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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

June 6, 1959

Members Present: W. S. Baird, J. W. Beams, J. W. Buchta, S. A. Goudsmit, R. B. Lindsay, W. S. Michels

Absent: R. A. Sawyer

Board Member Present: W. W. Havens, Jr.

AIP Staff Present: Elmer Hutchisson, Wallace Waterfall, Mary M. Johnson

Mr. Buchta, acting as Chairman in the absence of Mr. Sawyer, called the meeting to order at 9:40 a.m.

A. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of April 3, 1959, were approved as circulated.

B. Financial

  1. Statement for First Quarter 1959

    Copies of the statement for the first quarter were distributed (copy attached) and the treasurer explained various items. Comments made included the following:

    1. The balance sheet shows an excellent cash position and funds for special projects already received and anticipated during the balance of the year should keep the cash position adequate. The accumulated income item has increased somewhat since the end of 1958 due mostly to the net income during the first quarter of 1959. This accumulated income item will become an accumulated deficit after the mortgage on the building is paid early in July.

    2. The income and expense statement on Page 3 shows considerably greater income for the first quarter than budgeted. This is due principally to greater income from advertising and Corporate Associates than expected at the time the budget was made. At this time it is not reasonable to assume that the net income for the whole year will be four times the income for the first quarter because some advertising and other expenses increase later in the year and other unbudgeted expenses have already been authorized or are contemplated.

    3. Administrative expenses shown on Page 4 are well within budget. It is of interest to note that all Institute departments involved in journal activities bear less than 10% of the administrative budget for 1959. All of the Member Society journals together will be charged with only about $7,000 of AIP administrative expense during the current year.

    4. The statement for the Education and Manpower Department on Page 6 is not very significant for the first quarter because both expenses and credits vary during the year depending on the schedules of special projects. The budget was necessarily based on grants in hand at the time of budgeting and we already know that there will be a number of others during the current year.

    5. Income from advertising has been especially gratifying during the first quarter and promises to continue good. "Physics Today" advertising income is especially noteworthy and exceeded the net expense of PT for the first quarter. This means that PT actually cost the Institute nothing during that quarter.

    6. Institute-owned journals show some variation from budget for various reasons. They need to be watched closely as the year progresses.

  2. Authorization to Increase Funds in Investment Advisory Account

    The Treasurer recalled that on October 26, 1958, the staff was authorized to place approximately $200,000 in the Bankers Trust Investment Advisory Account. He recommended that the limit be raised to $300,000 so that quarterly additions to the Building Replacement Reserve can be placed in that Account. In response to a request the Treasurer read the items in the portfolio of the Investment Advisory Account and it was agreed that they were very conservative. After brief discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the limit on Institute funds in the Investment Advisory Account be raised to $300,000.00.

  3. Subscription Rate on AIP Journals to Member Societies

    The Treasurer explained that many years ago, the Institute had offered Member Societies a discount on AIP journals of 50 cents per subscription with the understanding that Member Societies would collect for journal subscriptions from their members along with dues and remit for a number of subscriptions with a single check. This situation no longer pertains and the only Society which has taken advantage of it in recent years is APS in connection with their “in lieu" subscriptions. The situation had been explained to Mr. Quimby, Treasurer of APS, and he recently agreed to forgo the discount. The following motion was then made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the 50 cents per subscription discount on AIP journals previously allowed to Member Societies for group subscriptions be discontinued.

  4. Member Society Annual Contribution to AIP

    Although at its last meeting the Governing Board had fixed 10% of Member Society dues as the amount to be contributed for support of the Institute in 1960, the Secretary said that the subject had been placed on the agenda for the present meeting because the staff was under the impression that this payment might be a source of considerable irritation to Member Societies and the need for it by the Institute should be explored. Although the total amount received from Member Societies is about $30,000 per year, it is only about 5% of total Institute income and it should be possible to reduce or eliminate these payments if they are adversely affecting relations between the Institute and Member Societies. This had been suggested by the staff in past years but the suggestion had been rejected for various reasons.

    Then followed a general discussion of the attitude of Member Societies and their members toward the Institute. It was suggested that Society members are not sufficiently well informed about the activities of the Institute and that the Institute should do a better job of "selling” by publicizing what it is doing in "Physics Today" and otherwise. Mr. Havens said he had found the brochure on Institute activities useful in answering inquiries and suggested that Society officers could distribute them to advantage. Mr. Goudsmit pointed out that some Societies had raised questions about whether they themselves could set up offices to perform more effectively services which are now handled by the Institute and the Institute should take these comments very seriously. Mr. Baird said that the Optical Society planned to open an office of its own in Washington and might eventually perform in that office some of the services

    now handled by the Institute for that Society. He explained, however, that this move was not being made because of dissatisfaction with the Institute but because a situation existed in the Society which apparently called for setting up an office staff which could focus 100% of its attention on the current problems of the Society. He said the action was being taken as an experiment and he hoped that, in the long run, both the Institute and the Society would benefit from the experiment.

    There was further brief discussion about having Member Society payments to the Institute on a per capita rather than a percentage of dues basis and the Treasurer said this had been proposed and studied some years ago but nothing had come of it. At the conclusion of the discussion there appeared to be no sentiment for changing from the 10% of dues payments and the subject was dropped.

  5. John T. Tate Memorial Fund

    The Director read the names of those who had been appointed to the committee for raising money for this Fund and said that Mr. Bleakney, chairman of the committee, had appeared to be somewhat discouraged by some recent reports he had received. It was the consensus of Executive Committee members that there was no reason for discouragement and that it should be possible to raise the needed funds if requests were directed to a sufficiently large number of physicists. The Treasurer reported that one contribution of $500 had already been received for this Fund.

  6. Major Medical Insurance

    The Treasurer explained that many organizations are now working out plans whereby their staffs can be covered by what is called “Major Medical Insurance." The staff believes that such insurance will be of benefit to the Institute as well as to the employees and that it can be obtained at a cost to the Institute which will not make our total cost for fringe benefits out of line. A number of plans are now being studies (studied) by the Institute staff and, if the Executive Committee generally favors the idea, the staff proposes to make a definite recommendation later in the year. Then followed brief discussion of the various plans and their relationship to Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The consensus appeared to be that the Institute should have some form of major medical insurance and it was left to the staff to work out a suitable plan and present it for consideration.

C. Staff Organization

The Director explained the present administrative setup of the Institute, indicating that he concentrated on Institute development and outside activities and that the Secretary and Treasurer concentrated on internal management. The Associate Director acts in an advisory capacity and represents the Institute on various special assignments. The three major areas in which the Institute is currently active are publication, public information, and education. The Director described plans which he and the other officers of the Institute had been considering to strengthen the internal organization by providing additional administrative assistance. The ideas presented met with the general approval of Executive Committee members.

D. Membership

  1. Status Report on Associate Member Societies

    The Secretary reported that the American Crystallographic Association was formally elected an Associate Member Society on May 6 and that the Association has elected to start paying the Institute 75 cents per member per year beginning January 1, 1960. The American Astronomical Society has been approved for Associate Membership by all Member Societies except AAPT and that approval is expected during the summer. Representatives of both ACA and AAS will be invited to attend the Arden House meeting. Then followed brief discussion of other organizations who had shown some interest in Associate Membership but there was no action to be taken.

  2. New Corporate Associates to be Elected

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

    • Space Technology Laboratories, Inc.
    • The International Nickel Company, Inc.
    • Outboard Marine Corporation

    The Director reported that the Institute now has 138 Corporate Associates and that only one had been lost since the increase in dues had been announced. Net income from Corporate Associates will exceed $60,000 this year.

    Mr. Baird commented that the American Society of Photogrammetry devotes one issue per year of its journal to descriptions of the activities of its corporate members prepared by them. The Director said that the Institute wanted to do more for its Corporate Associates and reports from them about their activities in various fields of physics had been requested for the Arden House meeting with the expectation that they would be published in "Physics Today."

  3. Student Sections

    The Director recalled previous discussion about possibilities of integrating the activities of AIP Student Sections and Sigma Pi Sigma chapters. Mr. Ballard had presented the matter to the governing body of Sigma Pi Sigma but no mutually acceptable formula had been worked out to date although Sigma Pi Sigma appears to be interested and the subject will be followed further.

    The Director reported that the Institute now has 54 Student Sections with a total of 1,302 members. The newly appointed Advisory Committee on Student Sections, under the Chairmanship of Robert Shankland, has started its study of our activities in this field and may be expected to recommend that the Institute do substantially more for its Student Sections. This may require more staff help and this may be obtained, at least on a temporary part-time basis, by employing a physicist who will also assist Mr. Kelly administering the various visiting scientists programs.

E. Education Projects

  1. Report on the Teaching of Physics by Film and Television

    The Director stated that the project had been completed and the final report prepared by Grant Gale had been distributed to the Fund for the Advancement of Education and to a selected list of schools. The Director distributed copies of the report to Executive Committee members and commented briefly on its conclusions.

  2. Booklet on High School Physics for 8th, 9th and 10th Grades

    The Director distributed copies of the finished booklet and said he had already received favorable comments on it from several high school counselors and that large scale distribution was planned for the fall. Mr. Goudsmit reported a few unfavorable reactions to the booklet and Mr. Lindsay pointed out the importance of emphasizing the stimulation of curiosity in such a booklet.

  3. Directory of Fellowships, Fields of Research, Academic Personnel

    The Director distributed copies of a list of assistantships and fellowships which bad been prepared for 1959-60, and said that instead of revising it for 1960-61 we propose to issue a supplement describing fields of research at various institutions. We would also like to put out a booklet on academic personnel and this can be done as part of our Physics Register project. Mr. Baird called attention to a booklet entitled, "Twenty Minutes to a Lifetime" by a member of The Johns Hopkins staff.

  4. Reprint Volume on Design of Physics Buildings

    The Director distributed copies of a book containing selected reprints of articles on the design of physics buildings which had been prepared by our project group, and he described briefly the work being done by this group. He said we would like to know more about similar developments in Europe, and suggestions were made by Committee members that we contact the State Department and other representatives in Europe.

The meeting adjourned for luncheon at 12:50 p.m. and reconvened at 2:20 p.m.

F. Publications

  1. Journal of Mathematical Physics

    The Director announced that Elliott Montroll had accepted the Editorship of this new journal and he distributed a brief biography of Mr. Montroll. The Director then distributed copies of a list of nominees for the Editorial Board, saying that some had been contacted about serving and some had not. He said their function will be to assist the Editor in establishing policy and promoting the journal. Additional names for this Board were suggested and the Director recorded them.

    The following motion was then made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the appointment of Elliott Montroll as Editor of the Journal of Mathematical Physics be confirmed and that the Director be authorized to complete the appointment of the Editorial Board.

  2. "The Journal of Chemical Physics"

    The Director reported that Clyde Hutchison, Editor of JCP, had assumed new responsibilities at the University of Chicago and had asked to be relieved of the Editorship. Mr. Hutchison and also Mr. J. E. Mayer, former Editor, had both recommended J. W. Stout who is also at the University of Chicago and has been serving as Associate Editor of JCP. After brief discussion the following motion was made and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that J. W. Stout be appointed Editor of “The Journal of Chemical Physics," effective July 1, 1959.

  3. "Physics Abstracts"

    The Director distributed copies of a letter received from Charles Kittel of the University of California, a former Board member, commenting on the quality of “Physics Abstracts.” The Director said this is a question which has been under consideration for some time and he had asked whether people would be willing to pay more for better coverage, greater speed and better indexing. Generally they said they would. The situation has been getting worse in that the number of abstracts being published has not been keeping up with the growing volume of physics literature. There has been more dissatisfaction among solid state physicists than among physicists generally. The editors claim they will do better and are setting their budget at 21,000 abstracts for next year.

    Following the above comments there was some discussion about what the Institute could or should do to provide a better abstract journal for physicists. It was suggested that the Institute might itself start a new abstract journal but there appeared to be little sentiment for this so long as there is a possibility of making the present abstract journal more satisfactory. The Director said he expected to get more information on this whole subject in Europe during the summer and would report further on it in the fall.

  4. Translation of Soviet Solid State Journal

    The Secretary stated that the Institute had been publishing an English translation of the Russian "Journal of Technical Physics" for about three years, that in January 1959 the Russians had taken the solid state material from the “Journal of Technical Physics" and had started a new journal devoted entirely to solid state. On recommendation of the Institute's Advisory Board on Russian Translations at its January 29, 1959, meeting the Board had recommended that the Institute undertake the translation of the solid state journal. A proposal had been made to the National Science Foundation and the work of translating the journal had been started with the assurance that NSF was sympathetic to the proposal. In the meantime Captain Maxwell of Pergamon Press Limited had announced his intention to start an English translation of selected articles from the Russian solid state journal. The Secretary said he and Captain Maxwell had entered into correspondence on the subject and that the conflict had not yet been completely settled. The Secretary said that Consultants Bureau had made great speed in getting out the first issue of our translation, "Soviet Physics - Solid State,” he displayed a copy of the first issue and said that he felt Captain Maxwell would withdraw from competition since he does not yet have his first issue out.

G. Grants Requested and/or Received

A list of current grants received and grants requested was distributed (copy attached) and the Director commented briefly on some of them. It was pointed out that the grants received, listed on the first page, total $532,180 or $398,835 for one year. The grants requested, on the second page, total $408,965 or $233,820 for one year.

  1. Planning Conference for International Conference on Physics Education

    The Director reported that the planning conference would be held this summer in Konstanz, Germany, and would be attended by himself and representatives from other countries. NSF had turned down the request for funds to cover travel expenses of planning conference attendees but it appeared that most of the Europeans would be able to get there through other auspices and the Asia Foundation had agreed to pay the expenses of a representative from Japan.

  2. Visiting Scientists Programs – College, High School, Foreign

    The Director reported that the Institute had already received grants from NSF for the College and High School Visiting Scientists Programs and expected to receive a grant for the Foreign Visiting Scientists Program.

  3. Expanded Public Information Service

    The Director called attention to the large grant of $190,325 which had been requested of NSF for expanded Public Information service for five years. He recalled that the Rockefeller Foundation had first been approached for a grant on this subject and it had been suggested that NSF would be more appropriate. The Director indicated he considered this a very important activity for the Institute and that there might also be other sources of funds for this purpose.

H. Library Additions

The Director called attention to the fact that McGraw-Hill had furnished for the Institute's library complete sets of books of their International Series, Nuclear Energy Series and Radiation Laboratory Series. John Wiley had also contributed a collection of their physics books and we expected another collection from Academic Press.

The Director said there had been some staff discussion about what sort of a library the Institute should try to acquire for the shelves in the Board room. A comprehensive research library seemed out of the question. There had been considerable interest displayed in the Institute's collection of pictures of Nobel Prize winners and it had been suggested that this might be supplemented by a collection of biographies of physicists. In the discussion which followed a question was raised about how many such biographies there are. It was also pointed out that we must leave room on the Board room shelves for bound copies of all of our own publications and that we also might ask Van Nostrand and Addison-Wesley to contribute copies of their physics books.

I. Next Meeting

It had previously been agreed that the next meetings of the Executive Committee and Governing Board would be scheduled in connection with the Arden House meeting from September 30 to October 2. The Director reported that invitations to the Arden House meeting had already been sent to Board members and Member Society officers and a good attendance seemed assured. He said that the Advisory Committee on Corporate Associates had enthusiastically endorsed the plan for a one-day meeting of Corporate Associates at Arden House and that invitations were being sent out.

After brief discussion it was agreed that the next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held at the offices of the Institute on the morning of Wednesday, September 30. During the afternoon on that day Executive Committee and Governing Board members and other Arden House invitees will meet for the trip to Arden House.

It was left to the discretion of the Chairman to call a meeting of the Executive Committee between now and September 30 if the need should arise.

J. Membership of Advisory Board on Russian Translations

The Secretary reported that Mr. Beyer had submitted the following as his nominees to the Advisory Board on Russian Translations for the coming year:

  • Robert T. Beyer, Chairman
  • J. George Adashko
  • Freeman J. Dyson
  • Dwight E. Gray
  • Morton Hamermesh
  • David Harker
  • Harold F. Weaver

Upon motion made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote, the above-named were confirmed as the membership of the Advisory Board on Russian Translations.

K. Importation of Scientific Equipment

Mr. Baird stated that the climate in Washington now appears to be favorable to legislation which would eliminate the tariff on importation of scientific instruments for educational purposes. He said that he felt the Institute's failure to take any position on a matter of such importance to the future of physics education was very regrettable. Then followed discussion in which it was pointed out that AAPT had taken a definite stand for eliminating the tariff. Mr. Baird pointed out that, if the Institute wishes to take any action, it should do so quickly and make its position known to the proper members of Congress. After further discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Director prepare a statement on the Florence Convention and the legislation mentioned by Mr. Baird and that this statement be distributed to Governing Board members along with a ballot to be used by Board members in voting on what position the Institute should take. If the mail ballot approves, it is understood that the Director will make the Institute's position known to the appropriate members of Congress.

On this general subject the Director said that he frequently received letters asking the Institute's opinion on matters of national importance and, when he had expressed an opinion, he had been careful to state that it was his opinion as an individual unless it was something on which the Board or Executive Committee had taken definite action.

Mr. Baird said he recognized that the Governing Board and Executive Committee must be concerned with some of the details of Institute management but he regretted that they were not able to spend more of their time at meetings in the discussion of important national and international problems. He urged that such subjects be placed at the head of the agenda for future meetings.

The meeting adjourned at 3:50 p.m.