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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

January 30, 1959

Members Present: Frederick Seitz, Chairman; W. S. Baird; J. W. Beams; R. H. Bolt; J. W. Buchta; S. A. Goudsmit; W. C. Michels; R. A. Sawyer

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

At the request of Mr. Seitz, Mr. Sawyer agreed to act as Chairman pro tem and called the meeting to order at 8:35 a.m.

1. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of December 6, 1958, were approved as circulated.

2. Financial Matter

  1. Approval of Bill from Trustee of Pension Plan

    The Secretary stated that the Institute’s trust agreement with Bankers Trust Company provides that the Trustee’s compensation can be paid either from the Funds of by the Institute. The Pension Committee at its meeting on January 21 recommended that it be paid by the Institute in order to simplify the keeping of records. The amount of the current bill, which covers services for the year ended November 30, 1958, is $556.00. After brief discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the charges for services performed by the Trustees of the Pension Plan be paid by the Institute.

    In answer to a question, the Secretary reported that the amount contributed to the Pension Plan by the Institute for one year was currently approximately $15,000 (actually $14,615.12 for year ending November 30, 1959).

3. Corporate Associates

  1. Reaction to New Dues Scale

    The Director distributed copies of a report which indicated that 96 bills for 1959 to Corporate Associates included a suggested total of $74,050.00. As of January 27, 1959, 69% had paid a total of $39,750.00. In addition, 31 new Corporate Associates have paid $11,100, making a total of $50,850 received from 97 Corporate Associates. We have not yet determined what complimentary journal subscriptions will be requested but we are sure we have already exceeded the $37,000 net revenue from this source which was budgeted for 1959.

    The Director described an incident wherein a Corporate Associate apparently thought that dues paid to the Institute would also cover his membership in one of the Member Societies. He was told that such is not the case but that, if he felt compelled to make a choice between the two, he should give first consideration to the Member Society. Mr. Seitz suggested that each Member Society secretary and treasurer be sent a letter stating that the Institute does not intend to take advantage of such situations; and the following motion was then made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that it is the policy of the Institute to recommend that industrial companies give priority to Member Societies of the Institute in their contributions if the question arises.

  2. New Corporate Associates

    The Secretary reported that the following organization had requested to become Corporate Associates of the Institute and, on motion duly made and carried, they were so elected:

    1. Celanese Corporation of America
    2. Republic Aviation Corporation
    3. Continental Can Company, Inc.
    4. Pitney-Bowes, Inc.
    5. Pittsburgh Corning Corporation
    6. Joslyn Mfg. and Supply Co.
    7. Bethlehem Steel Company, Inc.
    8. Ampex Corporation
    9. The Upjohn Company
    10. Schlumberger Well Surveying Corporation
    11. National Research Corporation
    12. Haloid Xerox Inc.
    13. Philco Corporation
    14. American Radiator and Standard Sanitary Corporation
    15. Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation
    16. Haller, Raymond and Brown, Inc.
    17. The Martin Company
    18. Pilkington Brothers Limited
    19. Consolidated Electrodynamics Corporation
    20. High Voltage Engineering Corporation
    21. Chemstrand Corporation

4. Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics

The Director reported that the staff had arrived at an agreement with the Dannie Heineman Foundation and he distributed some copies of the proposed contract. He then gave some background information on Mr. Heineman and the Foundation’s previous experience with awards. The Director explained that the American Physical Society had agreed to accept responsibility for making the first award and had appointed a committee to select a candidate. The agreement provides funds for a series of five awards of $2,500 each to be presented, as far as possible, every second year. It provides limited funds for travel expenses of the recipients, of the awarding committee, if any, and for the preparing of certificates, etc. If the committee selects more than one candidate, the award will be split. The exact scope of the term “mathematical physics” is left to the discretion of the Institute and the awarding committee. The following motion was then made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the above-described agreement between the Dannie Heineman Foundation and the Institute be approved, and that the Director be authorized to sign it.

5. Proposed John T. Tate Medal

Mr. Michels reported that he had discussed the proposed medal with Messrs. Seitz and Buchta, and that the latter felt chances of raising money for an endowment in small amounts were very good. He said a number of individuals had indicated they would like to make small contributions. He estimated that about $20,000 would suffice. The Director suggested that we start collection contributions before we make any public announcement of the fund in “Physics Today” so that we can say it is already under way. The prize would consist of an amount equal to about twice the round trip fare to the United States from abroad and it would be limited to non-US citizens. Mr. Seitz said he felt that, if we do not receive all the money we need from contributions, it would not be out of order for the Institute to make up the balance in honor of Tate. The Director commented that we occasionally receive unearmarked contributions which could be credited to this fund. Mr. Michels then made the following motion which seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that a committee be appointed to raise funds with the intention of establishing the proposed medal in memory of John T. Tate: that this committee prepare a specific statement describing the award and the qualifications for it, and that this statement be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval.

6. Progress on New Special Projects

  1. Design of Physics Buildings (EFL Grant Received September 26, 1958)

    The Director reported that R. Ronald Palmer is now acting as director of this project and will spend half his time on it until June 15, after which he will spend full time on it for a year. Efforts are being made to locate a suitable staff architect and we are now negotiating with one. An advisory committee for the project is being selected.

  2. Physics Instruction Apparatus (NSF–G6491 Received November 14, 1958)

    The Director reported that the aim of this project is to prepare and distribute working drawings for the construction of apparatus which has been found to be particularly useful in demonstrating physical principles. A suitable man to handle details has been found and is being employed.

7. Publishing Activities

  1. “The Journal of Chemical Physics”

    The Director recalled that the 1959 budget for JCP anticipated publication of 3,100 text pages and a net loss of $15,900. At the present rate of publication, which seems necessary to prevent a backlog, the page budget will be exceeded by 68 pages. The Director recommended a corresponding increase in page budget with the hope that better payment of publication charges and the recently authorized subscription price increase for next year will help compensate for this year’s loss. The following motion was made and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the 1959 page budget for JCP be increased by 68 pages.

  2. Policy on Publishing Proceedings of Conferences in AIP Journals

    The Director reported a growing tendency of symposium sponsors to want proceedings published in AIP journals. Several such proceedings have been and are to be publishing in JAP, resulting in extra large issues and some financial problems even though subsidy is provided by the sponsors. The Editor has raised a question about the merits of such publication.

    Mr. Bolt explained an arrangement he had made recently with the Editor of RMP to have published in RMP the proceedings of a biophysics conference held last summer under the sponsorship of the National Institutes of Health. Lancaster Press will furnish overprints of the RMP issue to John Wiley & Sons who will sell the proceedings as a 600-page book. NIH will provide a subsidy to cover extra RMP costs and to make it possible for Wily to sell the book for $8.50. AIP is to handle financial details.

    Then followed discussion in which it was said that (a) AIP is set up to handle journals but not the sale of books, (b) conference proceedings are usually not very profitable to commercial book publishers, (c) conference papers infrequently contain first reports of any research described, and (d) agreement to publish entire conference proceedings in a journal cancels the editor’s opportunity to select individual papers on their merit.

    The consensus of the Committee appeared to be that the situation should be watched closely and brought up for discussion at a later meeting.

  3. Journal of Mathematical Physics (NSF–G6989 Received 12/31/58)

    The Director reported that the Institute had received the grant from NSF to subsidize for three years a journal of mathematical physics and the Committee to Study Publishing Problems in Physics, which met on January 29, recommended that the Director be authorized to appoint a planning committee to define the scope of the journal and nominate an editor. The following motion was then made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the Director be authorized to establish a Planning Committee for a Journal of Mathematical Physics, as described above.

  4. Review Articles for Physics Journals (NSF–G7212 Received 12/31/58)

    The Director reported that the Institute had received from NSF the requested grant for review articles for physics journals as follows: Four articles with an average honorarium of $3,000 each for RMP; twelve for AJP at $250 each; 90 articles for PT at $50, and 24 articles averaging $250 each for other journals.

8. Membership

  1. Application for Associate Membership from American Astronomical Society

    The Director reported that a letter had been received from the American Astronomical Society applying for Associate Membership in the Institute. Assuming from previous discussion that AAS would probably be acceptable, the Secretary stated that we need action by the Executive Committee recommending to the Governing Board that it recommend to the Member Societies that AAS be elected an Associate Member. In answer to a question, the Secretary said that the entire procedure can probably be completed by the end of the year, assuming some Societies may have to take mail ballots. The following motion was then made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that it recommend to the Member Societies that the American Astronomical Society be elected an Associate Member of the Institute.

  2. Approval of American Crystallographic Association for Associate Membership

    The Secretary reported that ACA had now been approved for Associate Membership by all five Member Societies and a date can be set for the special meeting of the corporation required under the Bylaws to complete the election. After brief discussion, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that May 6, 1959, be set as the date of the special corporation meeting required for election of the American Crystallographic Association as an Associate Member of the Institute.

9. AIP Trigintennial Celebration – 1961

The Director pointed out that 1961 would be the time for another AIP-sponsored joint meeting of Member Societies if we are to follow the precedent of having such a meeting every five years. It has been questioned whether the Societies favor such joint meetings, whether a thirtieth anniversary deserves a special celebration, and whether it may not now be too late to arrange a joint meeting in 1961. The Director said that staff discussion had brought forth the idea of a joint meeting of Member Society governing bodies at some time not connected with any Society meeting.

Discussion of the subject led to the consensus (a) that such a meeting of Society governing bodies would be worthwhile and that the staff should explore the idea further and (b) that a celebration of AIP’s thirtieth anniversary in 1961 by a joint meeting was probably not desirable.

10. International Conference on Physics Education

The Director reported that this subject would be discussed further at a meeting of IUPAP scheduled later in the day and that he would report fully at the next meeting.

11. Sigma Pi Sigma and AIP Student Sections

The Director reported on some conversation he had had regarding combining the activities of Sigma Pi Sigma and AIP Student Sections in such a way that the organizations would complement each other without losing their identities. Some of the details of possible arrangements were discussed but it was suggested that the subject be deferred until the next meeting with the understanding that more information might be available then.

12. Confirmation of Appointment of R. L. Sproull to Acta Metallurgica Board

The Director reported that the Institute had a representative on the Board of Acta Metallurgica until about two years ago when his term expired. No request for a new appointment had been received from Acta Metallurgica. Recently the Institute had received a request from Acta Metallurgica to continue our representation on their Board and, upon Mr. Seitz’ recommendation, the Director had appointed Robert L. Sproull on an interim basis. The Director requested that this action be confirmed by the Executive Committee and that the appointment be for a 3-year term. The following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the appointment of Robert L. Sproull for a 3-year term as the Institute’s representative on the Board of Acta Metallurgica be approved.

13. Next Meeting

As previously reported, the next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on Friday, April 3. It will be followed by a meeting of the Governing Board on Saturday, April 4.

14. Optical Society Board Meeting of December 30, 1958

The Secretary reported the minutes of the above meeting indicate that the Optical Society is considering setting up a Washington office and may take over journal publishing and dues collection activities now handled for the Society by AIP. He said that the Institute’s contract with Member Societies requires adequate written notice of such action so that the Institute may have the opportunity to revise its staff accordingly. He pointed out that the OSA minutes give no reasons for the action being considered and he suggested that OSA should provide a bill of particulars if the Society is dissatisfied with the Institute’s services.

Mr. Baird said that an OSA committee had been appointed with full power, that he was chairman and other members were I. C. Gardner, Wallace Brode, E. D. McAlister, John Strong and James Baker ex officio. He indicated that the committee had been empowered to do many things which it may not do.

It was the consensus that there is nothing for the Institute to do until it receives some official communication from OSA.

15. William F. Meggers Gallery

The Director reported that our collection of Nobel Laureates’ pictures is about complete and he suggested that a little plaque be prepared identifying it as the William F. Meggers Gallery. The following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Director be authorized to have a plaque prepared identifying the Nobel laureates collection as the William F. Meggers Gallery of Nobel Laureates in Physics.

The meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.