[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

June 9, 1961

Members Present: Ralph A. Sawyer, Chairman; Wallace R. Brode; S. A. Goudsmit; W. W. Havens, Jr.; R. Bruce Lindsay; S. L. Quimby; Francis W. Sears

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

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 9:40 a.m.

1. Minutes

Upon motion made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote, the minutes of the meeting of March 24, 1961, were approved as distributed.

2. Financial Statement for the First Quarter 1961

Copies of the financial statement were distributed (copy attached) and the Treasurer commented briefly on various items. Delays occasioned by punch card conversion have made it necessary to estimate subscription income for the first quarter but expenses shown are actual. Most departments and journals are about as budgeted. Income on journals is a little better than expected, but printing and mailing expenses have been higher because more pages were published than budgeted. Expenses of PHYSICS TODAY have been higher than budgeted because of more text pages and greater circulation than budgeted. Net income from special projects is approximately $19,000 for the first quarter of 1961 and the number of special projects is increasing. The Director and the Treasurer answered some questions about special projects and the Treasurer stated that, over all, we are reasonably well in line with our budget.

Mr. Lindsay suggested that something might be done to increase the circulation of PHYSICS TODAY. The Treasurer explained that our cost of mailing is very high because PT cannot qualify for the second class mailing privilege. Mr. Brode reported that the American Chemical Society has been trying to get some relief from this restriction and he suggested that the staff check with ACS on whether they have had any success.

3. Progress on Punch Card Conversion

The Secretary said that the staff is thoroughly aware of the serious situation which has arisen as a result of delays caused by our punch card conversion. Complaints, most of them justified, have been numerous and everything possible is being done to alleviate the causes. Meetings with representatives of Remington Rand and Scriptomatic have been held frequently in an effort to speed up the conversion and additional equipment and trained personnel have been put at our disposal to help finish the job. Since the first of May great progress has been made and we expect to be on a current basis by the end of June. By “current” is meant that everything over one month old has been processed.

The May issue of PT contained a letter signed by the Director explaining the situation and asking members to write him about unusual hardships. It was very well received and some subscribers have sent their condolences.

4. APS Inquiry About Interest on Untransferred Funds

The Treasurer reported that, in previous years, AIP had followed the practice of turning over monthly to the APS Treasurer all money collected on APS member dues and journal subscriptions even though the AIP-Societies contract stipulates quarterly payments. Knowing that the punch card conversion was delaying such transfer of funds, AIP had offered to make and had actually made several payments on accounts to APS and other Societies. (See Item 13, Executive Committee minutes of February 3, 1961.) A short time ago Mr. Quimby reported that delays in payments had hampered his APS investment program and he had inquired whether AIP intended to pay APS interest on the money owed.

After reporting the above, the Treasurer said that the nature of AIP operations is such that Member Societies are always in short-term debt to AIP or vice versa and any attempt to compute interest would be extremely complicated and would lead to many arguments.

Mr. Quimby said that AIP delays had kept his treasury short of funds but he said he would waive his claim to interest and AIP should consider it as an APS contribution to the cost of the conversion.

5. Election of Corporate Associates and Status Report

The Director 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, beginning January 1, 1961:

General Precision, Inc.$600
United Aircraft Corporation2,000
The Magnavox Company350

The Director reported that we now have 189 Corporate Associates, including the above three. Total gross income as of May 26, 1961, was $105,700 and estimated net was $75,636.50, which is somewhat above budget. At a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Corporate Associates held on April 18 it was recommended that the dues rates be increased as follows, beginning in 1962:

No. of Physicists In CompanyNew Dues RatePresent Dues Rate (for reference)
0 – 15$500$350
16 – 25750600
26 – 501,0001,000
51 – 2002,0002,000
201 – 3003,500200 + 3,500
301 +5,000

The Director said there will be about four companies in the highest bracket and most of them participated in the decision. There are about 130 companies in the minimum bracket. A report of the Committee action accompanied invitations to the Arden House meeting in September and most of the replies were favorable. The following motion was then made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the action of the Advisory Committee on Corporate Associates regarding increased dues for 1962 be approved.

6. Publication Charge for Abstracts

The Director reported the background and history of the arrangement whereby a portion of the dues income from APS members is used to help finance the publication of PHYSICS ABSTRACTS. AT the time this was started it was hoped that other physics organizations would contribute in the same manner, but this has not been the case and quite an inequity exists at the present time. The subscription price of PHYSICS ABSTRACTS to APS members is $3.00 while the charge to the general public now is over $20.00.  It has been suggested that, in lieu of the APS subsidy, the necessary support for PHYSICS ABSTRACTS could be furnished by adding a charge of approximately $10 per article to the publication charge (per page) which is now collected from authors’ institutions. The Director said he discussed the subject with Herbert Lang of the British Institute of Physics when he was here recently and will also discuss it with Mr. Brasher of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in London in July. The Director suggested that he be empowered to offer such an arrangement in negotiating with Brasher, assuming that the Member Societies are willing to cooperate on such a plan.

After further brief discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Director be authorized to propose, in his negotiations on PHYSICS ABSTRACTS, that AIP will add a charge of approximately $10 per article to the present publication charge made against authors’ institutions for articles in all Institute-owned journals with the understanding that the present APS subsidy would be adjusted downward, that APS and other AIP Member Societies will be urged to agree to a similar $10 charge per article, and that the money collected on all these article charges will be offered for the support of PHYSICS ABSTRACTS.

7. Joint Meeting with AIP Property Committee

Messrs. Mark W. Zemansky and Brunson S. McCutchen joined the meeting. The Property Committee consists of Messrs. Zemansky, Chairman; McCutchen; Sawyer; Hutchisson; Havens, and Waterfall.

The Secretary recalled that the Governing Board, at its meeting on March 25, 1961, had approved the recommendation of the Executive Committee and the Property Committee and had given the Executive Committee authority to proceed with building addition plans as presented and with financing as proposed. Since then plans and specifications have been completed and put out for bids to three contractors. Bids will not be in until the first week in July but a preliminary estimate from one contractor, the one who remodeled our present building, indicates the cost should be about $558,000, including changes in the present building and the Consolidated Edison steam connection. With architects’ and engineers’ fees this should bring the total cost to about $600,000.00. The plans and specifications provide for a number of alternates, some of which we may wish to adopt.

Plans for financing the addition remain as explained at the last meeting except that we believe the mortgage should be increased from $300,000 to $350,000.00. We have been promised an interest rate of 5-5/8% and are reasonably sure we can get money at 5-1/2% and may do better.

The staff believes the addition should be started by the end of August and, as it would be difficult to convene the Executive Committee in July, suggests that the Property Committee be authorized to complete negotiations with contractors and start construction if the bids received five satisfactory assurance that the total cost of the job will not exceed $620,000.00.

After discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously:

MOVED that the Property Committee be authorized (1) to proceed with construction of the proposed building addition if it appears the total cost will not exceed $620,000 and (2) to make such arrangements for financing as are required before the next meeting of the Executive Committee.

The Director presented a list of the meetings held in the Karl Taylor Compton room during the last eight months and pointed out that a larger meeting room could be used at times. Plans for the addition call for a small meeting room on the first floor and consideration is being given to increasing its size with the understanding that it can be converted later to office space as needed.

  1. Rental of Space

    The Secretary described the proposed location of departments when the addition is completed and commented that we will have about 3,500 feet of usable floor space on the fourth floor of the addition which could be rented for a while. We have been approached by a prospective tenant, a non-profit scientific society, who would like to rent the space on a five-year lease at about $15,000 per year. The staff believes this should be done if proper arrangements can be made and our tax status not jeopardized. Committee members voiced no objections.

8. Fall Meeting – Arden House

The Director described the program which is being planned for the Arden House meeting of AIP Governing Board members, Society officers, and Corporate Associates on September 27-29, 1961. The schedule of meetings will be similar to that which was followed for the past two years and the theme of the Corporate Associates program will be “New Knowledge in Physics as a National Resource.” There will be two ceremonial sessions – the award of silver certificates to Corporate Associates who have been with the Institute for 25 years, and the presentation of the first John T. Tate Award.

A questionnaire distributed to those who are expected to be at Arden House had indicated what subjects would be most popular for small group discussions and attendees will be assigned to the discussion groups in which they have indicated most interest.

Meetings of the Executive Committee and Governing Board will be held in the morning and early afternoon of Wednesday, September 27, at the offices of the Institute.

9. John T. Tate Award

Mr. Lindsay reported that the John T. Tate Award Committee, consisting of Messrs. J. W. Buchta, Chairman; G. E. Uhlenbeck, and himself, had decided to recommend Paul Rosbaud as the first recipient of the Tate Award. Dr. Rosbaud is a German physicist with an outstanding reputation among physicists and publishers of scientific literature in Europe. Mr. Goudsmit read a sketch of Rosbaud’s background and accomplishments on behalf of physics (copy attached to official minutes) and, upon motion made, seconded and passed unanimously, the Committee’s recommendation was accepted.

The meeting adjourned for luncheon at 12:18 p.m. and reconvened at 1:34 p.m.

10. Projects on History of Theoretical Physics in the Twentieth Century and Recent History of Physics in the United States

The Director reported that a meeting of the Joint Committee of the American Physical Society and the American Philosophical Society on the History of Theoretical Physics in the Twentieth Century had been held at the Institute, and that a grant in the amount of $202,996 for three years had been requested from NSF. Thomas Kuhn of the University of California has been named project director and it was proposed that AIP act as fiscal agent for the project. The Joint Committee named John A. Wheeler as principal investigator.

The proposal to NSF carries an overhead of 15% on all items. It is our intention to subcontract work involving about two-thirds of the total expenditures to the University of California where Mr. Kuhn and his staff will be located and we would allow the University of California the 15% overhead on that portion. AIP would retain the 15% overhead on about one-third of the total expenditures, including payments for the services of interviewers and consultants and for European travel of interviewers and staff members. This would give AIP about 5% overhead on the total grant which should about cover our fiscal costs.

The proposed arrangement appears to be satisfactory to all parties concerned and the Director said he thought it would be wise for AIP to be a party to this project in view of its importance and the probability that we will receive the grant we requested for a project on the Recent History of Physics in the United States.

After brief discussion, the following motion was made and passed without dissent:

MOVED that the proposed plan for accepting and administering the anticipated grant for the project on History of Theoretical Physics in the Twentieth Century be approved.

11. Advisory Committee on AIP Education Program

Mr. Lindsay reported that the subject Committee met on June 8 and various projects being carried out by the AIP Education Department were discussed. In connection with the Visiting Scientists Programs, it was suggested that visits to Latin America and Africa be made by physicists from this country and this proposal has received encouragement from NSF. The Director stated that the Committee felt the Regional Counselor Program is such an important one that funds of about $20,000 per year should be put into it, and had passed a motion recommending that the Executive Committee include that amount in next year’s budget.

Mr. Lindsay noted that there had been some questioning of the Apparatus Drawings Project in the past, but the Committee had given an overwhelming vote of confidence to the work at its recent meeting. The Director reported that the Design of Physics Buildings book had appeared and had been very well received. He said that Mr. Kelly deserves a great deal of credit for the production of the book, and the Committee had commended Mr. Kelly and expressed the hope that the work of his Education Department will continue to progress and be materially expanded.

12. Charter Flights

The Director reported that the subject of charter flights had been raised by APS, and it was recalled that when this question came up previously the Executive Committee did not favor handling of charter flights by AIP. There was a discussion of legal and insurance problems which might arise and, after brief discussion, the following motion was made, seconded and passed by a vote of 4 in favor, 2 opposed and 1 abstaining:

MOVED that the Director advise APS that the Institute is willing to handle arrangements for a charter flight for them, with the understanding that all costs are to be reimbursed.

13. Looking to the Future

The Director stated that, in spite of our increasing revenue from advertising, Corporate Associates dues, exhibits, and grants, we must find additional income for all of the activities which should be undertaken. There are many things that should be done in public relations and in education if we had sufficient funds. As we increase the number and size of our special projects and add to our staff to man them and the expanding services to Societies, we will be building a stronger and stronger central organization. We believe this to be consonant with the purpose of the Institute, unity in physics, as stated by its founders. There is some indication that all physicists do not appreciate the inevitability of this trend. The Director asked that Executive Committee members give thought to the subject and help guide the staff in doing what is best for the advancement of physics.

The meeting adjourned at 2:35 p.m.