Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics
Minutes of Meeting
September 30, 1958
Members Present: Frederick Seitz, Chairman; W. S. Baird, R. H. Bolt; J. W. Buchta; S. A. Goudsmit; R. A. Sawyer
Absent: J. W. Beams; W. C. Michels
AIP Staff Present: Elmer Hutchisson; H. A. Barton; Wallace Waterfall; Mary M. Johnson
The Chairman called the meeting to order at 9:10 a.m.
The minutes of the meeting of June 7, 1958, were approved as circulated.
2. Financial Matters
Financial Statement for First Six Months 1958
The Secretary called attention to copies of the financial statement which had been distributed (copy attached) and said that a great deal of thought had been given to the projection to the end of the current year. Because of many recent changes in our operations and also because of the many new and proposed special projects it is very difficult to project with accuracy. The Secretary then proceeded to explain the various items on the statement in some detail. Following is a brief summary of comments made or brought out by discussion:
Business conditions have generally improved since the first of the year and prospects for more advertising for the second half of the year are good. We should end the year with net income from advertising somewhat better than budgeted but it is difficult now to say how much.
Increased Printing Prices
Lancaster Press’ labor negotiations now in process indicate that our over-all printing prices will be raised by an average of about 10%. The new labor rates will be retroactive to September 1 but it has been agreed that we will be charged the new prices beginning with the November journals. These new prices have been considered in our projection to the end of the year.
“The Review of Scientific Instruments”
It appears that RSI will show a loss at the end of the year of about $4,000 instead of a net income of $6,000 as budgeted. Part of this difference is due to increased costs and part to an error we made in budgeting by not taking into account the new large paper size and better paper.
“The Journal of Chemical Physics”
JCP is expected to show a year-end income of approximately $9,000 less than budgeted. This is due mostly to increased expenses for editorial management and editorial mechanics. JCP manuscripts are proving to be more difficult than the manuscripts of any other journal processed by our Editorial Department.
“Journal of Applied Physics”
JAP is expected to show an income of approximately $9,000 for the year but this is about $10,000 less than budgeted. This is due almost entirely to the large magnetism issue last spring which means that the journal will carry approximately 175 more text pages than budgeted. Some additional advertising revenue can be credited to that issue.
Income and expense of PT is about on target. If the anticipated net income from PT advertising during the year is credited to the anticipated cost of the journal, the real net cost of PT to the Institute during the year will be approximately $18,800 which is approximately 90 cents per member receiving it. This is higher than last year’s figure but still within the $1.00 per member figure which we have previously considered as justifiable.
“The Physics of Fluids”
We anticipate breaking even on PT but whether or not we will do so will depend upon interpretation of our Air Force contract by auditors. The fact that subscription income has been so much higher than budgeted should help us break even.
The general statement of Institute income and expense reflects the fact that anticipated income from Institute-owned journals is less than budgeted for the year. One saving feature is the high anticipated income from special projects which will probably be at least $20,000 more than budgeted. This possibility was mentioned earlier in the year and it is quite possible that the income from this source may be even greater than projected if we receive all of most of the grants now requested. It should be pointed out that such income from special projects is not really net income to the Institute but is our overhead on special projects which is credited to the general income of the Institute and helps bear the cost of administrative time which is actually spent on special projects.
At the end of the first quarter of this year we showed an over-all loss for the Institute of approximately $6,000.00. The end of the first six months shows an over-all income of a little better than $6,000 and we have projected an income for the end of the year of about $9,000.00. This is considerably less than the $26,000 budgeted income for the year but it is on the right side of the ledger. Considering that our income and expenses run well over a half million dollars and also the uncertainties involved in our present operations, this deviation from budget is not excessive.
The balance sheet shows that the Institute has a very strong cash position, approximately $400,000.00. It must be remembered, however, that these are mostly funds collected in advance for special services which we yet have to perform. The real net worth of the Institute at the end of the half year consisted of our new building and equipment plus the land on which it stands and the newly purchased lot next door minus approximately $30,000.00.
AIP Investment Policy
The Secretary recalled that, at the last meeting, it had been recommended that the Treasurer give thought promptly to investing reserve funds of the Institute in securities where there is a possibility of appreciation. The Secretary said he had given much thought to the matter in the meantime, had examined a number of trust funds and had also discussed investments with Bankers Trust Company officials in connection with their investment advisory service. He was not yet prepared to make definite recommendations but wished to discuss his thinking with members of the Committee and plan to present a definite recommendation at the Executive Committee meeting on October 26.
As pointed out above, the Institute’s real net worth at the present time is all invested in real estate which, if the choice has been good, should be as good a way of floating on the economy as investing in equities. The large amount of money which the Institute holds really does not belong to the Institute. Our balance sheet shows an accumulated income or surplus of about $41,000 plus a building replacement reserve of about $30,000 which might be invested in equities but these funds are more than offset by the $116,000 mortgage on our property on which we are paying 4.6% interest and which is payable by May 1, 1960. We have been following the policy of putting temporarily unneeded cash in savings accounts and Government securities which give us a return averaging a little less than 3%. In view of this situation is it prudent for us to invest any of our funds in equities?
Bankers Trust Company has an investment advisory service for which they charge a fee of ½ of 1% on the first $500,000 with a minimum fee of $1,000 per year. If the Institute wished to invest in common stocks or in preferred stocks or bonds according to some specified formula, the Secretary expressed the opinion that it might be well to contract for this investment advisory service.
The consensus of the Committee appeared to be in sympathy with the Treasurer’s conservative approach toward AIP investments.
Offer of AIP Mortgage to Member Societies
The Secretary reminded the Committee that Treasurers of some Member Societies have indicated an interest in investing some of their surplus funds in the mortgage on the Institute building. The Institute’s attorney has indicated that arrangements could be made whereby various Member Societies could take over as much of the mortgage as they wished. On June 30, 1958, the principal amount of the mortgage was $116,280.06. The Institute makes payments of $2,000 quarterly which include interest at 4.6% and some payment on principal. The principal may be prepaid without penalty any time after May 10, 1959, and the entire amount is payable May 1, 1960, at which time the unpaid principal will be about $108,000.00. The Secretary recommended that action be taken to permit offering the mortgage to Member Societies and the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:
MOVED that the staff be authorized to offer Member Societies the opportunity of taking over the mortgage on the Institute building.
Internal Revenue Service Investigation of AIP
The Secretary recalled a previous report to the Committee that the Internal Revenue Service was investigating the Institute’s tax return for the year 1954. This was apparently in connection with a general investigation of the advertising income of such tax-exempt organizations as the Institute. The Secretary said that the Institute had received a letter on July 14 from the New York District Director to the effect that the investigation was closed and the tax-exempt status of the Institute was reaffirmed. The Institute’s attorneys take this to mean that the whole investigation is being dropped.
Effect of New Postal Rates
The Secretary reported that investigation of the new postal regulations indicates that the second class rates on our journals will not be increased. We will have to pay the new higher rates on first class mail.
Mr. Sawyer said he understood some part of the new postal regulations permitted typed manuscripts, including handwritten corrections, to be mailed at a rate less than first class and suggested that the Institute staff look into it.
3. Institute Committees
Advisory Committee on Corporate Associates
The Director distributed a suggested list of members of the AIP Advisory Committee on Corporate Associates which contained the following names:
- C. G. Suits, Chairman
General Electric Company
- W. O. Baker (or J. B. Fisk)
Bell Telephone Laboratories
- Robert W. Cairns
Hercules Powder Company
- Edmund Claxton
Armstrong Cork Company
- H. Gershinowitz
Shell Development Company
- A. B. Kinzel
Union Carbide Corporation
- Hugh S. Knowles
Industrial Research Products
- E. R. Piore
International Business Machines Corp.
- R. C. Sebold
There were no objections to the names on the above list and the Committee was appointed as recommended.
- C. G. Suits, Chairman
Committee to Designate Student Sections
The Bylaws of the Institute provide for a Committee to Designate Student Sections and, on recommendation of the Director, a motion was passed designating the following as the AIP Committee to Designate Student Sections:
- H. A. Barton
- Elmer Hutchisson
- W. C. Kelly
AIP Representative on Science Manpower Commission
Upon motion made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote Henry A. Barton was named to succeed himself as an AIP representative on the SMC for a three-year term to expire December 31, 1961.
Policy on Payment of Travel Expenses of AIP Committee Members
The Director explained that there had been some uncertainty about payment of travel expenses for committee activities. He recommended that the formal action authorizing the establishment of a committee should also authorize the payment of travel expenses if that is intended and committee members should be so notified at the time of their appointment. If travel expenses are not so authorized it is understood that they are not to be honored. Accordingly, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:
MOVED that the staff be authorized to pay travel expenses of AIP committee members only if such expenses have been specifically authorized in the action establishing the committee.
4. Institute Membership Matters
Affiliate Society Application of FIER
The Secretary read an application for Affiliate Society membership in the Institute from the Foundation for Instrumentation Education and Research, Inc. The Director explained that this organization is a non-profit corporation which receives funds from instrument exhibits and uses them for scholarships and professorships. Cuthbert C. Hurd is President of FIER and the board is composed of such men as Allen V. Astin, Elmer Hutchisson, Augustus B. Kinzel, Gordon S. Brown, and others. The Secretary reported that FIER had indicated an interest in having a small office on the fourth floor of the Institute’s building for their staff of two people. They had been offered such space, without any commitment as to the length of time they can occupy it, for $1,500 per year including telephone and mail service. This was authorized by action of the Executive Committee on June 7, 1958.
It was moved, seconded and passed without dissenting vote that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that FIER be approved as an Affiliate Society of the Institute.
Prospective Associate Member or Member Societies
The Secretary reported correspondence with the American Crystallographic Association which indicated that association is interested in becoming an Associate Member Society and may submit an application late in October. A question had been raised about whether we would take into consideration the overlapping membership with our present Member Societies in levying the tax of 75 cents per member. It was the consensus of the Executive Committee that any attempt to consider such overlapping membership would lead to many complications and could not be considered.
The Secretary reported that no further word had been received from the Society of Biophysicists.
The Director reported correspondence with the American Astronomical Society in which that organization had inquired about becoming a full Member Society rather than an Associate Member Society. They have about 850 members. It appeared to be the consensus of the Committee that AAS should be acceptable either as a Member Society or an Associate Member Society. It was recalled that the discussion in the Governing Board at the time the new Bylaws were being formulated contemplated that new Institute Member Societies would most probably come from among the Associate Member Societies.
Corporate Associate Members
The Director reported that, at a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Corporate Associates on August 1, it was suggested by Committee members that we discontinue giving free subscriptions to Institute journals to Corporate Associates. By so doing we would probably lose a few Corporate Associates and some subscriptions to our journals but our net from Corporate Associate dues should be greater. It was pointed out by members of the Advisory Committee that decisions regarding corporate membership in an organization such as the Institute are usually made by top research and administrative officers whereas journal subscriptions are handled by librarians and decisions on these two matters are not closely related in most companies. The Director recommended that the staff be authorized to discontinue complimentary journal subscriptions for 1959 if further discussion of the subject at the Corporate Associates meeting on October 28 develops no important opposition to the idea.
Then followed general discussion of Corporate Associate dues in which it was suggested that dues of less than $350 per year might attract a number of small companies and that we might consider scaling dues to the size of the company. It was also suggested that we consider offering block subscriptions to all Institute journals to Corporate Associates only at some special rate. The Director agreed that these and other suggestions would be brought up for consideration of the Advisory Committee. Following the discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:
MOVED that the staff be authorized to discontinue sending complimentary subscriptions to Institute journals to Corporate Associates if this action appears to be wise after the meeting of Corporate Associates on October 28.
First Annual Meeting of Corporate Associates – October 28, 1958
The Director distributed copies of a tentative program for the meeting. The meeting is to start at 9:30 a.m. and will end with a luncheon. Both the meeting and luncheon will be on the fourth floor of the Institute building and an attendance of something over 100 Corporate Associates and prospective Corporate Associates is expected. After a welcoming address by Chairman Seitz there is to be a panel discussion led by C. Guy Suits, Chairman of the Advisory Committee. The panel Discussion is to be followed by reports from staff members on the work of the Institute in the fields of publications, public relations and educational activities. The Director will end this part of the program with a talk about future plans of the Institute. Following the luncheon Mr. Chauncey Starr will give his observations on the Second International Conference on Atomic Energy at Geneva.
Some doubts were expressed by Committee members about getting so much program in so little time. The Director realized that the schedule would be tight and indicated that changes would be made if it appeared to be necessary.
New Corporate Associate
The Secretary reported that Airborne Instruments Laboratory, Inc., had requested to become a Corporate Associate of the Institute and on motion duly made and carried it was elected.
5. Institute Property Matters
Lease of Vacant Lot
The Secretary reported that the Marbeck Parking Corporation lease on our adjacent vacant lot expires at the end of 1958 and the lessee has asked for a new five-year lease at the same rental, $3,600 per year. A new lease has been drawn for a period of five years but providing for cancellation on six months’ notice. If cancelled before three years the Institute would be required to pay a prorate share of the $2,500 which the lessee is spending on improvements. Taxes on the property are approximately $2,800 per year which leaves a small net to the Institute but there is an advantage in leasing the property since the city requires that the property be kept clean and nuisance-free and this is the responsibility of the lessee. The lease also provides that the lessee shall pay the difference if taxes exceed the rental. The Institute’s attorney has advised that the lease should be approved by the Governing Board and the Secretary suggested that the Executive Committee recommend the lease to the Governing Board. After brief discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:
MOVED that the Executive Committee approve the proposed lease (copy attached to official minutes) of the premises 339-341 East 45th Street, New York, New York, with Marbeck Parking Corporation in the form presented to the meeting and recommends that its execution by the Institute be authorized by the Governing Board.
Repairs and Remodeling on Fourth Floor
In connection with remodeling of the building no work was done on the fourth floor. It has been known that heating on that floor was inadequate and also that some waterproofing of walls and redecorating of the interior would be necessary. This work has now been done at a cost of approximately $4,700 and the Education Department has been moved to the fourth floor.
Purchase of New Equipment
The Secretary recalled that previous reports have been made about progress in modernizing our circulation handling equipment. Conroy Smith & Co., our auditors, have been working on systems for us which we hope will greatly improve our operations. Our chief aim is to be able to do a better job with fewer errors and we also hope for some economies after the new systems are in operation. No decisions have yet been reached on the full program but we have purchased approximately $5,600 worth of new automatic filing equipment which promises to save its cost in two years.
Long Range Plans for Building on Vacant Lot
The Secretary recalled that the Committee had previously been shown sketches indicating various possibilities for using our vacant lot for expansion of our office space. It was recently suggested that the Institute might find it very desirable to have a small auditorium which could be used for Institute meetings as well as meetings of other organizations. Acting on this suggesting the staff had asked the Institute’s architect to prepare rough sketches to determine whether it would be possible to build a 500-seat auditorium on our 41’ X 100’ lot and the Secretary presented the sketches which had been prepared.
In the discussion which followed it was pointed out that the construction of such an auditorium would cost in the neighborhood of $600,000 and that it might be possible to obtain a gift from someone to cover the cost. Consideration would also have to be given to the possibility of incorporating the auditorium into a larger office building which we might wish to build on the site. Mr. Bolt said that experience at MIT had shown that a smaller auditorium would have more uses and suggested that we consider one having a seating capacity of about 250. It was emphasized that this is merely one of the possibilities to be considered in the future development of our property and much further study is necessary before any conclusions can be reached.
6. Program Activities
The Secretary said he was happy to report that all journals except PR are now approximately on correct time schedule. Editors seem to have a habit of increasing the size of issues late in the year and this plus indexes may throw us behind schedule at year-end but we hope to have all 1958 journals except PR our before the end of January. The lateness of PR is causing us much concern and it may be necessary for us to close the Institute’s books for 1958 before all of the 1958 issues of PR are published. We have advised the officers of APS accordingly.
The Director reported that AEC had turned down our proposal for a grant to cover the publication of a journal of mathematical physics. The same proposal has been submitted to NSF but no word has been heard on it yet.
The Editor of JCP again seems to have accumulated some backlog of papers and believes his budget for the current year should be raised from 2,800 pages to approximately 3,000 pages. The Director said he was opposed to this because it would mean two very large issues just at year-end when our facilities are most congested. He recommended that we hold to a 2,800-page budget for this year and increase the page budget for 1959 so that the backlog can be worked off in the early months of that year. Chairman Seitz expressed disappointment that JCP should have any backlog and said he felt that keeping up to date was necessary if the journal is to build the circulation he hopes for it. No action was taken to change the JCP page budget for 1958.
The Director presented some tentative estimates for 1959 which indicated that JCP, JAP and RSI together would show a loss to the Institute of nearly $25,000 next year based on present information about costs, page budgets, and income at present rates. Exact budgets for these journals will not be available until December but action should be taken immediately to reduce this loss as much as possible. He recommended that the publication charge on JAP and RSI be raised immediately from $15 to $25 per page. It was pointed out that it is too late to increase prices on renewal subscriptions for 1959 but action could be taken to increase the price of new subscriptions received after January 1 and the Director recommended higher subscription prices for all three journals on such new subscriptions.
Then followed considerable discussion of the recommendations made by the Director. Concern was expressed about the effect of the higher subscription prices on the circulation of the journals. Lowering the circulation of our advertising journals may affect our advertising income. It was also suggested that subscription prices of our journals might be based on reader interest rather than on number of pages and cost but it was apparent that this would produce additional problems. At the conclusion of discussion the following motions were made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:
MOVED that the publication charge for JAP and RSI be raised from $15 to $25 per page, effective with the January 1959 issues.
MOVED that the following prices be set for all new subscriptions received after December 31, 1958:
Member Non-Member JCP $18 $25 JAP 12 14 RSI 9 11
The meeting recessed for luncheon from 12:30 to 1:55 p.m.
The Director reported that, on June 26, 1958, the National Science Foundation had granted the Institute $29,700 for the support of “A study of the physics publishing problem” for a period of approximately eighteen months. Together with the AEC grant on this general subject, funds are now available for two years’ operation. It is planned to use these funds to conduct a research project concerned with the problems, difficulties, and ways generally to improve communications between physicists.
The Director said that he had been looking for a suitable man to head the project and he named a candidate who had been interviewed and appeared to be suitable. He explained that negotiations were in progress to employ him. Then followed discussion among Committee members about the scope of the project. It was emphasized that this is necessarily a long-range program in which we must take advantage of all information collected by others who are studying the problem. It is impossible to say in the beginning just what course the project will follow but we must feel our way and be prepared to develop any promising avenues which may be discovered.
The Director reported that the Committee on Public Relations Audit (Messrs. Kock, Goudsmit and Michels) had met to study the recommendations for an Institute public relations program which had been prepared by Mr. Rosapepe of Burson-Marsteller Associates. Mr. Kock had been expected at today’s meeting to report for the Committee but sudden illness had prevented him from doing so. Quoted below is a brief summary of the Committee report received from Mr. Kock by telephone:
“The Committee appeared unanimous that something should be done in two fields:
- Improve physics teaching at pre-university level;
- Correct the impression that most of the public has toward physicists, this so as to attract outstanding young students to the profession.
The objectives listed on Page 19 of the report should have their priorities reversed.
We need better physicists rather than more physicists, and we do not feel that more pressure is needed on government and industry to channel more funds to physicists or their projects.
The proposed program had, in general, the approval of the Committee.”
There was some discussion of the Committee’s report but no action was taken.
The Director then distributed copies of a Public Relations offprint, “Physics in the News”, and this was discussed briefly.
The Director said that, in spite of our present expenditures of approximately $35,000 per year on public relations, there is much more we should be doing to make the results of physics research better known to the public. It has been suggested that one way to accomplish this would be for the Institute to establish an information service which would attempt to digest physics journal articles and present essential information to newspaper and magazine science writers in a form which they could use readily. A survey of such science writers made by our Public Relations Department has indicated that such material would be enthusiastically welcomed. Operating such a service would involve expenses too great for the Institute to bear and it is hoped that such an organization as the Rockefeller Foundation might be interested in supporting it. The Director distributed copies of a proposal along these lines which had been prepared. The proposal requests five-year support of such a program at a total cost of approximately $190,000.00. The proposal was discussed briefly by Executive Committee members and no objections raised.
Grant for Study of Physics Building
The Director said the AAPT-AIP proposal to Educational Facilities Laboratories, Inc., established by the Ford Foundation, had been approved and we expect soon to receive approximately $75,850 to finance the study for an 18-months period. Plans are already under way to staff the project.
Conference of Education Officials on Laboratory Instruction
The Director reported that, in connection with the recent passage of the Hill-Elliot National Defense Education Act of 1958, a one-day conference on Laboratory Instruction in High School Physics is being planned for October 16 at the Institute. The purpose of this conference is to review and offer assistance in the local and state planning for the use of Federal funds provided for laboratory instruction under this Act. Some twenty invitations were sent out on September 17 to representatives of the state departments of education in New York and nearby states, of the United States Office of Education, and of Congressional committees that are interested in the success of this program, as well as representative local school administrators, school board members, teachers, and physicists. Among the items which are expected to be discussed are a review of the law and the administrative procedures that are developing in the Federal program, informational services that could be provided to the schools to help in the selection of physics apparatus for various educational objectives, and advisory services that might be provided by physicists at local, state, and national levels.
It is hoped that the conference might furnish a model for other regional conferences over the United States.
Proposal for Long-Range Support
The Director reported that a grant of $257,250 had been requested from the Ford Foundation to support a five-year program aimed at the improvement of physics instruction in American educational institutions. The Institute is in a strategic position to act as a catalyst in the initiation of a broad program of experimentation in instructional methods on the part of many teachers of physics. Further, the Institute can play an important role in evaluating the results of these experiments in terms of nationally established objectives and in stimulating the early adoption of methods that are particularly successful. The Institute would work in close cooperation with the American Association of Physics Teachers.
Then followed lengthy discussion by members of the Executive Committee about the specific project mentioned above and also about the danger of expanding Institute activities too rapidly. No action was taken but the consensus appeared to be that expansion of Institute activities should be limited to our ability to administer them effectively.
7. Nobel Laureates
The Director reported that the Institute had received or had been promised photographs of 69 out of 84 Nobel Laureates and hoped to get the others so that we will have a complete collection to be framed and hung in our gallery outside the Board room.
8. Development Fund Contributors Book
The Director displayed the Development Fund Contributors Book which had been compiled by the staff and which contains the names of all who made contributions to our Development Fund drive. This book was authorized by the Governing Board at its meeting on March 24, 1958.
9. Other Business
Mr. Barton reported that the Selective Service Act of 1948 expires next year and, although it is not certain what will be done, it is certain that congressmen will be thinking about making changes which may affect the development of professional fields of interest in this country. Physicists will probably be called to testify in connection with new legislation. NRC plans to call a conference to uncover the facts about the situation and to determine the opinions of scientists. The Institute will probably be asked to recommend representatives of the physics profession to attend the conference and Mr. Barton requested Committee members to send him any suggestions they might have.
Mr. Baird called attention to Senate Bill S-2114 which had been passed by the recent congress authorizing Government agencies to honor journal publication charges.
10. Next Meeting
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Executive Committee shall be held on Sunday, October 26, beginning at 10:00 a.m. It is expected to be a short meeting mainly for the purpose of going over the agenda for the Governing Board meeting to be held on the following day.
The meeting adjourned at 3:35 p.m.