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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

June 5, 1964

Members Present: Ralph A. Sawyer – Chairman, S. A. Goudsmit, W. W. Havens, Jr., R. B. Lindsay, Vincent E. Parker, S. L. Quimby, Mary E. Warga

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

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 9:45 a.m.

1. Report of Committee to Survey Activities of the Institute and Select Candidates for Director

After the roll call, the Executive Committee went into executive session by direction of the Chairman and the following report of that session was supplied by Mr. Lindsay.

“Mr. Lindsay was asked to report on the deliberations of the ad hoc committee on the directorship of the Institute during its session earlier on the same day. Mr. Lindsay reported that the ad hoc committee had been unable to find a suitable candidate to recommend for the position of Director of the Institute beginning 1 October 1964 on a long-term basis. The committee, therefore, was forced to recommend a temporary arrangement pending further search. It was reported that, after considerable discussion, Mr. Ralph Sawyer had agreed to explore with the University of Michigan the possibility that he might serve as Acting Director of the Institute from 1 October 1964 on a part-time basis. He would expect to be able to devote two or three days a week to Institute business, either at the Institute offices or elsewhere as required, and he would be in touch with Institute affairs at all times by telephone. It is expected that a final decision would be made within a few days. (Mr. Sawyer subsequently indicated his willingness to accept the appointment.)

“It was voted that Mr. Wallace Waterfall should be appointed Acting Deputy Director of the Institute effective 1 October 1964, and that he should continue with his duties as Secretary. It was also voted that Mr. Gerald F. Gilbert be appointed Acting Treasurer of the Institute effective 1 October 1964. It is understood that these appointments and the appointment of Mr. Sawyer as Acting Director must be confirmed by the Governing Board, and the Secretary was requested to prepare a mail ballot for this purpose.

“Mr. Lindsay reported that the ad hoc committee desired to present its collective resignation at this time. The Chairman indicated that he would like to reappoint the committee as at present constituted to continue its search for a long-time Director and carry out the other duties originally assigned to it.”

By motion, made and carried, the Executive Committee subsequently approved the reappointment of Mr. Lindsay and his committee.

2. Minutes of Meeting of 20 March 1964

Upon motion made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote, the minutes of the meeting of 20 March 1964 were approved as distributed.

3. Financial Matters

  1. First Quarter 1964 Financial Statement

    The Treasurer reported that copies of the first quarter 1964 financial statement and a covering letter (copies attached) had been distributed to all Governing Board members prior to the meeting and, unless Executive Committee members wished to ask questions, he felt no further comments were necessary. Executive Committee members agreed that the report was excellent, both in form and in substance.

    In answer to a question the Treasurer reported on the status of our mortgage as follows: A mortgage of $350,000 for 15 years at 5-5/8% was taken out on our building toward the end of 1962. Payments are $34,700 per year and the principal balance is $330,700 at present. We have the privilege of pre-paying the mortgage at any time although there would be some penalties prior to 1 November 1971.

    The Chairman pointed out that the costs of subscription fulfillment and dues handling are going down. Editorial mechanics have gone up due to the increased number of pages, but indications are that these costs will come down in the second quarter. The Treasurer said that further cost reductions should be possible with simplifications of AIP operations and stated that all of the Member Societies except the Optical Society have now agreed to the major simplifications recommended by the Committee of Society Secretaries and Treasurers at its meeting on 2 October 1963.

    The Director stated that the Public Relations Department had exceeded its first quarter budget because of activities for which we expected to receive outside funds.

  2. Overhead Calculation by Auditors

    The Treasurer said that AIP auditors had completed an overhead audit of AIP for 1963 as they did for 1962, in accordance with Government Circular No. A-21. The overhead for 1963 was 17.24% compared to 19.27% for 1962. A copy of the 1962 audit was given to Mr. Aaron Rosenthal, Comptroller of NSF, and he had suggested a similar audit for 1963. Conversations with Mr. Rosenthal have not given us any hope that NSF will allow AIP more than 15% regardless of what an audit shows. In fact, we pointed out to him that some of the NSF departments allow us only 5% on some parts of grants and his attitude was, essentially, “take it or leave it.” Some Executive Committee members felt that it should be possible to get higher overhead allowances, as some colleges do, and Mr. Havens said he would ask Columbia University accountants to study the facts and give us their advice.

  3. Authorization to Open Bank Accounts for Income on NSF Projects

    The Treasurer stated that recently received NSF grants which produce some income require that such income be kept in separate bank accounts and authorization for such accounts is necessary. Mr. Quimby made the following motion which was seconded by Mr. Havens and passed unanimously:

    MOVED that the Institute be authorized to open such bank accounts for income on grants as are required by NSF.

4. Journal Matters

  1. AIP Journal Subscription Prices for 1965 – Foreign Rates

    The Secretary said that journal subscription prices for 1965 must be established before the end of June and the staff has attempted to project journal finances for next year. It appears that a few of the AIP archive journals may lose a little money in 1964 but, as a group, they should at least break even in 1964 and 1965 at current subscription prices. Therefore no subscription price increases are recommended for 1965 except in the case of APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS. That journal will run out of NSF subsidy in 1964 and show a loss. Subscriptions, particularly member subscriptions, have been disappointing. By increasing the subscription prices from $5 and $10 to $7.50 and $15 and increasing the publication charge from $50 to $60 per page, the staff believes the journal may break even in 1965.

    There followed discussion in which Mr. Goudsmit said he felt the appearance of APL could be improved. It has been suggested that it carry titles of JAP articles to come. The possibility of saving money by sticking mailing labels to the covers instead of using envelopes was mentioned. The following motion was then made and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that subscription rates of APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS be increased from $5 for members and $10 for non-members to $7.50 and $15, respectively, and that the publication charge be raised from $50 to $60 per page, all to be effective 1 January 1965.

    The Secretary said that a study of present postal costs had shown that the differential of $2 between domestic and foreign subscription rates was adequate for most of our journals but not for THE JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS. For a typical issue, foreign postage is $3.76 per subscription more than domestic postage. The following motion was then made and passed without dissent:

    MOVED that the differential on foreign subscriptions to THE JOURNAL OF PHYSICS be increased from $2 to $4, effective with the January 1965 issue.

  2. Report of Committee to Review Editorial Structure of AIP Journals

    Mr. Goudsmit summarized the report of this Committee, a copy of which is attached. Executive Committee members expressed approval of the recommendations it contained. The report was accepted and the subject Committee was discharged with thanks for completion of its assignment.

  3. Back Numbers

    The Secretary reported that, as a result of transferring our back copy operations from Mailers, Inc., in New York City to Lancaster Press at the beginning of 1964 substantial savings have been realized. The cost of sending back issues to new subscribers has been reduced from 17 cents at Mailers to 7-3/4 cents per copy at Lancaster. Lancaster has also established an efficient operation for handling back numbers and costs per copy have dropped from 40 cents in January to 22-3/10 cents in March.

    The Director said that photocopying could result in substantial loss of back number sales. Recent calculations indicate that it would take a royalty of about 1 cent per page from the photocopier to compensate for this loss. This agrees with the 1 cent or 2 cent per page suggested in a proposal for the establishment of a “copyright clearing house” recently received. The 2 cent figure is said to include compensation for loss of advertising revenue. All such estimates are very rough and the problem needs further study.

  4. PHYSICS ABSTRACTS

    The Secretary recited the history of the arrangement whereby the American Physical Society has subsidized PHYSICS ABSTRACTS for a number of years through 1963. In 1964 AIP took over this responsibility and obtained funds for the subsidy by instituting a $10 abstract charge on all articles published in our journals. The Institute of Electrical Engineers, publisher of PHYSICS ABSTRACTS, does not want to continue the present subsidy arrangement in 1965. IEE has suggested that they will furnish subscription for $28 each and any society that wishes to may subsidize subscriptions to its members in any way it sees fit. If AIP continues to collect the $10 abstract charge and use it as a subsidy, our calculations indicate we would have to set a subscription price to members of about $14 to break even. IEE would continue to serve directly the approximately 1,100 non-member subscribers they now have in the United States and Canada at $70 per subscription.

    As an alternative we have proposed that IEE continue to do the editorial work and composition on PHYSICS ABSTRACTS and furnish us negatives at a pre-determined price and we print and distribute here to both member and non-member subscribers in the United States and Canada. Preliminary calculations indicate that, with the income from abstract charges ad non-member subscriptions, we might be able to offer subscriptions to members at $10 or $12. Furthermore we might get PHYSICS ABSTRACTS distributed a little sooner and we would be spared the correspondence with members resulting from our lack of knowledge of and control over the English operation.

    Mr. Gainsborough of IEE visited us recently and agreed in principle to our proposal and we are now waiting for costs and a formal acceptance. There are many problems involved which must be settled by the end of June and the staff needs authority to work out the best deal possible.

    In the discussion which followed some members voiced fears that AIP might lose money if it were to make a commitment based on the second alternative, but Mr. Parker pointed out that the Institute has a history of sound business acumen and he made the following motion which was seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the staff be authorized to consummate the most favorable contract it can with IEE for the sale and distribution of PHYSICS ABSTRACTS.

  5. Copyright Limitations on Publications Printed Abroad

    The Director reported that Mr. Goudsmit had received a letter from Edward E. Booher, President of McGraw-Hill Book Company, in which Mr. Booher asks the American Physical Society to support his position on proposed revision of the Copyright Act of 1891. Pressure is being put on the Copyright Office to tighten the manufacturing clause so that copyrights will not be granted to American publishers who use imported reproduction proofs in producing books. In the case of scientific and technical publications, where the market is very limited, this restrictive clause would work a great hardship. The Executive Committee agreed that the publishers cause is a good one which we should support. Accordingly, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the Executive Committee endorse, in the revision of the Copyright Act, the elimination of the manufacturing clause which restricts American copyrights on books or journals for which part of the production is done abroad and authorize the Director to bring this action to the attention of the appropriate Government agency.

5. Educational and Other Activities

The Director reported that the following grants had been received:

TitleAmountDate of GrantTermination
3 Seminars for Science Writers in Rapidly Advancing Areas of Physics$18,5703/10/643/31/65
Information Center on Int’l Physics Activities58,8805/8/645/8/66
*Visiting Scientists Program – High Schools29,8305/11/646/30/65
*Visiting Scientists Program – Colleges45,3305/27/646/30/65
*Visiting Scientists Program – Foreign15,3805/27/646/30/65
Modern Physics Building: Design & Function Supplement5,8005/14/64Jan. 1965
Sources for History of Quantum Physics23,6004/17/644/17/66
Study of Dissemination of Information in Physics (Documentation)198,0005/26/646/30/66
Analysis of Manpower Data52,7805/25/646/30/66
Handbook for Advisors of Prospective Graduate Students in Physics9,5456/2/6412/31/65

*with AAPT

All of the above grants were received from NSF except the Modern Physics Building Supplement which was received from Educational Facilities Laboratories.

The Director spoke briefly about each grant, commenting particularly on the following statement concerning our consulting service operation contained in the grant for Visiting Scientists Program – Colleges: “… the Program is not to be used as a means of conveying to physics departments particular viewpoints of American Institute of Physics…” Inasmuch as the Institute has scrupulously avoided supporting any single approach to the teaching of physics, the Executive Committee members took strong exception to this statement and instructed the Director to so advise NSF in accepting the grant.

Our request for funds to support the Regional Counselor Program has been turned down by the Office of Education. This proposal has been submitted many times to various agencies without success.

  1. Depository for Physics Photographs

    The Director reported that a depository for physics photographs which had been mentioned previously, has been established at the Institute under the direction of W. C. Kelly, Director of Education and Manpower. He described some of the material it will contain and said that 8 X 10 prints of whatever photographs we collect will be available for sale at $3 each. At the suggestion of Mr. Havens, consideration will be given to supplying slides also.

  2. Problems of Ethics and the Physicist

    The Director stated that President Bacher of APS had referred to the Institute a letter from Lawrence Cranberg concerning ethics in physics. The Executive Committee felt that, for the most part, the problems illustrated in the letter were not unique to physics and it was agreed that the Institute should defer any action until after the AAAS meeting at which the subject of ethics will be discussed. The Director said he would transmit the sense of the Executive Committee to Dael Wolfle of AAAS and to Mr. Cranberg.

The meeting adjourned for luncheon at 12:55 and reconvened at 2:40 p.m.

  1. Second John T. Tate Award

    The Director distributed copies of a statement containing particulars of the Tate Award. He said interest on funds in the Tate account amounts to a little over $900 at the present time which is not quite enough to cover the cost of another award. The first presentation was made to Paul Rosbaud at Arden House on 28 September 1961. It was the consensus that the second Tate Award should be deferred and the subject brought up again for consideration at some future meeting.

  2. Proposed Program on High School Physics Enrollment

    The Director distributed copies of a reprint containing statistics on high school physics enrollment and an outline of a proposed program to increase such enrollment (copies of both attached). The cost of a six-months study to determine the feasibility of the proposed program would be approximately $15,000 which includes salary and travel expenses for a consultant. There was a discussion of the outline in which Executive Committee members offered comments and suggestions. The Director said he anticipates a comprehensive campaign might cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and he felt it would be worthwhile for the Institute to proceed with the study with the intention that the results could be discussed at the fall meeting. It was recognized that large scale financing may not be easily obtained and Mr. Parker suggested that the Institute should consult with the heads of various Government agencies whose interests are peripheral. The following motion was then made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the staff be authorized to proceed with the proposed study of a program to increase high school physics enrollment at a cost not to exceed $15,000.

6. Plans for Fall Meeting – 30 September to 2 October 1964

The Director distributed copies of a tentative schedule for the fall meeting (copy attached) and said that, if it appears desirable, a meeting of the Executive Committee could be held in the morning on Wednesday, 30 September.

By mutual agreement, the December budgeting meeting of the Executive Committee was scheduled for Saturday, 12 December 1964.

7. Joint Council on Quantum Electronics

The Secretary reported that various groups which are interested in quantum electronics have encouraged the formation of a Joint Council on Quantum Electronics to coordinate conferences and promote cooperation among interested societies. The American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America and some of the professional groups of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers are among those interested. APS requested AIP to work out some arrangement with IEEE so that APS could participate in the technical and conference planning activities without being involved in administrative or financial responsibilities. On the basis of this request AIP and IEEE have drafted a constitution which is acceptable to IEEE. The Secretary outlined the method of operation proposed and said that, although AIP might have to make some advance for each conference, safeguards were included so that AIP should not lose and might even make a little money.

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

MOVED that the staff be authorized to complete a constitution along the lines discussed and become a sponsor of the proposed JCQE with the understanding that the initial appropriation for each conference is not to exceed $500.

Mr. Havens commented that this constitution could serve as a model for future inter-society undertakings.

8. Representative to ASA Sectional Committee N6 – Reactor Safety Standards

The Secretary reported receipt of a letter inquiring whether AIP wished to appoint a replacement for Harry Soodak, whose term expired, as our representative to the subject committee. It was the consensus that Mr. Soodak should not be replaced and no appointment was made.

The meeting adjourned at 3:40 p.m.