[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 12, 1955

1. The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics met at the Institute building, 57 East 55 Street, New York 22, New York

Present: Frederick Seitz, Chairman, A.V. Astin, R.F. Bacher, H.A. Bethe, J.W. Buchta, S.A. Goudsmit, D.B. Judd, H.S. Knowles, W.H. Markwood, Jr., W.F. Meggers, P.M. Morse, H.F. Olson, R.F. Paton, E. Rodgers, R.A. Sawyer, W. Shockley, H.D. Smyth, M.W. Zemansky

Absent: B. O’Brien, G.B. Pegram, J.H. Van Vleck

AIP Staff Present: Henry A. Barton, Wallace Waterfall, R.R. Davis, Kathryn Setze, Mary Ann Lee

Chairman Seitz convened the meeting at 10:10 A.M. and welcomed the new members present: A.V. Astin, H.A. Bethe, R.F. Paton, H.D. Smyth

2. Minutes

On motion made, seconded, and carried, the minutes of the meeting of March 13, 1954 were approved as circulated.

3. Report of the Annual Meeting of the Corporation

The Secretary reported on the Annual Meeting of the Corporation held on February 26, 1955. Proxies from all Member Societies were present and voted to elect the following members to the Governing Board:

On nomination of the American Physical Society

H.A. Bethe – term to 1958
H.D. Smyth – term to 1958

On nomination of the Optical Society of America

W.F. Meggers – term to 1958

On nomination of the Acoustical Society of America

H.S. Knowles – term to 1958

On nomination of the Society of Rheology

W.H. Markwood, Jr. – term to 1956

On nomination of the American Association of Physics Teachers

R.F. Paton – term to 1958
M.W. Zemansky – term to 1958

On election by all individual members of the Institute

Allen V. Astin – term to 1958

The following was announced as the full membership of the Board until the 1956 Annual Meeting of the Corporation:

On nomination of Term to end at the Annual meeting
American Physical Society  
S.A. Goudsmit 1956
J.H. Van Vleck 1956
Frederick Seitz 1957
H.A. Bethe 1958
H.D. Smyth 1958
Optical Society of America  
Brian O'Brein 1956
Deane B. Judd 1956
Ralph A. Sawyer 1957
W.F. Meggers 1958
Acoustical Society of America  
Philip M. Morse 1956
Harry F. Olson 1957
Hugh S. Knowles 1958
Society of Rheology  
W.H. Markwood, Jr. 1956
American Association of Physics Teachers  
J.W. Butchta 1956
Eric Rodgers 1957
R.F. Paton 1958
M.W. Zemansky 1958
Members-at-Large  
William Shockley 1956
Robert F. Bacher 1957
Allen V. Astin 1958

4. Report of Director for 1954

The Director said he had already sent copies of the preliminary draft of his report to all members of the Board and he now wished to review it and obtain whatever suggestions Board members might have before suggesting its adoption as the official report of the Board to the membership of the Institute.

The Director then proceeded with his report, answering questions as they arose. (Copy of report attached to official minutes and to minutes sent to Member Society Secretaries.) During the discussion of Institute journals and their page budgets, several questions were raised about the relationship between Institute journals and Society journals and it was agreed that this subject should be added to the agenda of the meeting for the further discussion later.

The Director said that the tax exempt status of educational and scientific organizations which publish journals and carry advertising and which are sold at different subscription prices to members and non-members is now being tested in the courts. This situation is being watched carefully by the Institute’s attorney and Member Societies will be kept informed of developments.

After the discussion had been concluded, the following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED, that the report of the Director for 1954 be approved and that it be adopted as the report of the Board to the Institute membership and published in PHYSICS TODAY.

5. Financial Report for 1954

The Secretary went over the balance sheet and the summary statement of operations attached to the Director’s Report and answered various questions which were asked. He called attention to the fact that the total monies received and paid out by the Institute exceeded one million dollars during the calendar year of 1954. Although the Institute surplus of approximately $178,000 may seem like an adequate cushion, it is really small when compared to the size of the Institute’s operations.

A detailed statement of Institute operations for 1954, including budgets for 1954 and 1955, was then distributed (copy attached to Executive Committee minutes of March 11, 1955). The Secretary explained that the statement agreed with the Institute’s official audit for 1954, copies of which had been transmitted to the Secretaries of all Member Societies. He also explained that the budget for 1955 had been adopted by the Executive Committee at its meeting last December and was being presented to the Board Members for their information and for whatever changes they might wish to make, if any.

The financial statement was discussed in detail. The reasons for the difference between 1954 budget figures, 1954 performance figures, and 1955 budget figures were explained. It was pointed out that the net advertising revenue from each journal does not appear on the statement of income and expense for that journal but can be calculated from the Advertising Department statement. For example, the net income from advertising in PHYSICS TODAY during 1954 amounted to approximately $10,000. This means that the net cost of PHYSICS TODAY to the Institute for that year was approximately $30,000.

A question was raised about the income from Associate and Sustaining members. It was explained that the dues of Associates had just been raised from $175 to $250 per year and that no difficulty was being experienced in collecting the higher dues. There was some feeling that a further dues increase was justifiable, but the staff urged that another change should not be made so soon. It was agreed that an effort should be made to increase the number of Associates, and Board members were asked to send in the names of prospective Associates along with the name of some individual officer to whom solicitation letters could be sent.

6. Review of Executive Committee Activities

The Chairman said that, besides himself, only four members of last year’s Executive Committee were on the Board this year and that he would suggest the appointment of two new members later in the meeting.

The Chairman reported that four regular and one special meeting of the Executive Committee had been held during the past year. Besides the regular business of the Institute, which takes much of the Executive Committee’s time, there had been a number of special problems on which the Committee had acted. These had been covered in minutes which had been distributed but he reviewed them briefly for the information of new Board Members. He pointed out that the problem of providing adequate office space for the Institute for the coming years had been discussed at almost every meeting. There are a number of alternate possibilities, all of which require substantial additional funds. Some decision on what course should be followed must be made soon so that plans can be laid.

The Chairman reported that, at the time the 1955 budget was adopted, the Executive Committee was not satisfied that enough thought had been given to additional activities which the Institute should undertake but for which funds did not appear to be available from current operations. A committee had been appointed to study these desirable additional activities and make recommendations regarding them. At the Executive Committee meeting on the previous day the committee had reported and certain action be taken. The Chairman asked Mr. Knowles, chairman of the committee, to tell the Board about the report which his committee had made and the action which had been taken. Mr. Knowles explained that, of the additional activities considered, the most important was the establishment by the Institute of a physics information center who principle purpose would be to collect and disseminate information designed to increase the public’s appreciation of physics and physicists, to encourage better teaching of physics, and to attract more young people into careers in physics. (Committee report attached to minutes of Executive Committee meeting of March 11, 1955). As a result of this report and much discussion by the Executive Committee, the staff had been instructed to include $15,000 in the 1956 budget for the manpower and the expenses necessary to operate such a project. After Mr. Knowles’ presentation, there was lengthy discussion of the information center idea. The consensus appeared to be that the project was important but some doubt was expressed as to the adequacy of the funds appropriated. The difficulty of finding a suitable man for the job was emphasized.

The Chairman then continued his review of Executive Committee activities. He pointed out that the financing of PHYSICS TODAY continued to be a major problem although the magazine seems to be establishing itself as an important and necessary activity of the Institute. During the first months of 1955, there has been a considerable increase in advertising, text pages are being reduced and there is increasing hope that the net cost of PHYSICS TODAY to the Institute can be brought down to about $1.00 per member. Such a cost should be easily justifiable.

At the conclusion of his presentation, Chairman Seitz said that the Executive Committee will continue to look beyond the current Institute activities to see if there are other ways in which the Institute can be of benefit to physics. He said that the Executive Committee would welcome suggestions from Board members.

7. Appointment of Nominating Committee

The Chairman appointed the following men to act as a committee to nominate candidates for the offices of Chairman and Secretary, both of whom are required to be elected annually: S.A. Goudsmit, Chairman, R.F. Bacher, J.W. Buchta, H.S. Knowles, R.A. Sawyer.

At this point the meeting was recessed for lunch from 12:25 P.M. until 2:15 P.M.

8. Election of Officers

The Chairman of the Nominating Committee reported that his committee had met and nominated Frederick Seitz for Chairman of the Governing Board and Wallace Waterfall for Secretary. It was moved, seconded and carried without dissenting vote that nominations be closed and that the candidates proposed by the Nominating Committee be declared elected.

9. Appointment of Executive Committee

On recommendation of Chairman Seitz, and with approval of the Board, the following were selected as the Executive Committee for the coming year:

Frederick Seitz
S.A. Goudsmit
Deane B. Judd
Hugh S. Knowles
Eric Rodgers
Ralph A. Sawyer
Mark W. Zemansky

10. Appointment of Other Committees

After examining a list of the committees and representatives whose terms expired at this meeting, the following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Executive Committee be authorized to appoint such committees and representatives as may be necessary during the coming year.

11. AIP-Member Society Contracts

The Secretary reported that the new contracts between the Institute and the Member Societies had gone into effect January 1, 1955, and that the Secretaries of all Societies had been so notified. Supplements to cover services to individual societies, not provided for in the basic contract will be prepared and submitted to the Societies as soon as completed.

12. Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Meeting

The Secretary reported that the committee which had been appointed to make arrangements for the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Meeting of the Institute in 1956 and met and agreed upon broad outlines for the program. Negotiations are now in progress with New York hotels to obtain acceptable facilities at a suitable time. Another meeting of the committee is scheduled at which time it should be possible to finalize a number of details.

13. Amendment to By-Laws Regarding Board Chairman

The Secretary reported that the amendment to Article XI, Section 2, of the Constitution, recommended to the Member Societies by the Governing Board at its last meeting, had been approved by four Member Societies and disapproved by one Society within a year as prescribed for such amendments. Accordingly, therefore, the amendment has been officially adopted and Article XI,

“the Chairman shall be elected from among the current or former directors; other officers need not be members of the Governing Board.”

14. Approval of Mail Ballot on Philosophical Society of Washington

The Secretary stated that the laws of New York State require that mail ballots be confirmed at a meeting of the Board. He said that the mail ballot sent to members regarding the election of The Philosophical Society of Washington as an Affiliated Society of the Institute had resulted in 18 approvals and 2 abstentions. It was moved, seconded and carried without dissenting vote that the Philosophical Society of Washington be elected an Affiliated Society of the American Institute of Physics.

15. Publication Program and Page Budgets of Institute Journals

The Chairman explained that this item had been added to the agenda because of comments which had been made during the discussion of Institute finances. It had been pointed out that the establishment of page budgets for Institute journals may have the effect of increasing the publishing load of a Member Society journal. Mr. Goudsmit expressed the opinion that limiting the page budget of the JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS builds up a time lag between submission and publication of papers in the journal that authors turn to the PHYSICAL REVIEW for publication and therefore increase its publishing load. Then following considerable discussion of the inter-relation between Institute and Society-owned journals and also of the increasing difficulty faced by the PHYSICAL REVIEW in publishing all material submitted to it. Previous efforts to interest the Physical Society in taking over JCP were discussed. The comment was made that Institute-owned journals must increase the pages they publish if they are to bear their share of the total publishing load in physics. This was countered by a statement that Institute-owned journals must take cognizance of how many subscribers are willing to pay and the majority of subscribers are not members of the Institute nor Member Societies. It was suggested that Institute-owned journals should be deficit operations and that the dues percentage collected from Member Societies should be applied to the cost of publication. If more money is needed, the percentage of dues collected from Societies should be increased. This point of view was objected to on the grounds that some Member Societies are having no difficulty in financing their publications and would not appreciate having to pay more to support publication of Institute-owned journals.

It was pointed out that the publication program of the Institute has been studied by specially appointed committees on several previous occasions and that the program now being followed is the result of such studios. There may be new reasons for examining this policy. At the Executive Committee meeting, December 10, 1953, the subject was discussed briefly in connection with the JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS and a Committee to Study Institute Publication Programs was authorized but had never been activated. It was the consensus that a broad policy study was needed and the following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED, that the Committee to Study Institute Publication Programs should be activated and should be specifically instructed to study, among other things, means of increasing the speed of publication of papers in Institute-owned journals.

Further discussion followed the above motion. It was owned out that the above mentioned study must include all Society-owned journals, and also that a careful examination of PHYSICS TODAY should be included in the study to determine whether its value to Institute members justifies its cost to the Institute. This comment brought forth strong support for PHYSICS TODAY and the job it is doing and fear was expressed that wide-spread inquiry might do much harm now, at a time when PHYSICS TODAY is beginning to show signs of getting on its feet financially.

16. Dues Percentage to be Paid by Member Societies in 1956

Determination of the amount of dues percentage to be paid by Member Societies had been purposely deferred until after the discussion of the Institute-owned journals covered in the previous item.

It was explained that the percentage of dues collected from Member Societies had been set at 10% for the past several years and it was suggested that it be set at the same figure for 1956 unless good reasons could be given to the Member Societies for increasing it. After some discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed with one dissenting vote:

MOVED, that ten percent (10%) of the dues collected in 1955 be set as the amount to be contributed by each Member Society for the support of the Institute  in 1956.

17. Deputy Officers

The Chairman pointed out that, during the summer of 1954, a Deputy Director had been appointed in case his services should be needed while the Director and Secretary were both in Europe. Occasions might again arise in which it would be desirable to have deputy officers and it was suggested that some procedure be agreed upon in case quick action became desirable. The following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED, that the Executive Committee be empowered to appoint temporary deputy officers of the Institute after obtaining approval of specific candidates by mail from the Governing Board.

18. The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 P.M.