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Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

March 17, 1951

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), C. Paul Boner, W.F. Fair, Jr., S.A. Goudsmit, Gaylord P. Harnwell, Frederick V. Hunt, Rudolf Kingslake, Paul Kirkpatrick, George B. Pegram. Duane Roller, Harold K. Schilling, Francis G. Slack, John C. Steinberg

Absent: J.W. Beams, Wallace R. Brode, F. Wheeler Loomis, J. Robert Oppenheimer, I. I. Rabi, Frederick Seitz

AIP Staff: Henry A. Barton, Wallace Waterfall, R. R. Davis, B.H. Goodfriend

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 24, 1951, as follows:

On nomination of the American Physical Society:

S.A. Goudsmit to succeed J.T. Tate (deceased) – term to 1953
I.I. Rabi to succeed W.V. Houston – term to 1954

On nomination of the Optical Society of America:

George R. Harrison to succeed himself – term to 1954

On nomination of the Acoustical Society of America:

Frederick V. Hunt to succeed P.M. Morse – term to 1954

On nomination of the American Association of Physics Teachers:

Duane Roller to succeed Paul E. Klopsteg – term to 1954

On election by all individual members of the Institute:

Frederick Seitz to succeed J. B. Fisk – term to 1954

The Chairman welcomed the new members of the Board and reported the following to be the full membership of the Board until the 1952 annual meeting of the corporation:

Nominated by - Term Expires
American Physical Society  
J.R. Oppenheimer 1952
G.B. Pegram 1952
S.A. Goudsmit 1953
F.W. Loomis 1953
I.I. Rabi 1954
Optical Society of America  
Wallace R. Brode 1952
Rudolf Kingslake 1953
George R. Harrison 1954
Acoustical Society of America  
C. Paul Boner 1952
John C. Steinberg 1953
Frederick V. Hunt 1954
Society of Rheology  
W.F. Fair Jr. 1953
American Association of Physics Teachers  
Paul Kirkpatrick 1952
Harold K. Schilling 1952
Francis G. Slack 1953
Duane Roller 1954
J.W. Beams 1952
G.P. Harnwell 1953
Frederick Seitz 1954

3. Minutes:

On motion made, seconded, and unanimously carried, the minutes of the meeting of the Governing Board meeting of April 1, 1950 were approved as distributed. The Secretary was instructed to send copies of these minutes to the new members of the Board.

4. Report of the Chairman:

The Chairman reported that the Executive Committee had met four times during the year and had taken action as indicated in the minutes which had been distributed. He reviewed the more important actions and also reported on several trips which he and the Director had made to Washington in connection with mobilization problems.

5. Optical Society of America:

The Chairman reported that the Director had received a letter dated March 14, 1951 form the Secretary of OSA reporting action taken by their Board of Directors requesting modification of the Publication Agreement. The action actually cancelled the agreement under the impression that such was the only procedure for modifying it but explained that the intent was modification. The letter also stated that an OSA committee had been appointed to facilitate the drafting of a new agreement.

The Chairman said he had been in touch with Secretary Hardy to find out what modifications the Optical Society wanted. This had led to an extended discussion of OSA-AIP relations which the Chairman had reduced to writing and he discussed it in detail with the Governing Board.  (A copy of the OSA letter as well as a detailed discussion of all points raised is contained in Mr. Harrison’s report of March 22 to the directors of OSA. Copies were also sent to all members of the AIP Governing Report and a copy is attached to the official minutes of this meeting.)

Since the principal complaint appears to be on cost accounting methods used by AIP in distributing costs, particularly of the Circulation Department, the following motion was unanimously passed;

MOVED that a committee consisting of the treasurers of the Member Societies be appointed to investigate cost accounting procedures used and that this committee be authorized to employ a disinterested expert if it seems advisable.

Another question raised in the discussion had to do with actual or potential competition between the JOSA and Institute owned journals. It was the feeling of the Board that the competition is not serious. The subject has been discussed at meetings of the Publication Board but no formal complaints have been received. The following motion was unanimously passed:

MOVED that the OSA be asked to refer to its Board of Editors the question of competition between JOSA and Institute journals and that no action be taken by AIP until some formal request is received.

6. Report of the Secretary:

The Secretary read a letter from Dr. Marsh W. White, Executive Secretary of Sigma Pi Sigma applying for status as an Affiliated Society of the Institute. After some discussion regarding the relationship between Sigma Pi Sigma and Students Sections of AIP, the following motions were unanimously passed:

MOVED that Sigma Pi Sigma be elected an Affiliated Society of the American Institute of Physics.

MOVED that the officers of Sigma Pi Sigma be invited to continue to explore with the Director of AIP various possible ways of collaboration between AIP Student Sections and local chapters of Sigma Pi Sigma.

The following resolution was carried unanimously:

RESOLVED that the Board received with deep regret the report of the death on May 27, 1950 of a Board Member and former Chairman of the Institute, Dr. John T. Tate.

It is appropriate at this time to recall a Resolution of the Board at its meeting on March 13, 1949 which reads as follows:

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, mobilizer of science for national 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 Governing 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 publication 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 orders a copy of this Minute inscribed and delivered to him.

The Board takes this occasion to reaffirm its appreciation of the services to the Institute rendered by Dr. Tate and extends its warmest sympathies to Mrs. Tate and Dr. John T. Tate, Jr.

7. Nominating Committee:

With the approval of the Board, the Chairman appointed the following Nominating Committee with instructions to present its slate before the close of the meeting:

H.K. Schilling, Chairman
S.A. Goudsmit
Rudolf Kingslake

8. Report of the Director:

The report of the Director, copy of which is attached to official minutes, had been sent to all members prior to the meeting. Mr. Barton commented on the various items covered in the report and asked for comments for the condensed version which will be sent to all members. No changes were suggested and the report was accepted.

The Director presented a written report received from Dr. J.W. Buchta, the Institute’s representative on the AAAS Cooperative Committee on Science and Mathematics Teaching . The report was accepted with thanks and placed on file.

9. Report of the Treasurer:

The Treasurer presented copies of the Auditor’s Report for the year ended December 31, 1950, a statement of operations for the year 1950, and a budget for 1951 which had been adopted by the by the Executive Committee. After some discussion, the report was accepted and placed on file.

In view of the budgeted surplus of $11,400 for 1951, there was considerable discussion regarding the percentage figure to be set for society contributions in 1952. It was pointed out that general economic conditions plus uncertainties about revenue and expenses connection with our Anniversary meeting make the budget figures questionable at the present time. Some Board members were of the opinion that, rather than reduce the contribution, Institute services to the Societies should increase whereas others felt that the contribution should be reduced to zero if possible. The following motion was finally introduced and carried unanimously:

MOVED that the Executive Committee be empowered to set the percent contribution of member societies for 1952 sometime before September 1, 1951 at from ten to fifteen percent of dues collected by each society in 1951.

10. Mobilization:

Mr. Barton reported that the Trytten Committee plan regarding deferment of students had been approved by all the federal agencies concerned. He explained the plan in some detail and there was some discussion but no action was taken.


Mr. Harnwell distributed copies of a status report on PHYSICS TODAY. (copy attached to official minutes) From this report and the discussion which followed, it became apparent that, although PHYSICS TODAY has become increasingly attractive to Institute members, it has not yet become the general Institute medium of communication we believe it should be. Some were of the opinion that a way must be found to send PHYSICS TODAY to all AIP members. It was agreed that the subject is of great importance and that further study by a new committee is desirable. Accordingly the following motion was passed unanimously:

MOVED that the Executive Committee appoint a committee to study and make recommendations on what changes should be made in PHYSICS TODAY to make it a more general Institute medium of communication.

12. Report of Nominating Committee:

Mr. Kingslake, report for the Nominating Committee, submitted the following nomination of officers and members of the Executive Committee for 1951:

Chairman – George R. Harrison
Secretary – Wallace Waterfall

Executive Committee:
George R. Harrison
Gaylord P. Harnwell
George B. Pegram
Harold K. Schilling
John C. Steinberg

The Chairman asked for other nominations. No other nominations were received and it was moved, seconded, and unanimously carried that nominations be closed. It was moved further that the above slate be elected. The motion was carried.

13. Appointment of Committees:

It was moved, seconded, and unanimously carried that the Executive Committee be empowered to appoint the following committees:

Committee for Election of Associate Members
Institute representatives on Publication Board
Committee on Physics Abstracts
Committee on Donors’ Tablet
Committee on Government Aided Research
Committee on Future Plans for PHYSICS TODAY

14. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 3:50 P.M.