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

Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

March 13, 1949

1. The Governing Board met at the Institute Building 57 East 55th Street, New York at 10:00 A.M.

Present: George R. Harrison (Chairman), J.W. Beams, Wallace R. Brode, W.F. Faire Jr., Harvey Fletcher, Paul Kirkpatrick, Paul E. Klopsteg, F.W. Loomis, George B. Pegram, Harold K. Schilling, Wallace Waterfall, Marsh W. White

Absent: L.W. Alvarez, E. U. Condon, W.V. Houston, P.M. Morse, J.R. Oppenheimer, John T. Tate, A.G. Worthing

Guest: R.C. Gibbs

AIP Staff: Henry A. Barton, Cleveland Norcross, Ruth F. Bryans, Betty Hofstadter, David A. Katcher, Theodore Vorburger

2. Report of Annual Meeting of the Corporation:

The Secretary reported the election to membership on the Governing Board at the Annual Meeting of the Corporation on February 19, 1949 as follows:

On nomination of the American Physical Society:

J.R. Oppenheimer to succeed A.J. Dempster – term to 1952
G.B. Pegram to succeed himself – term to 1952

On nomination of the Optical Society of America:

Wallace R. Brode to succeed A.H. Pfund (deceased) – term to 1952

On nomination of the Acoustical Society of America:

Wallace Waterfall to succeed himself – term to 1952

On nomination of the Society of Rheology:

W.F. Fair, Jr. – term to 1950

On nomination of the American Association of Physics Teachers:

Paul Kirkpatrick to succeed R.C. Gibbs – term to 1952
Harold K. Schilling for new directorship – term to 1952

On election by all individual members of the Institute:

J.W. Beams to succeed Robert B. Brode – term to 1952

The full membership of the Governing Board until the 1950 Annual Meeting of the Corporation is:

Nominated by - Term Expires
American Physical Society  
J.T. Tate 1950
E.U. Condon 1950
W.V. Houston 1951
J.R. Oppenheimer 1952
G.B. Pegram 1952
Optical Society of America  
A.G. Worthing 1950
George R. Harrison 1951
Wallace R. Brode 1952
Acoustical Society of America  
Harvey Fletcher 1950
Philip M. Morse 1951
Wallace Waterfall 1952
Society of Rheology  
W.F. Fair, Jr. 1950
American Association of Physics Teachers  
M.W. White 1950
P.E. Klopsteg 1951
Paul Kirkpatrick 1952
Harold K. Schilling 1952
Members-at-Large  
Luis W. Alvarez 1950
F.W. Loomis 1951
J.W. Beams 1952

3. Minutes:

On motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, the minutes of the Governing Board meeting of March 25, 1948 were approved as distributed. The Secretary was instructed to send copies of these minutes to the new members of the Board on request.

4. Report of the Chairman:

The Chairman reported that the Executive Committee had been meeting every two months and that copies Executive Committee minutes had been sent to all members of the Board. He also reported that Mr. Gibbs had been meeting with the Committee and had been very helpful. Questions or comments regarding Committee actions were invited.

5. Report of the Secretary:

  1. The following resolutions were carried unanimously:
  2. RESOLVED that the Board received with regret the report of the death on August 8, 1948, of a former Board member, Dr. Lloyd W. Taylor. The Board takes this occasion to express its appreciation of the services to the Institute rendered by Dr. Taylor when he was a member of the Board.

    Dr. Taylor was President of the American Association of Physics Teachers from 1943 to 1945 and a member of the Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics on nomination of the American Association fo Physics Teachers from February 1944 through February 1946.  At the time of his death Dr. Taylor was head of the Department of Physics at Oberlin College.

    RESOLVED that the Board received with regret for the report of the death on January 4, 1949, of a former Board member, Dr. A.H. Pfund. The Board takes this occasion to express its appreciation of the services to the Institute rendered by Dr. Pfund when he was a member of the Board.

    Dr. Pfund was President of the Optical Society of America from 1943 to 1945 and a member of the Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics on nomination of the Optical Society of America from February 1946 until his death. At the time of his death, Dr. Pfund was Professor Emeritus of physics at Johns Hopkins University.

  3. The Secretary reported that the committee to draft resolutions.

WHEREAS John T. Tate has shown outstanding devotion to the objectives of the American Institute of Physics in the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of physics, by many acts and services which he has performed despite the heavy demands upon him as Managing Editor of the American Physical Society, officer of a great educational institution, and mobilizer of science for natural defense; and

WHEREAS he has rendered highly constructive service on the Governing Board and on numerous committees of the Institute, among them the Editorial Board, the Policy Committee, and the Executive Committee; and

WHEREAS he served as Chairman of the Governign Board giving wise guidance to the Institute from 1937 through 1940, during which period the Institute developed greatly and became financially stable, and since the beginning of the Institute has been the Adviser on Publications; and

WHEREAS through his efforts from before the establishment of the Institute to the present he has taken the leading role in creating, guiding, and building up the coordinated publications program now available to physicists through the work of the Institute and its Member Societies;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Governing Board places on record this acknowledgement by the American Institute of Physics of indebtedness to John T. Tate for his distinguished services and ordrs a copy of this Minute inscribed and delivered to him.

WHEREAS Karl T. Compton has shown outstanding devotion to the objectives of the American Institute of Physics in the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of physics, by many acts and services which ehas performed despite the heavey demands upon him as president of a great educations institution and as a leader in organizing the service of science to the nation; and

WHEREAS he has rendered highly constructive service on the Governing Board and on numerous committees of the Institute, among them the Policy Committee, and the Executive Committee; and

WHEREAS as first Chairman of the Governing Board he skillfully guided the Institute through the critical first five years of its existence, when in spite of the depression and other adversities, the Institute gained the confidence of physicists and was firmly established; and

WHEREAS his effective leadership played a large part in bringing the Member Societies into harmonious relationship, in securing initial financial support, and in founding this Institute

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Governing Board places on record this acknowledgment by the American Institute of Physics of indebtedness to Karl T. Compton for his distinguished services and orders a copy of this Minute inscribed and delivered to him.

On motion, the above resolutions were unanimously adopted.

5. Report of the Treasurer:

The Treasurer reported that the Auditor’s Report for the year ended December 31, 1948 had been sent to the Secretary of each Member Society and he presented a copy for examination by the Board. Copies of the report of the Assistant Treasurer for the year 1948 and copies of the budget for 1949 were distributed. The latter was examined in some detail by the Board.

6. Report of the Director:

Since the Director’s report for the year 1948 (copy attached to official minutes) had been sent to all Board members prior to the meeting, Mr. Barton commented briefly on several points and invited comments or questions regarding the report.

At the request of the Director, Mr. Norcross, General Manager, summarized his report, which is attached to and is a part of the Director’s report.

7. PHYSICS TODAY:

Mr. Barton distributed a report which he had prepared to assist the Board in its discussion of financial arrangements of PHYSICS TODAY. (Copy attached to official minutes). He reviewed for the Board the originally stated purposes and the financial background of PHYSICS TODAY and requested Mr. Katcher to report on the progress of the journal to date.

Mr. Katcher reported on the career of PHYSICS TODAY since the last meeting of the Board and reviewed the way in which the magazine was shaped to meet the desires of the Policy Committee and the members. He reported on the general reaction to the magazine as he has been able to sense it from a questionnaire sent to 3% of the readers unsolicited letters from readers, and vernal conversations. Criticism seemed directed from both extremes indicating that the magazine is perhaps the editorial compromise envisioned in its planning to meet the varied needs of the varied membership of the Institute. He reported that general reaction to the magazine was better than he had hoped and that shortcomigns are being worked on within the limits of the staff and budget. He concluded with the general observation that the attitude of many readers to PHYSICS TODAY parallels the attitude of many members of the Institute. Many readers seem to expect PHYSICS TODAY to serve their own highly specialized field in physics rather than act as a medium through which physicists in diverse fieldscan communicate on a mutually understandable level. He felt that a major long term effort should be made to bring about the latter point of view. He concluded with some plans for making specific improvements in the magazine as time goes on.

Mr. Barton then reviewed for the Board the financial problems facing PHYSICS TODAY and suggested for the consideration of the Board several solutions to the problem of balancing the 1950 Budget. The Board dicussed these and other possible solutions in detail including the possibility of a campaign for funds from individual members.

It was the consensus of the Board that it is very desirable to continue to send PHYSICS TODAY to every member; that no special drive for funds should be made at present; that the deficit for 1949 as indicated in the budget should be accepted; and that, meeting of the Board should be called in the Fall to review the prospects for 1950.

8. Policy Questions:

The following subjects were discussed and action was taken where indicated.

  1. Service to Member Societies: It was the consensus that the Institute’s service to the Treasurers of several Member Societies and the Secretary of one Society is working out very well and could be extended if any other Society is interested.
  2. Possible New Member Societies: It was the consensus that the Institute should consider the possibility of taking in new member societies, particularly affiliated societies, if they so desire. The financial effect on the Institute should be considered before any action is taken.
  3. Anniversary Meeting: It was suggested that the Member Societies consider a joint meeting in 1951 to celebrate the Twentieth Anniversary of the Institute. It was the consensus that such a meeting is desirable and specific arrangements were left to the Executive Committee.
  4. Organizing for Students: Mr. White presented statistics (copy attached) indicating the rapid growth in the number of graduate and undergraduate physics students and pointed out the need for a student organization in physics to cultivate a sense of professional responsibility among these students. Mr. Barton reported that a meeting of representatives of physics departments is planned to discuss this question in Washington in April. It was the consensus of the Board that no action should be taken until after the meeting.
  5. Selective Service: For the information of the Board, Mr. Gibbs reported on the decisions of General Hershey’s Selective Service Committee in Physical Sciences regarding deferment for physics students.

9. Advertising in Society Journals:

Mr. Waterfall reported that the Acoustical Society had indicated  an interest in carrying advertising in its Journal and that the Executive Committee had appointed an advertising committee to investigate the matter of advertising in Society journals. He presented the following report of the advertising committee which the Executive Committee had approved for presentation of the Board.

The Institute now has a publication contract with each Member Society containing a clause stating that the Society publication or publications shall not carry advertising.

Now, a study of means of increasing income from advertising sales indicates some possibilities of securing some specialized advertising to be placed in various of the Society journals which could not be secured for the Institute journals. The staff of the Institute and the Executive Committee believe it may be possible to obtain a limited amount of such advertising under arrangements which would be mutually profitable to the Member Societies and the Institute. More specifically, the Institute now has sales an dproduction facilities for handling such advertising. The proposal we have in mind is that, if a Member Society should give to the Institute the right ot place advertising in its journal(s) within specified space limitatiosn and at rates to be determined by negotiation, and of a kind of advertising approved for the Society by the editor of the journal, the Institute would undertake the solicitation and production of such advertising within the limits prescribed and would credit the Society concerned with 50% of the net proceeds realized from advertising palced in its journal(s).

It is recognized that this recommendation involves a fundamental policy change. Some of the Societies may wish to take advantage of this opportunity of obtaining some possible revenue from advertising. Some may not. It is also recognized that there must be a clear understanding as to what is meant by the “net proceeds realized from advertising”. It is believed that all Member Societies should agree to this change in policy before it is adopted whether or not they wish to have advertising in their own Journals.

The Executive Committee recommends that the Governing Board approve this change in poicy, if approved by all Member Societies, and the empower the officrs of the Institute to negotiate new contracts or amendments to existing contacts with the Societies to provide for this change.

There was considerable discussion regarding the desirability of changing the present policy and the appropriate percent of proceeds that should be credited to the Societies if the change were made. No action was taken by it was the consensus that the Executive Committee should proceed as recommended.

10. Amendment of Rules:

  1. The Executive Committee reported that an Associate membership drive is about ot be undertaken and that in order to make the results financially satisfactory it would be desirable to increase Associate membership dues. Accordingly, the following motion was made and seconded.
  2. MOVED that Article IX of the Rules be amended to change the regular dues rate of Associate Members to $5.00 and that of undergraduate studnts to $2.50 effective January 1, 1950.

    The motion did not receive the favorable vote of two-thirds of the Board necessary for an amendment of the rules and therefore did not pass.

  3. The Secretary reported that at the last meeting of the Board the Executive Committee had been instructed to study the question of terms of officres not specified in the By-Laws. The Executive Committee recommended that the terms of office of all officers not covered by the By-Laws or by action of the Board at the time of appointment should not be at the pleasure of the Board. Accordingly, the following motion was made, seconded, and unanimously carried (13 affirmative votes. The thirteenth vote was obtained from Dr. Oppenheimer by telephone):

MOVED that Article II – 3 of the Rules be amended to read as follows:

All officers other than those mentioned in subsections 1 and 2 of this Article shall be appointed by the Board for such terms of office as may be specified at the time of appointment or for indefinite terms subject to termination at the pleasure of the Board.

11. Report of the Nominating Committee:

Mr. Fletcher, Chairman of the Nominating Committee, of which the other two members were Messrs. Beams nad White, reported the following nominations of officers and Executive Committee for 1949:

Chairman George R. Harrison
Secretary Wallace Waterfall
Executive Committee: George R. Harrison
  Wallace Waterfall
  George B. Pegram
  Paul E. Klopsteg
  F.W. Loomis

(Mr. White was asked to take the Chair during the action immediately following).

No other nominations were received and it was voted and carried that the Secretary be asked to cast a single ballot for the election of these nominees to the offices indicated.

The Secretary reported that the ballot had been cast.

On motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried the Chairman was empowered to name replacements for the Executive Committee should any of the members elected be unable to accept.

12. Report of Special Adviser to Executive Committee:

Mr. Gibbs discussed steps which he felt should now be taken to carry forward some of the activities contemplated for the Institute in the long-time thinking of the Policy Committee. He pointed out that the purchase of the Institute’s building and the recent re-organization had been steps designed to enable the Institute better to grasp its opportunities and meet is responsibilities. Realization of this goal had since been interrupted by the publishing cost crisis but it should not be lost sight of. He spoke of the need for intiative in specific directions including the supply of and demand for physics personnel, public relations, government relations, secondary and advanced education, etc.

He suggested that a survey should be made of such tasks, the costs of carrying them out adequately and possible sources of the necessary funds.

Mr. Gibbs has agreed to prepare a fuller statement for distribution to the members of the Governing Board.

13. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 7:00 P.M.