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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

January 29, 1965

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

Absent: S. A. Goudsmit

Guests: Elmer Hutchisson, Van Zandt Williams

AIP Staff Present: Wallace Waterfall, Mary M. Johnson

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 8:00 a.m.

1. Minutes of Meeting of 12 December 1964

Upon motion made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote, the minutes of the meeting of 12 December 1964 were approved as distributed.

2. Financial

  1. $500,000 in Bankers Trust Savings Account

    The Secretary reported that $400,000 which was put in a savings account at Bankers Trust Company in December 1963 had been earning interest at 3 ½% for a full year. In December 1964 $500,000 was taken from the operating account and added to this account and the whole account will earn interest at the rate of 4% if it remains in the bank to the end of any quarter.

  2. Establishment of Albert A. Michelson Memorial Fund

    The Secretary reported that the Institute had been given ten shares of General Motors Company stock by Mrs. Dorothy M. Stevens (nee Michelson) for the establishment of the Albert A. Michelson Memorial Fund in honor of her late father. In Mrs. Stevens’ letter she suggests “that this contribution and the income therefrom might be used to foster my interest in your Niels Bohr Library of the History of Physics or in other projects of the Institute relating to the history of physics, as the Institute may determine.” The staff has been authorized, by a resolution of the Executive Committee on 9 December 1961, to sell such gifts of stock and proposes to do so and deposit the proceeds in a separate savings account.

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

    MOVED that the Albert A. Michelson Memorial Fund be established as proposed.

  3. Designation of AIP as Contingent Beneficiary in Elmer Hutchisson TIAA-CREF Policy

    The Secretary reported that Mr. Hutchisson had designated the Institute as contingent beneficiary in his TIAA-CREF policy. Mr. Hutchisson wrote that he would like to have any funds coming to the Institute through this agreement used for the Niels Bohr Library but he left it to the discretion of the Governing Board if such use seemed inappropriate. Executive Committee members expressed their appreciation.

  4. AAAS Assessment of $10 per Council Representative

    The Secretary reported that AAAS has adopted a new annual charge of $10 for each Council representative and the Institute has been billed $20 for our two representatives on its Council. For this sum, two subscriptions of “Science” will be sent to whomever we wish. After brief discussion, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the staff be authorized to pay the assessment made by AAAS.

    Disposition of the two subscriptions to “Science” was left to the Director.

3. Death of Governing Board Member Horace M. Trent

  1. Donations to Washington Cathedral

    The Secretary reported that heirs of Mr. Trent requested friends who wished to pay homage to Mr. Trent to make donations to the building program of the Washington Cathedral in his name. The Institute has contributed $50 and the Acoustical Society a like amount for the purchase of stones.

  2. Replacements on Public Relations Committee and AAAS Council

    The Secretary stated it is necessary to name replacements for Mr. Trent on the AAAS Council and the AIP Advisory Committee on Public Relations of which he was Chairman. Upon motion made and passed, the Chairman was authorized to make the required appointments.

4. Personnel Survey

The Secretary reported that the personnel survey by Smyth & Murphy has been completed and a copy of the report is available to any Board member who wishes to examine it. The report indicates that the Institute is competitive in 85% of its salaries. Where inequities exist they will be corrected in due course. The staff believes that the survey has been very worthwhile and will provide valuable guidance in establishing and administering personnel policies.

5. Membership Applications

  1. Society for Applied Spectroscopy

    The Secretary said that, as authorized at the last meeting, he and other staff members recently met with the following officers of SAS to discuss the publishing and other services which we might perform for them:

    • Charles E. Pepper, President
    • John R. Ferraro, President-Elect
    • Donald J. Johnson, Past President
    • James E. Paterson, Editor “Applied Spectroscopy”

    They are going to have a Board meeting on 3 March and we agreed to supply them with cost information before that date.

    A check on 200 of the approximately 2,400 members of SAS has shown that 10% are also members of OSA and 20% are in “American Men of Science” where most are listed as chemists rather than physicists.

    Mr. Williams stated he is familiar with the organization and it is his opinion that SAS is somewhat loosely organized and that our acceptance of them as an Affiliated Society would carry an obligation on our part to perform services. It was his belief that a careful examination should be made before any decision is reached. Executive Committee members agreed and it was the consensus that no action be taken until more is known about the future plans of SAS. Mr. Williams agreed to investigate further.

  2. The Physics Club of New York

    The Secretary presented an application from The Physics Club of New York for membership as an Affiliated Society. It was founded in 1899 and their constitution is in accord with the aims and purposes of the Institute. The Secretary read the names and affiliations of current officers, and commented that the membership appeared to consist mainly of high school teachers in the New York City area.

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

    MOVED that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that it elect the Physics Club of New York an Affiliated Society of the Institute.

6. Proposed Center for History and Philosophy of Physics

Mr. Lindsay summarized events which led to the suggestion of a proposed “Center for the Study of the History of Physics” and he reviewed the report by Professor Gillispie which had been discussed by the Executive Committee and included in the minutes of the meeting of 12 December. As recommended at that meeting, Mr. Gillispie’s report was referred to the AIP Advisory Committee on the History and Philosophy of Physics. Mr. Lindsay said the Committee had met and recommends that the Executive Committee authorize the expenditure of from $3,000 to $5,000 for a survey to determine the feasibility of the proposed Center. He pointed out that there are a great number of questions to be answered.

In the rather lengthy discussion which followed, many points were raised such as: Whether this activity is appropriate for the Institute (the consensus seemed to be that it is); whether the proposed Center should be started by the Institute alone or in conjunction with other organizations; whether, if started by AIP, it should eventually be turned over to some university or other institution; whether funds for such a purpose would have to be diverted from other worthwhile and important programs in physics.

Mr. Quimby suggested it might be possible to persuade some wealthy philanthropist to donate some existing mansion as a home for the proposed Center and thus greatly reduce the cash which would have to be raised.

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

MOVED that the Institute be authorized to spend up to $5,000 for a study of the feasibility of adding a major activity in the history and philosophy of physics to its activities.

  1. Appointment of Steering Committee

    Mr. Lindsay reported further that the above-mentioned Advisory Committee recommended the appointment of a Steering Committee to work with the survey group. Upon motion made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote, the Chairman was authorized to appoint a Steering Committee.

7. Corporate Associates

  1. Election of Corporate Associates

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

    • American Science and Engineering Inc.
    • Leesona Moss Laboratories (reinstatement)

  2. Withdrawal of Corporate Associate

    The Secretary reported that Union Switch and Signal Division of Westinghouse Air Brake Company had failed to renew their Corporate Associate membership for 1965.

  3. Status Report

    The Chairman announced that there are 135 Corporate Associates at the present time, which is three less than a year ago, with 27 still to be heard from. Gross contributions received to date for 1965 are $127,400. Our net receipts, after deductions for requested journal subscriptions, are $94,000 which is $350 more than last year at this time.

8. Proposals in Connection with History Project

The Secretary reported that preliminary discussions with NSF have indicated the possibility of favorable action and, therefore, the following proposals have been drafted for submission to NSF:

  1. Research Conference

    This is for a series of conferences to be held in 1965 and 1966 on the development of plasma physics, radio astronomy, solid state physics, nuclear structure physics, lasers and masers, and estimated to cost $21,900.

  2. Additional Research Facilities

    We are requesting $96,500 for oral history archives as part of the History of Physics Archives for cataloging and microfilming services, etc. These constitute a group of activities which we believe are necessary to round out our project and make our facilities more useful to physics historians.

    The Secretary said that funds from the present NSF grant for our history project will be exhausted on 30 June and the Institute has included $16,000 in the 1965 budget to continue the core activity for the balance of this year. At the time the 1965 budget was presented, it was indicated that the Institute might have to include about $23,000 in the 1966 budget for maintaining the headquarters staff of the history project. Approval of these two proposals essentially means that we are committing AIP to put up enough to maintain this core activity through 1967, if funds for this purpose cannot be obtained from others.

    In answer to a question, the Secretary stated we do not anticipate there will be a need for additional space in connection with the proposed projects.

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

    MOVED that the staff be authorized to submit the subject proposals to NSF.

9. Possibility of Changing to Magnetic Tape for Dues Billing and Subscription Fulfillment Operations

The Secretary distributed copies of a staff memorandum from Mr. Gilbert outlining a proposal for the addition of magnetic tape attachments to our Univac 1004 Card Processor. Although our present facilities will be adequate for several years to come, magnetic tape offers a number of advantages and there is no doubt that we will eventually have to provide for increased capacity and greater flexibility which is possible with magnetic tape. Because new types of equipment are being developed rapidly, we believe a thorough study by competent advisors is necessary before a final decision is made. We propose to have this started during 1965 with the hope that we will have a new system in operation in late 1966 or early 1967.

Mr. Havens urged that magnetic tape be installed with all deliberate haste.

10. Other Business

The Secretary reported the following items of interest:

Acknowledgement of our letter to the Postmaster General endorsing the proposed metric system commemorative stamp.

Action taken by Elizabeth Wood to publicize to members of the American Crystallographic Association the fact that the Institute will absorb in 1965 charges which would normally be paid by ACA.

Indication by Elmer Hutchisson that he wishes to continues as the AIP representative to the US National Committee of FID.

11. Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on Friday, 19 March 1965, in the offices of the Institute. There will be a meeting of the Governing Board on the following day, Saturday, 20 March, at the Institute.

The meeting adjourned at 10:20 a.m.