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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

March 15, 1957

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

Absent: H. S. Knowles

Guests: Elmer Hutchisson; P. E. Klopsteg; R. B. Lindsay; H. D. Smyth

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

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m.

1. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of February 3, 1957, were approved as circulated.

2. Negotiations on Back Numbers with Johnson Reprint Corporation

The Secretary reported that Walter Johnson had reneged on his offer to purchase certain back numbers of JAP and RSI (Item 11, minutes of February 3, 1957) because he had found the inventory of various issues so different; there are than 1,000 copies of some old issues and he maintains that it is never good business for him to stock more than 250 copies of any back number. Within the past twenty-four hours, a new written proposal had been received from Johnson containing three offers, summarized as follows:

  1. $8,400 for the back stock of the two journals, up to and including 1949
  2. $9,700 for the back stock up to and including 1951
  3. $11,000 for the back stock up to and including 1953

The Secretary explained that the first offer above was the one which had previously been discussed with Johnson. Johnson proposed to take perhaps about half of the 125,000 copies offered and we would be obliged to destroy the rest. The Secretary said he still believed this would be a good deal for the Institute but was not yet prepared to recommend it definitely until it had been studied more fully. After brief discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the staff be authorized to sell back numbers of JAP and RSI to the Johnson Reprint Corporation if the transaction can be consummated on a basis which appears to be satisfactory to the Institute and with the understanding that the results will be reported to the Executive Committee at a later date.

The Secretary explained that, on several occasions, the Institute had sold Johnson the remaining copies of certain broken volumes. Just recently 1,929 copies of JCP (1938) and JAP (1933 and 1944) had been sold to Johnson for $2,448, twenty-five per cent off the regular back number price for the issues.

3. Appointment of Representatives to AAAS Council

The Director reported that, following authorization at the last meeting, he had requested nominations from various people and had read a list of those which had been suggested. Several other persons were suggested by Committee members and it was left to the Chairman to make his choice.

4. Report of AIP Delegate on AAAS Cooperative Committee on the Teaching of Science and Mathematics

The Director presented for examination a report of the activities of the Committee of which our representative, J. Buchta, is Chairman. The Director said he felt that the importance of the Committee’s work was indicated by the fact that the Committee had supervision of a grant of $300,000.00. The grant is not for the expenses of Committee members. Mr. Buchta has been submitting very modest expense accounts which have been paid by the Institute and the Director expressed the opinion that continuance of them was amply justified. No contrary opinions were expressed.

5. Proposal to the Fund for the Advancement of Education of the Ford Foundation

Following authorization given at the meeting of December 2, 1956, the Director said he had had further conversation with Mr. Eurich and on March 11, 1957, he had sent the Fund a proposal including a request for funds totaling $52,750.00. A letter dated March 13, 1957 had been received from Mr. Eurich granting the full amount requested and indicating that the funds would be made available on July 1, 1957. It is understood by the Fund that AAPT will participate in guiding the project.

The Director explained that the activities contemplated under this grant are really a part of those for which funds are being sought in our AIP Development Fund drive and therefore the Fund grant can be credited as a contribution to the Development Fund. The Director presumed that Mr. Mervin Kelly’s contacts with the Ford Foundation had been instrumental in helping to obtain the grant.

It was explained that the work to be done under the grant will require practically full-time employment of two physicists for a period of approximately one year, plus secretarial assistance, office expenses, etc. The activities to be undertaken were summarized as follows:

  1. Provide staff to expedite work of AAPT committees and various other committees working on improvement of physics education.
  2. Coordinate and stimulate various local groups working to encourage interest in science education.
  3. Extend cooperation of physics in science-wide operations of AAAS, NSTA, Science Manpower Commission, etc.
  4. Evaluate methods being used (television and films) to stimulate interest in physics and provide physics instruction in high schools.

After brief discussion of the above presentation, the following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the action taken by the Director be approved, that the grant of the Fund for the Advancement of Education be gratefully accepted, and that the staff be authorized to proceed to organize and execute the project.

6. Distribution of Executive Committee and Governing Board Minutes

The Secretary reported the practice which had been following in the past in distributing minutes and asked for direction on future distribution. The discussion which followed indicated that wide distribution through the official families of the Institute and the Member Societies was desirable. Recipients of minutes should bear in mind that some of the discussions and actions reported may be in connection with pending negotiations which should not be discussed outside the “family”. It was agreed that copies of both Executive Committee and Governing Board minutes should be sent to the following:

  • Members of the Governing Board
  • Members of the AIP Senior Staff
  • Officers of Member Societies including Presidents, Vice Presidents and/or Presidents Elect, Secretaries, Treasurers, and Editors

7. Engineers Joint Council

The Director reported that the Institute had been invited by EJC to name representatives to various committees and participate with other engineering and scientific societies in the Third EJC Nuclear Congress to be held in Chicago in March 1958. He explained that our limited participation in previous congresses had not appeared to be worthwhile to the Institute and he questioned whether the participation should be continued. After brief discussion the consensus appeared to be that the Institute should not join in the 1958 Congress.

8. Election of Associates

The Secretary reported that the following organizations had requested to become Associates of the Institute and, on motion, seconded and passed without dissenting vote, they were elected:

  • Smyth Research Associates
    3930 Fourth Avenue
    San Diego 3, California (suggested by R. B. Lindsay)
  • Aeronutronic Systems, Inc.
    1234 Air Way
    Glendale, California
  • Ansco Division
    General Aniline and Film Corporation
    Binghampton, New York

9. Commissions on Advertising Sales

The Secretary recalled that at a previous meeting (Item 7, minutes of December 10, 1955) he had explained the arrangement then in effect for paying Mr. Vorburger commissions on advertising sales. The unexpected flood of advertising in 1956 had resulted in unnecessarily high compensation for the Advertising Manager and he agreed that revision of the arrangement was proper. A new agreement had been made which includes an increase in base salary and a reduction of the commission to five per cent on gross advertising and exhibit income over $150,000.00. The Secretary said that Mr. Vorburger had done an outstanding job in building up advertising revenue and deserved to be adequately compensated for it. The new agreement should do so and it can be changed if necessary as the situation requires.

10. Future Meetings

The Chairman suggested it would be wise to set tentative dates for meetings of the Executive Committee for the balance of the year at about two-month intervals. He also said he intended to propose to the Board that it meet twice annually, the second meeting to be held in October. Various dates were discussed and a calendar prepared for presentation to the Board (calendar included in minutes of Board meeting of March 16, 1957).

The Chairman also said he intended to propose that notices of all Executive Committee meetings be sent to all Governing Board members and that they be invited to attend Executive Committee meetings whenever convenient. He said he did not feel that the Institute could afford to pay the transportation of all Board members to all Committee meetings but we should be able to pay the expenses of those who happen to be nearby and find it convenient to come. The Committee agreed with the Chairman’s proposal.

11. Review of Items on Agenda for Governing Board Meeting of March 16, 1957

The Committee then proceeded to discuss the items on the agenda for the following day’s meeting. Much of the discussion was repeated on the following day and is included in various items of the minutes of that meeting. Only the following discussions and actions are recorded in these minutes:

  1. AIP Development Fund

    Mr. Klopsteg reported on progress to date and said he was particularly concerned about the failure of individual Institute members to respond to the drive. To date slightly less than ten per cent of the members have contributed. He described plans for further solicitation which include more articles in “Physics Today”, a letter to all members, and conscription of friends of the Institute in various localities for personal solicitation of subscriptions.

    Mr. Klopsteg pointed out that industry subscriptions were also not up to expectations and he said he was also looking for people who would be willing to contact industrial organization from whom subscriptions should be expected. He expressed reasonable confidence that additional contributions of approximately $100,000 could be obtained from industry and individuals which, added to the $163,000 already obtained, would make approximately half of our $500,000 goal.

    It was pointed out that, through initial suggestion of Mr. Lindsay, the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Optical Society, and the Acoustical Society had all recently agreed to contribute ten per cent of their dues to the Development Fund and if all five Societies should make similar contributions the total from this source would amount to approximately $25,000.00.

    The possibility of contributions from Government agencies was then discussed and, although they cannot contribute funds to be used for building purposes, it had previously been ascertained that they are very much interested in our publishing activities and our programs for the improvement of physics education and can be expected to contribute to them. This is to be followed up by the staff.

  2. Progress on New Building

    Mr. Zemansky said that he and the Secretary had been making regular weekly visits to the new building and he described the progress to date. The new elevator is installed and operating and remodeling activities are increasing daily. If unexpected delays do not occur, the contractor believes the Institute should be able to move into the new quarters by June 1 or soon thereafter although some of the work will undoubtedly not be finished at that time.

    The Secretary explained that cuts had been made to bring the estimated cost down to approximately $300,000.00. No more exact figure can now be stated because additions and further cuts will both undoubtedly be made as the work progresses. The cost of moving and the minimum amount of new furniture required may add approximately $10,000.00. Architects and engineers fees will probably bring the total close to $350,000.00.

    In response to a question, the Secretary said it had been estimated that the new building would provide space for expansion of our present personnel by about fifty per cent without using the fourth floor which is now occupied by IBM. Including the fourth floor there should be room for a total of approximately 125. He pointed out that estimating the capacity in number of people is difficult because of the changing nature of the various operations.

  3. Establishment of Karl Tayler Compton Award

    The establishment of such an award had previously been discussed briefly. The Chairman said he had corresponded with George Harrison about it and Mr. Harrison had expressed enthusiasm and had agreed to contribute such information as might be necessary in preparing a medal. In further discussion of the subject by the Committee it was suggested that some wealthy friend of Dr. Compton might be persuaded to contribute not only enough to endow a medal but also to furnish our new Board room which might be named in honor of Dr. Compton. It was the consensus that this suggestion sounded promising and the Chairman indicated he had some ideas on the subject which he would follow up.

  4. Percentage of Dues to be Paid by Member Societies in 1958

    The Chairman said he had heard suggestions that the contribution should be less than the ten per cent which has been paid during recent years. However, there has been strong opinion in the past that ten per cent is a reasonable charge, that it gives the Member Societies a definite stake in the non-publishing activities of the Institute, and that it should be continued indefinitely. In view of the present need of the Institute for funds it was agreed that no change should be recommended and the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that the dues percentage to be paid by the Member Societies for 1958 be set at ten per cent (10%) of dues collected during 1957.

  5. Report of Nominating Committee

    Mr. Lindsay said that his Nominating Committee had completed its deliberations and had prepared a slate to be presented on the following day. He said that he would be unable to attend the Board meeting and that the slate would be presented by Mr. Birge.

  6. Appointment of Committees for Coming Year

    The existing committees and their membership were reviewed to determine which committees were to be continued and which had completed their assignments. Various suggestions were made and noted for later use.

The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.