idea of a package proposal but the consensus was that the package could not be developed until after the Governing Board meeting and that the request for a grant to cover the JCP backlog should be submitted immediately without waiting for preparation of the package.

6. Committee to Examine AIP Organization and Policies

The Chairman reported that this Committee had met twice and that Henry Smyth had been selected as Chairman. Mr. Seitz said that the Committee is endeavoring to a make a thorough study of Institute operations and that he had been questioned at some length on various subjects. The Committee is not yet ready to make any report. Mr. Seitz expressed the opinion that even members of the Governing Board do not have enough contact with Institute activities to realize their scope and importance and he believed that two meetings of the Board per year, instead of only as at present would be beneficial. The cost of a meeting of the Governing Board was estimated at approximately $1,200.00. After brief discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that two meetings of the Board be held each year, one in March and the other in October.

7. Appointment of Nominating Committee for Officers and Executive Committee

The Chairman stated that the bylaws do not prescribe the procedure to be used in selecting officers and members of the Executive Committee and that it had varied at different times. He stated that his term as a member of the Governing Board would end at the annual meeting but that he was willing to continue as Chairman if reelected under the provisions of the recent change in bylaws. He expressed the opinion that a Nominating Committee should be appointed to nominate a Chairman and members of the Executive Committee for the coming year. He indicated that he hoped for continuity in the Executive Committee and proposed to make recommendations accordingly to the Nominating Committee. After brief discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Chairman be authorized to appoint Messrs. Lindsay, Birge and Baird to serve as a Nominating Committee for the selection of officers and members of the Executive Committee for the coming year.

The Chairman pointed out that many important subjects will be on the agenda for the March meeting of the Governing Board and he suggested that all pertinent documents along with a copy of the agenda should be sent to all members of the Board at least a week in advance of the meeting.

8. Improvement of Physics Teaching – Staff Man

The Director reported that funds from various sources are expected to be available soon for the various projects contemplated. Two men are needed and efforts to date in finding men who were both suitable and available have been unsuccessful. The Director mentioned several new candidates who have been proposed and these were discussed and several new names added by members of the Executive Committee. Two of the candidates have indicated that they could come to Chicago for interview and it was agreed that the Chairman and the Secretary should meet them there during the latter part of February.

9. Proposal to the Fund for the Advancement of Education (Ford Foundation)

The Director indicated that there was nothing new to report on this subject. This is intimately linked with the previous item reported in these minutes and it is anticipated that the Ford Foundation will be willing to support the project if personnel can be found to handle it.

10. Oklahoma Symposium

The Secretary reported on a trip he had made to Oklahoma City on January 7 to discuss details of the proposed symposium with officers of the Frontiers of Science Foundation of Oklahoma, Inc. He reviewed a memorandum which had been sent to Messrs. Kelly, Waterman, Seitz and Klopsteg giving details of the program as they had been worked out with Dr. James Harlow, the new Executive Secretary of the Foundation. The Secretary said that arrangements with symposium speakers should be completed as soon as possible so that the Oklahoma people can start with publicity.

Chairman Seitz said he expected to discuss this subject with Dr. Kelly during the coming week. He said that he understood some of the proposed participants had accepted invitations but that others had declined and substitutes were being sought.

11. Proposal from Johnson Reprint Corporation

The Secretary reported that, in line with previous discussions (minutes of meeting of October 26, 1956), he had corresponded and met with representatives of Johnson Reprint Corporation in an effort to sell them approximately 75,000 copies of JAP and 50,000 copies of RSI, all more than seven years old and now held in inventory at Lancaster. He had suggested a price of twenty cents per copy for RSI and twenty-five cents per copy for JAP. Johnson had countered with an offer of twelve cents per copy for the whole lot. The Secretary said that our actual overprint cost for these copies had been figured to be something less than twelve cents per copy. He also said that the Institute’s annual net profit on sales from the lost we propose to dispose of amounts to less than $350 per year. If we can sell the whole lot for about $15,000, it would appear to be a good deal for the Institute and it would free some much needed space at Lancaster for use in setting up a more efficient reprint department. After a brief discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the staff be authorized to dispose of the above-mentioned copies of JAP and RSI to Johnson Reprint Corporation for twelve cents per copy.

12. New Editor for “Soviet Physics – JETP”

The Secretary reported that Mr. Robert Beyer had asked to be relieved as Editor before the coming fall. Mr. Beyer’s editorial operation at Brown University includes management of translation as well as Varitype composition of all material which is then sent to Edwards Brothers in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for printing by photo offset. The Secretary said that these facts had been presented to the Russian Translation Advisory Board at its meeting on January 29 and the various possibilities for future handling of JETP had been discussed. It appears to be difficult to find another editorial setup such as the one we have at Brown University. JETP might be given to Consultants Bureau which is handling the rest of our Russian Translation journals. Pergamon Institute has expressed interest in bidding on our Russian translation journals and that presents a third possibility. After considering these various possibilities the Advisory Board appeared to favor the Institute’s setting up the “Soviet Physics – JETP” operation in the Institute offices with a staff man in charge who could also be responsible for overseeing the full Russian Translation Program and maintaining contacts with the editors of the Russian journals.

The Secretary said that current costs of publishing JETP, including the operation at Brown appeared to be approximately $18 per Russian page. This is a little but not much higher than Consultants Bureau charges for the other Russian translation journals. Current circulation figures on the various Russian translation journals were given as follows:

Journal of Technical Physics122
Doklady – Physics Section138
Journal of Acoustics90
JETP772

Although circulation of JETP has been built up to a reasonably satisfactory figure, the other journals have not done so well. This is probably due to the fact that they are so new and every possible effort is being made to bring them to the attention of those who should be interested in subscribing.

Mr. Sawyer inquired about the Russian optic journal and the Secretary said that Consultants Bureau had ordered copies of it and information about the cost of translating it should be available soon.

A brief discussion followed during which several suggestions were made and the subject was left with the understanding that the AIP staff would investigate the various alternatives considered by the Advisory Board and report later.

13. Distribution of “Physics Today” to Retired Members of Member Societies

The Secretary reported that, since the last meeting, the staff had investigated the possibility of sending “Physics Today” to all retired members. It has been found that the total of such members amount to not more than 250 at the present time and that the Circulation Department can arrange to include them in their mailing of PT without too much difficulty. The cost was estimated at about $500 per year and it was the consensus of the Executive Committee that such distribution would be good public relations for the Institute. Accordingly, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the staff be authorized to proceed with the distribution of PT to all retired members of Member Societies.

14. Results of Election of Member-at-Large of the Governing Board

The Secretary reported that Brother Gabriel Kane and Mr. Charles W. Carter, Jr., appointed tellers for the election, had met at the Institute and counted votes for member-at-large. The Secretary presented the report of the tellers which indicated that 4,329 ballots had been received and that Elmer Hutchisson had received more votes than any other candidate. The results of the election are to be reported at the next annual meeting.

At 12:30 p.m. the Committee dismissed the Director, the Secretary and Miss Johnson in order to hold a short executive session to discuss progress on the selection of a new Director. At 1:00 p.m. the Committee recessed for luncheon and reconvened at 2:25 p.m.

15. Next Meeting

It was decided that the next meeting of the Executive Committee should be held at 1:30 p.m. on March 15, 1957, in the office of the Institute. The meeting of the Governing Board is to be held on the following day.

16. Representatives to ASME Committee to Develop Safety Codes on Reactor Hazards

The Secretary reported that the Institute had been invited to name a representative to the subject Committee and it was agreed that the matter should be referred to the American Physical Society with the request that they either name a delegate or recommend one for the Institute to name.

17. Appointment of Representatives to AAAS Council

The Director reported that the Institute had been accepted as an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and had been requested to designate two representatives to their Council. In response to a question, the Director said that he understands AAAS now has about 50,000 members and the Council consists of about 200 members. Several suggestions about representatives were made and the following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Chairman be authorized to appoint two representatives to the AAAS Council.

18. Membership in the American Council on Education

The Secretary reported that, following previous action by the Executive Committee (meeting of August 11, 1956), the Institute had been accepted for membership in ACE and it was now necessary to appoint representatives. The Director said that AAPT was being asked to nominate the representatives and those nominated would be designated as the Institute’s representatives.

19. New Editor for the “Journal of Applied Physics”

The Chairman reported that the following Committee had been appointed and is now working to select a successor to Mr. Robert Sproull:

  • M. H. Hebb, Chairman
  • D. S. Billington
  • C. S. Barrett
  • J. A. Krumhansl
  • S. O. Morgan
  • D. O. North
  • A. S. Nowick
  • Shirleigh Silverman
  • C. S. Smith (Case Institute of Technology)
  • Roman Smoluchowski
  • C. M. Zener

20. Treasury Department Examination

The Secretary reported that an examination of the Institute’s books had been made by a representative of the US Treasury Department for the purpose of determining whether some of the Institute’s activities should be taxed. It is understood that all scientific and technical societies either have been or are to be similarly examined because there have been some complaints about the advertising business of such societies conflicting with the business of private publishers. The Secretary said that a conference he and the Institute’s attorney had had with Mr. Burratt of the New York Office of the Treasury Department indicated that Mr. Burratt would report to Washington that he believed the Institute’s revenue from advertising should be taxed. It was pointed out that the maximum tax could be as much as fifty-two per cent of the net and that this tax could be imposed retroactively to 1951. In any case such taxation would seriously cut into the funds which the Institute now uses for publishing and the educational purposes stated in its charter and the Institute would be forced to go to Government agencies and others for funds to replace those taken away by taxation.

After some discussion of the seriousness of this situation, it was the consensus of the Committee that the problem should be presented to the National Science Foundation with a request for help either in obtaining favorable interpretation of existing legislation or proposing new legislation.

21. Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc.

The Secretary said that Atomic Industrial Forum is putting on a trade fair in New York City on October 28 and the Institute’s Advertising Manager has requested advice on the advisability of having a booth there. Messrs. Sawyer and Rodgers indicated they were familiar with the organization and the consensus appeared to be that a booth might be worth while for the display of our journals, etc. The staff was authorized to look into the matter farther and use its own judgment about the purchase of a booth.

The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.