Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics
Minutes of Meeting
December 14, 1957
Members Present: Frederick Seitz, Chairman; J. W. Beams; S. A. Goudsmit; W. C. Michels; R. A. Sawyer; M. W. Zemansky
Absent: A. V. Astin; H. S. Knowles
AIP Staff Present: Elmer Hutchisson; H. A. Barton; Wallace Waterfall; Mary M. Johnson
The Chairman called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.
The minutes of the meeting of October 20, 1957, were approved as circulated with the following correction: Item 9, Page 8, “Increase in Dues of Corporate Associates” – Paragraph 2, Line 8, should read: “leaving a net balance of only $106.50…”
2. Report of the Director
The Director distributed copies of an outline of selected AIP activities and commented in some detail on the various items. His report and the comments of Committee members may be summarized briefly as follows:
Publication Board Meeting
The Institute’s Publication Board met at Lancaster on December 6 and discussed publication schedules and the new Style Manual and enjoyed a tour through the various operations at Lancaster Press. The proposed contents of the new Style Manual were given particular attention.
Monotype Operator Bottleneck
Records on “The Physical Review” indicate that between 1936 and 1946 the elapsed time between the receipt of manuscripts by the Institute and the mailing of journals by Lancaster Press was from five to six weeks. Currently the elapsed time is from two to three months. Our total volume of printing has greatly increased but this should not cause lengthening of the schedule if there were enough monotype operators and if all operations involved were staffed to take the heavier load. Other printers than Lancaster and other publishers than the Institute appear to be experiencing similar difficulties. It appears that the William Byrd Press which is to print “The Physics of Fluids” for us can give us no better time schedule than Lancaster Press. Getting European monotype operators to come to this country has been offered as a solution but Lancaster Press believes substantial training would be necessary before they could handle the difficult composition in our journals. The “Photon” process of composition has been suggested as a solution but a recent quotation on that type of composition on a particular issue of JCP was $4,074 for a job on which Lancaster’s actual price was $2,782 and the quotation did not include the cost of plates. The Photon process may hold hope for the future but it is obviously not the immediate answer. Lancaster Press’ prices are substantially lower than those we have received from any other printer in this country based on any composing process and Lancaster’s work is generally regarded as excellent.
Study of Publishing Problems
Our study of the back number inventory problem is well started with Mr. Tober in charge and we hope to have a complete report before the middle of 1958.
Mr. Barton reviewed at length a proposal on which he has been working for a far reaching study of the problems involved in the printing and distribution of physics periodicals. Such a project would require considerable funds and additions to the Institute’s staff and the full proposal will be presented later.
Proposals have been made to the National Science Foundation for publishing English translations of the Russian Journals of Crystallography and Astronomy and these will be started as soon as funds are made available. Funds have also been requested for the continuation of the four translation journals which the Institute is now publishing. “Soviet Physics – JETP” now has almost enough subscriptions to make it self-supporting and special assistance has been retained by the Institute to promote the circulation of all translation journals. The Institute is taking no steps towards translating the Russian Optics journal until it receives a definite request to do so from the Optical Society.
Indexing and Retrieval
There are still problems in this field which should be tackled if and when the Institute has funds and time for the job.
Publishing of Books
The AIP “Handbook of Physics” has been very successful and plans for a revision are being started. Dwight Gray has agreed to continue as coordinating editor and arrangements are being made to see that he is properly compensated.
It has been proposed that the Institute might publish a research equipment directory. Such a directory might be of real service to physicists and to equipment manufacturers and might be profitable for the Institute. The Director said that a very capable editor would be necessary and that he would like suggestions and also an expression of opinion from Committee members about the desirability of such a directory. The consensus appeared to be that such a directory would be a worthwhile undertaking and several suggestions were made about possible editors.
McGraw-Hill has suggested that the Institute sponsor a handbook on solid state physics and the subject is being considered.
Public Information and Physics Promotion Activities
Public relations activities of the Institute are being divided into two categories as will be seen in the proposed budget for 1958. Public information activities will be handled by Mr. Kone, including contacts with the press on meetings of physics societies and on the Visiting Scientists Program. For assistance in planning new programs and for the preparation of promotional brochures, the Institute proposes to employ outside professional help.
Bruce Lindsay recently suggested that some way be found to support research in small colleges and thereby attract promising young physicists to such colleges. This problem is being considered and a proposal will be presented if and when it is formulated.
Manpower and Education
Provision has been made in the 1958 budget for “Physics Today” articles such as proposed by Mr. Kittel but he has been experiencing difficulties in obtaining the type of articles desired.
“Physics as a Career” is being revised typographically and should be ready for distribution early next year.
Greater emphasis should be put on the development and on the activities of Student Sections. Copies of PT and emblem pins are now being sent to members individually and we are considering a column in PT dealing with student activities. The Institute proposes to encourage all student physicists to become members of one or more of our Member Societies but, under our proposed new Bylaws, they may be members of a Student Section without Society membership. The Director proposed action to the effect that, when the new Bylaws go into effect, Student Sections be required to pay to the Institute $2.00 per year for each Section member who is not a member of one of the Member Societies. “Physics Today” would be sent to those Section members for whom $2.00 was paid, Section members who are members of Member Societies would automatically receive PT, and thus all Student Section members would receive PT. Accordingly, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote with the understanding that it would go into effect if and when the proposed new Bylaws are formally adopted:
MOVED that Student Sections be required to pay $2.00 per year to the Institute for each Section member who is not a member of one of the Member Societies and that “Physics Today” be sent to each Section member for whom such dues are paid.
The Director reported that Henry A. Barton had been elected President of the Scientific Manpower Commission. This is an appropriate recognition of Mr. Barton’s services to the Commission over a number of years and of the importance of physicists in the current shortage of scientific manpower.
3. Financial Statement for Third Quarter and Budget 1958
The Secretary distributed copies of a Balance Sheet showing the assets and liabilities of the Institute as of September 30, 1957. He also distributed a Statement of Income and Expense showing the budget for 1957, and a suggested budget for 1958. (Copies of all statements attached.) Mr. Astin had suggested that a Balance Sheet be presented with each quarterly Statement of Income and Expense and the one presented at this meeting was the first one in which our new building and its equipment had been shown as a capital asset. In discussing the liability side of the Balance Sheet, the Secretary pointed out that the Institute’s surplus really consists of the sum of the last four items on the Sheet beginning with “Reserve for building repairs and improvements”. At the September meeting the Secretary had estimated that the net worth of the Institute was approximately the value of its new building and fixtures, free and clear, plus approximately $50,000. The Secretary said that his previous estimate had been too conservative and had not taken into account the additions to surplus during the current year. From the Balance Sheet just presented it appears that the Institute’s net worth at the end of the third quarter was the value of its new building plus approximately $130,000.
The Secretary then proceeded to discuss the Income and Expense Statements and the proposed budget for 1958. Following is a summary of the principal points made, partly as a result of questions and comments by Committee members:
- Circulation of Institute journals continues to rise steadily and subscription income in 1958 should be higher than 1957 by approximately the amount indicated.
- Income from back number sales in 1957 and in 1958 will be higher than normal because of money received from Johnson Reprint Corporation for a large block of old numbers of RSI and JAP sold to them.
- The “Grants for publication” item includes part of the grant for the publication of the JCP backlog and the anticipated grant for “The Physics of Fluids”.
- Net income from advertising should be approximately $105,000 in 1957. Advertising during the last quarter has dropped off significantly. The drop has been mostly in “Help Wanted” advertising and it is difficult to tell what to expect in 1958. Increased advertising rates in RSI and PT should help offset the loss but indications are that the advertising net income in 1958 will be lower than in 1957 and the budget has been prepared accordingly.
- Income from dues of Corporate Associates has been budgeted higher for 1958 because of the dues increase from $250 to $350. We have assumed that we will retain all of our present Associates at the higher figure or get new ones to replace any that drop out.
- IBM has moved their offices from the fourth floor and the floor is now empty although IBM is committed to pay rent through 1958. The 1958 budget figure is based on the rent to be received from IBM but it is possible that the Institute may need that space and be able to charge it off to special projects.
- Income from special projects is substantially higher than budgeted for the current year and the budget for 1958 shows that income from this source is a significant part of the Institute’s total. We are now following the practice of crediting income from special projects on a quarterly basis rather than at the completion of the project. Income from special projects for which we have special grants as well as income from royalties on the “Handbook” and other books.
- The budget for printing and mailing in 1958 is based on the number of pages requested by each editor, on current printing and mailing prices at Lancaster Press which are expected to remain the same through most of 1958, and on the assumption that postal charges will not be increased in 1958.
- The item for salaries and office expenses under “Operations other than publishing” has been increased in the 1958 budget to provide for additional administrative help. The Institute’s staff and activities have grown rapidly to the point where we are understaffed administratively and some additions will have to be made.
- Public relations activities have been divided into two items in setting up the 1958 budget. $20,000 has been included for “Public Information Service” which represents a continuation of Mr. Kone’s activities. A new item called “Physics Promotional Activities” has been added to include the employment of an outside consultant to help formulate and carry out certain programs as outlined by the Director. For this second item $15,000 has been included in the 1958 budget. The sum of these two items is somewhat more than the $30,000 which, at the last meeting, the Executive Committee authorized for inclusion in the 1958 budget for expanded public relations programs. This additional money is needed for the work in mind and the over-all budget figures for 1958 appear to make this allocation of additional funds possible.
- Although $20,000 had been budgeted for a “Physics Educational Program” in 1957, only approximately $300 of that money had been spent by the end of November. This was due to the fact that special grants have been received for the various projects included in the program and the cost of our activities has been charged to these grants. It appears desirable however to set aside $15,000 for future projects in this field. The Ford Foundation gave us a grant of $15,000 to be used for this purpose over a five year period. We propose to place our $15,000 along with the Foundation’s $15,000 in a special fund for future activities of this kind.
- The Institute’s new building and fixtures are being depreciated at the rate of approximately $28,000 per year and this account for some of the increase indicated in our operating costs. The distribution of these costs and of the Institute’s administrative overhead is being made on a basis as favorable as possible to Member Society journals.
- In 1957 JCP will publish 228 more pages than budgeted and the backlog has been pretty well taken care of. The $35,000 grant from NSF for publishing the backlog was based on 1500 pages. The $5,300 which we have credited as income from the grant in 1957 represents 228/1500’s of the total grant.
- Since the JAP budget was prepared we have learned that the editor may have an additional 150 pages I 1958 because of the special conference issue. However, we expect to derive additional income from that issue so the over-all budget for JAP for 1958 should be approximately correct.
- The net deficit for PT for 1957 will be approximately $6,000. For next year it is budgeted at approximately $18,000 due partly to additional anticipated expenses for special articles.
Following the above explanations and discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:
MOVED that the budget for 1958 be adopted as presented.
4. AIP Pension Plan
The Secretary reported that the new Pension Plan had gone into effect on December 1. The insurance policies had been turned over to the trust company which handled the funds under the new Plan. The Secretary recalled that it had taken a year longer than anticipated to get the new Plan into effect and that it had been originally planned to start Fund A in December 1956 and Fund B in December 1957. Because of the year’s delay, the staff felt that both Funds A and B should be started on December 1, 1957 and to effect this an amendment to the new Plan is necessary. The Secretary then read the proposed amendment as prepared by the attorney (copy attached to official minutes) and, after a brief discussion, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:
MOVED that the resolution amending our Amended Retirement Plan so that Fund B becomes effective December 1, 1957, be adopted.
In response to a question, the Secretary stated that the new Pension Plan would cost the Institute approximately $18,500 for the year December 1, 1957 to November 30, 1958, including group insurance and Trustee’s fee. The old Plan cost approximately $12,000 last year with four less employees under the Plan than we will have this year. The Secretary also reported that the Pension Committee would have its first meeting during the following week to establish policies for the handling of various details.
5. Authorization for Bank Accounts
The Secretary explained that it was desirable to make some changes in our banking arrangements because of our new location and because of the changes in Retirement Plan. He recommended that a payroll account be opened in the nearby Chase Manhattan Bank and that a special account be opened at Bankers Trust Company in the name of the Pension Committee for the handling of Pension Plan funds. He explained that all banks require the adoption of specially prepared resolutions in order to open accounts. The following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:
MOVED that such resolutions as are required by the Chase Manhattan Bank and the Bankers Trust Company for opening the above-mentioned accounts be adopted.
The Secretary stated that the old Bankers Trust account in the name of the Pension Trustees was no longer needed and it would be closed.
6. Appointment of Editorial Boards for RSI, JAP and JCP
The director distributed a list containing the names of those who had been nominated by the editors of the respective journals for three-year terms on the editorial boards of the journals. After brief discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:
MOVED that the following be appointed members of the editorial boards of the journals indicated for three-year terms ending December 31, 1960:
The Review of Scientific Instruments
- William W. Beeman – University of Wisconsin
- Mark Inghram – University of Chicago
- Edward E. Miller – University of Wisconsin
- Leon S. Nergaard – R.C.A. Laboratories
- Gilbert J. Perlow – Argonne National Laboratory
- Robert L. Schoenfeld – Rockefeller Institute
- James H. Sturdivant – Crellin Laboratory
The Journal of Chemical Physics
- Harry C. Allen, Jr. – National Bureau of Standards
- Robert H. Cole – Brown University
- Arthur A. Frost – Northwestern University
- George D. Halsey – University of Washington
- Joseph E. Mayer – University of Chicago
- William Moffitt – Harvard University
- Frederick Seitz – University of Illinois
Journal of Applied Physics
- J. H. Crawford – Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Arthur Kantrowicz – AVCO
- A. F. Kip – University of California
7. New Corporate Associate
The Secretary reported that Farrand Optical Company, Incorporated had requested to become a Corporate Associate of the Institute and, on motion duly carried, the request was granted.
8. AIP Development Fund
The Director reported that a new brochure explaining the Institute’s activities had been prepared and distributed to the entire membership in a final effort to increase individual contributions to the Fund. As a result we have received 615 additional pledges for a total of $7,900. We have also been told that we are to receive a $7,500 contribution from U.S. Steel Foundation. Contributions not total about $277,000, and it is possible that we may come close to $300,000 by the end of the year. We are particularly anxious to see a higher percentage of our members contribute.
The Director also told about a luncheon he had attending in Connecticut which had been arranged by Mr. Fusfeld of American Machine & Foundry Company. The purpose of the luncheon was to give the Director an opportunity to present the Institute’s fund-raising story to a number of industrial leaders. The Director said he had learned from the meeting that it is about as easy to sell a corporation on continuing contributions on an annual basis as on a single contribution. This indicates we should continue to work for more Corporate Associates and perhaps increase dues.
9. Committee on Publishing Problems in Physics
“The Physics of Fluids”
The Secretary reported that William Byrd Press had been selected as the printer for this journal and that the first issue should appear about the end of January. The Air Force has indicated that we may receive a $32,000 contract to subsidize this journal about the first of February.
Proposed Journal of Mathematical Physics
The Director reported that no decision had been reached by AEC on our request for funds to support this journal.
Future of the Committee
Mr. Barton had spoken on this subject under item 2 of the agenda. He said he felt the Committee needed staff help if it was to be successful with its major problems and he was now working on plans to that end.
10. Evacuation Area for AIP
The Chairman recalled the brief discussion on this subject at the last meeting and said he felt the Institute should take steps to locate some place considerably removed from large population centers which could be used as an emergency headquarters for the Institute. Some college would be satisfactory and we should have facilities for storing some of our more important records and also modest printing equipment. A number of suggestions were made and the staff was instructed to explore the various possibilities and report at the next meeting.
11. Proposed Changes in AIP Constitution and Rules
The Secretary reported that he had received formal notice that the proposed new Constitution had been approved by the Acoustical Society, the Society of Rheology and the Optical Society. Several members of the Committee indicated that the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers would probably approve the Constitution in January or February.
12. Status of Advisory Committee for Physics to the National Bureau of Standards
The Secretary reported that he had received a copy of a letter from Mr. Astin to Mr. Lindsay explaining a new set-up whereby the operation of the various Advisory Committees to NBS would be organized and operated by the National Research Council. The Chairman said he had been led to believe that the general organization would not be changed greatly.
13. Appointment of Nominating Committee for Officers and Executive Committee
It was pointed out that, at the Board meeting in March, 1958, the Board should elect certain officers and an Executive Committee. After brief discussion it was agreed that the following nominating committee should be appointed to present a slate at the March Board meeting:
- Raymond T. Birge, Chairman
- R. R. Palmer
- I. C. Gardner
The Chairman said he would prepare a letter to be sent to the members of the Nominating Committee advising them of the slate required.
14. Appointment of Tellers
The Secretary reported that deadline for the receipt of ballots for the election of a member-at-large to the Governing Board would be December 31 and that tellers should be appointed to count the ballots. It was agreed that Mr. Hugh Wolf should be asked to name two local members to act as tellers.
15. Next Meeting
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Executive Committee should be held at the offices of the Institute on Sunday, February 2, beginning at 10:00 am. (Meeting subsequently canceled.)
There was some discussion about planning meetings of the Executive Committee and Governing Board. Since we have adopted the policy of having two Governing Board meetings each year, it was agreed that these meetings should be planned so that the Institute and the Board members can gain the most from them. It was suggested that the agenda for the March meeting of the Governing Board be discussed at the next Executive Committee meeting.
16. Report of the Director (continued)
a. Physics Teaching
The Director called attention to the various special projects in this field which are being conducted by the Institute and AAPT. The Visiting Scientists Program is progressing nicely. About 106 colleges have signed up for this year and a request has been sent to NSF for funds to continue the Program for next year and also for an additional program for high schools. The Director distributed copies of the second issue of the “AIP Newsletter” which is now being sent to about 600 heads of physics departments, industrial companies, secondary school representatives, and heads of committees active in this field. We expect to increase the distribution to about 1,000.
At the last meeting of the Governing Board, Mr. Baird spoke of a plan to provide research and instructional apparatus to colleges through the help of foundations. The Director said there had been several discussions of this subject and the role the Institute might play. Recommendations will need to await further developments.
The Director explained that the Institute receives requests for information about the design of physics laboratories and lecture rooms and should be in a position to supply such information. This would probably involve the accumulation and distribution of blueprints and specifications. An AAPT committee is studying the problem and the Institute may be asked for help.
One of the projects on which we are now working is the evaluation of films as a means of teaching physics. Mr. Gale is making good progress on this and we are to receive a complete set of the 162 films put out by Encyclopedia Britannica which are to be reviewed by representatives of AAPT. This may be the first step in building up a film library at the Institute.
Mr. Barton said he had been giving some thought to the teaching of physics in the elementary grades and he felt that this possibility should be explored. He is working closely with the AIP Educational Advisory Committee.
17. New AIP Medal
The Chairman said he felt that the Karl Taylor Compton Medal had met with general approval and he believed that the Institute might well have another medal for outstanding service in physics. This subject was discussed briefly by various members of the Committee and the opinion was expressed that it should be possible to get some corporation to endow an appropriate medal when plans for it were developed. Mr. Michels was asked to give some thought to the subject and to report back to the Committee.
The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.