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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

January 29, 1960

Members Present: R. A. Sawyer, Chairman; J. W. Beams; J. W. Buchta; S. A. Goudsmit; R. B. Lindsay; W. C. Michels

Absent: W. S. Baird

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

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 8:20 a.m.

1. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of December 11, 1959, were approved as circulated.

2. Authorization for Investment of a Portion of Funds in "Investment Advisory Account” in Common Stocks

The Treasurer recalled that the Executive Committee had previously authorized the placing of up to $300,000 of Institute funds in an Investment Advisory Account at Bankers Trust Company with instructions to invest it only in high grade bonds and/or preferred stocks. As of December 31, 1959, the account contained only bonds valued at approximately $223,000.00. The Treasurer had previously recommended such a conservative policy because practically all the funds available for investment were from payments in advance for services to be performed and did not really belong to AIP. As of September 30, 1959, however, AIP had accumulated approximately $60,000 in its reserves and can now consider some investments in common stocks. Bankers Trust Company recommends slow and selective purchase of common stocks under present conditions if the funds so invested will not be needed for approximately seven years. The Treasurer therefore recommended that Bankers Trust be authorized to invest up to one-third of the funds in our Investment Advisory Account in common stocks.

Mr. Michels pointed out that some good bonds now have a higher yield than many good stocks, and he questioned whether this was the proper time to buy stocks and whether we might need our money for expansion in less than seven years. The Treasurer said Bankers Trust Company would buy stocks only when prices looked right and that he believed his recommendation was very conservative and should not adversely affect any expansion plans.

After brief discussion the following motion was made and passed with one dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Treasurer be authorized to instruct Bankers Trust Company to invest up to one-third of funds in the Investment Advisory Account in select common stocks, the time of such investment and the choice of the stocks to be left to the discretion of Bankers Trust Company.

3. Progress Report on Exhibit Study

The Secretary recalled that the Executive Committee had authorized the spending of up to $5,000 for a study of large-scale exhibits, and he reported that to date $1,000 has been committed for the services of an expert in this field. The man who was hired has had a great deal of experience with exhibits and is presently handling public relations for the IRE show. We expect to have a report from him about the middle of February. In answer to a question the Secretary said what we have in mind are educational and research equipment exhibits and books on a much larger scale than anything we have done heretofore. We would expect it to be a money-making proposition but it should also include non-commercial exhibits strictly educational in nature.

The Director suggested that the proposed AIP exhibit might contain some exhibits similar to those in the New York Soviet Exhibit and science museums which would serve to teach the public about physics. He read excerpts from a report on a recent exhibit in London, sponsored by The Physical Society, which attracted 26,000 visitors in one week.

4. Corporate Associates

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:

  • Thomas A. Edison Research Laboratory
  • Knowles Electronics, Inc.
  • Zenith Radio Corporation
  • The Procter & Gamble Company
  • Bodine Soundrive Company
  • International Minerals & Chemical Corporation
  • Chance Vought Aircraft, Incorporated
  • Academic Press, Inc.
  • The Gillette Company
  • Collins Radio Company
  • The Cincinnati Milling Machine Company
  • Abbott Laboratories (pending receipt of dues)

The Director distributed copies of a report on Corporate Associates as of January 26 which reflected that a total of 163 Corporate Associates had been billed $90,150 for 1960 dues and, as of that date, $67,950 had been received of which $48,039.50 is estimated as net income. The Director also distributed a report showing that more than 1,600 subscriptions to various Society and AIP journals had been paid for at non-member rates out of 1959 Corporate Associate dues. In answer to a question, he stated that three Corporate Associates pay the maximum dues of $3,500 and several others pay $2,000.00. It was noted that if a Corporate Associate elected to receive all the journals to which it is entitled, the value of such subscriptions would be over $200.00.

The Director distributed a list of prospects and asked for suggestions with respect to contacting them. He stated that we have not yet put a limit on the number of Corporate Associates we want to have, but when the number reaches 200 we plan to take a close look at this question. We plan to continue having a meeting of Corporate Associates once each year. The Director raised the question as to whether we should solicit tobacco companies and distilleries, and he mentioned that at least two of the former presently subscribe to several of our journals. During the discussion which followed it appeared to be the consensus that we should not, and the suggested was made that C. Guy Suits, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Corporate Associate Program, be consulted on this subject.

5. Committee on Philosophy and History of Physics

The Director explained that, in answer to a request from the Smithsonian Institution for assistance, the subject Committee had been appointed. The members are Gerald Holton, Chairman; W. C. Kelly; Raymond J. Seeger; Harvey E. White, and Duane H. D. Roller. He said the objectives of the Committee are to assist in preserving famous research instruments, to recommend procedures for maintaining records on the history of physics and to assist museums in dramatizing the important role of science in modern society.

6. Progress on Temporary Assistance During W. C. Kelly’s Leave

The Director reported that Mr. Kelly had asked for and been granted a leave of absence without pay from September 1, 1960, to February 1, 1961, to do some writing and teaching, and we are in the process of seeking someone to take over his responsibilities during that period.

7. Committee on International Conference on Physics Education

The Director reported that six delegates had been chosen to attend the subject Conference as follows: J. W. Buchta, Harvey E. White, Jerrold Zacharias, Francis W. Sears, Leonard O. Olsen and C. Guy Suits. He stated that no grant had been received as yet from NSF although funds had been provided by IUPAP, UNESCO and OEEC. Present indications are that NSF may provide funds restricted for use by official delegates only whereas we believe AIP should be permitted some latitude to distribute the funds to the best advantage. Besides the official delegates, the United States will be represented by Sanborn C. Brown, Conference Chairman; William C. Kelly, member of the exhibit committee, and the Director as a member of the organizing committee. Several physicists have asked if they may attend as “observers” but because of the desire to make the conference a working one, there will probably need to be strict limitations on the number of observers.

8. Report on the “Journal of Mathematical Physics”

The Director distributed copies of an announcement of JMP and said we expect the first issue (January-February) will be out in March.

9. Symposium on Physics Documentation

The Director recalled that the Institute has been engaged in documentation activities under a grant from NSF and in this connection a symposium was held recently wherein it was proposed that a documentation organization be established. To implement this proposal it was recommended a committee be appointed to investigate the establishment of a physics documentation group under the auspices of AIP. There followed a discussion of the role of documentation studies in physics, and the progress being made by Mr. Maizell was also discussed. The following motion was then made, seconded and passed with one dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Director be authorized to appoint a committee to investigate the desirability of establishing a formal documentation group or conference series.

10. Report on “The Review of Scientific Instruments”

The Director recalled that the desirability of making RSI more attractive had been discussed previously and he reported that, at a recent meeting with the Editor, the subject had been discussed at some length. It was also discussed at the very recent RSI Editorial Board meeting but no definite conclusions have yet been reached.

11. Report on Student Sections

The Director distributed copies of a sheet describing our Student Section administration and activities, and also a list of Student Sections which number 80 at the present time. New activities being undertaken include visits of the Advisor to Sections and potential sections, preparation of a Student Section booklet and a newsletter, a list of industrial speakers and possible visits, a list of movies and film strips, and distribution of educational and employment opportunity information.

12. Report on “Handbook” for High School Physics

The Director displayed a copy of “Physics in Your High School,” a 136-page handbook for school board members and others interested in education which had just been published. The text was prepared by William C. Kelly and Thomas D. Miner, a high school teacher of Garden City, N.Y. He said the Institute plans to make a major distribution of it through our Corporate Associates. Educational officers in the State of California have shown a great deal of interest in it and have recommended its wide use. Copies will also be sent to recipients of the Educational “Newsletter” and to selected congressmen. Some 10,000 copies in all will be distributed by the Institute. After this initial distribution copies will be offered for sale by the published, McGraw-Hill, for $1.50 in paper covers and $3.00 in hard covers.

13. Progress Report on John T. Tate Memorial Fund

The Director reported that Mr. Michels had contacted Mr. Bleakney, Chairman of the John T. Tate Memorial Fund Committee, who has drafted an appeal to be sent to all prospective contributors. The Director also reported receipt of a letter suggesting a memorial fund in honor of David Pomeroy. He made a counter suggestion that contributions honoring David Pomeroy be made to the Tate Fund, which suggested will probably be followed.

14. Committee on Cooperation with IRE

The Secretary reported a preliminary meeting with IRE officers had resulted in the suggested by them that another committee be appointed to explore various aspects of possible cooperation between IRE and AIP in greater detail, and such a committee will be appointed by the Chairman.

15. Electron Microscope Society of America

The Secretary reported that the subject Affiliated Society had approached us with a request for space in our headquarters building. They have in mind a small office where they can receive mail and telephone calls, and we have offered them occommodations (accommodations) on the basis of $1,200 per year plus expenses. It was understood that we can terminate any agreement reached whenever we need the space involved. No decision has yet been reached.

16. Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on Friday, March 25, starting at about noon, and will be followed by a meeting of the Governing Board on the following day, Saturday, March 26.

The meeting adjourned at 10:00 a.m.