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Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

March 21, 1957

1. The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics met at the Institute building, 335, East 45th Street, New York  17, New York.
Present: Frederick Seitz, Chairman, W.S. Baird; J.W. Beams; R.T. Birge; F.D. Dexter; I.C. Gardner; S.A. Goudsmit; Charles Kittel; H.S. Knowles; W.E. Kock; R.B. Lindsay; W.F. Meggers; W.C. Michels; R.R. Palmer; R.F. Paton; J.B. Platt; R.A. Sawyer; M.W. Zemansky

Absent: A.V. Astin; H.A. Bethe; R.H. Bolt; H.D. Smyth

AIP Staff Present; Elmer Hutchisson; H.A. Barton; Wallace Waterfall; M.M. Johnson

Chairman Seitz convened the meeting at 9:05 a.m.

2. Minutes

On motion made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote, the minutes of the meeting of March 16, 1957, were approved as circulated.

3. Report of Executive Committee Meeting of October 20

The Chairman reported on the actions which had been taken by the Executive Committee on the previous day, pointing out that several of them were recommendations to the Governing Board and would come up for discussion during the meeting. He said that the next meeting of the Executive Committee would be held on December 14 and any Board member who is in the vicinity will be welcome to attend. At that meeting the Institute’s budget for 1958 will be considered and will probably be adopted.

4. Dedication Ceremony and Karl Taylor Compton Award

The Director called attention to programs and other material regarding the Ceremony which had been included in the Board members’ packets and he then discussed in some detail the arrangements for the Ceremony planned for that afternoon. There was some discussion in which a number of questions were asked and answered.

5. Proposed Changes in AIP Constitution and Rules

Mr. Beams, Chairman of the Committee to Study Revision of AIP Bylaws, reviewed the background history of the proposed changes. He said that all Board members had received a memorandum dated October 4 to which was attached drafts of the proposed new Constitution and Rules dated September 20, 1957. Since that draft same minor changes have been proposed by the Institute's attorney which did not affect any of the principles involved and the Executive Committee, at the previous day's meeting, had made two changes. It was pointed out that the drafts dated October l8, 1957, which were in the Board members' packets, incorporated the changes suggested by the attorney. Mr. Beams said that, on the previous day, the Executive Committee had changed the first sentence in Article XIII to read as follows :

The Governing Board shall appoint an executive committee from among the directors originally elected to the Board by the Member Societies or by the Board, subject to the condition that a majority shall be from the directors elected by Member Societies.

Mr. Beams pointed out that the underlined portion of the above sentence had been added so that there would be no possibility that an executive committee would have a majority of members not elected by the Member Societies. Mr. Beams said that the Executive Committee had also changed Article IX of the proposed Rules to read as follows:

The annual dues of a Corporate Associate shall not be less than three hundred and fifty ($350.00) dollars. Dues of Student Sections shall be fixed by the Executive Committee.

Mr. Beams pointed out that the second sentence had been added to permit the Executive Committee to formulate some dues plan for Student Sections so that members of the Student Sections may continue to receive "Physics Today” without too much financial burden to the Institute.

Mr. Beams said he believed that all of the recommendations of the Smyth Committee, except the suggested change in the stated purposes of the Institute, had been incorporated in the proposed drafts which had been approved by the Executive Committee on the preceding day and these draft were now ready for consideration by the Board. For reasons explained 10 the minutes of previous meetings, Mr. Beams said that he and the members of his Committee felt it would be unwise to make any change in the stated purposes of the Institute and he understood that Mr. Smyth agreed to this conclusion.

Then followed a discussion in which the following were the principal points raised:

  1. A question was raised about whether the formula for determining the number of Board members for each Member Society should be extended so that a Society having from 4,000 to 8,000 members would have six directors, a Society having from 8,000 to 16,000 members wou1d have seven directors, and so on. A motion for such extension was made, failed to receive a second, and was subsequently' withdrawn. It was pointed out that unlimited extension of this formula conceivably would make it possible for one Society to have a numerical majority on the Board if it became large enough. It was reported that Mr. Pegram had pointed out that the original Bylaws provided for equal representation of all Member Societies regardless of size and he had counseled returning to that arrangement with the present revision of the Bylaws. It was also pointed out that the present formula appears to work well, that a change to provide greater representation by a larger Society might not be approved by some of the small Societies and this might jeopardize the adoption of the proposed new Bylaws by the Member Societies.
  2. A question was raised about haw a "member" is defined in determining the total membership of each Member Society. It was explained that each Society has several membership categories and that all the Institute can do is to accept the statement made annually  by the Secretary of each Society regarding the total membership of that Society.
  3. It was pointed out that the service contracts between the Institute and Member Societies require the Member Societies to pay a percentage of their dues, currently ten percent, to the support of the Institute and it was asked what similar contribution would be expected from Associate Member Societies. It was suggested that this should be considered by the Board when such an Associate Membership is under consideration. It would probably depend upon the services desired by the Associate Member Society and the contribution could take the form of a specified overhead charge on such services. It was agreed that this subject should be given further consideration later by the Executive Committee so that some formula could be proposed when an application for Associate Membership is received.
  4. Mr. Beams was asked why a provision had been made to have members-at-large of the Board. It was explained that the present members-at-large of the Board have been very useful and often are men who probably would not have been elected to the Board by the Member Societies The Institute faces many problems and frequently needs the help and advice of outstanding men who may not be Board members. It is believed that allowing the Board itself to select three members-at-large will strengthen the Board without jeopardizing control of the Board by the Member Societies.

After the discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed with seventeen affirmative votes and no negative votes:

MOVED that the Governing Board recommend to the Member Societies that the present Constitution be amended to read in accordance with the draft of October 15, 1957, as corrected at the Executive Committee meeting of October 20, 1957.

(The draft of the Constitution attached to these minutes and dated October 21, 1957, is the draft referred to in the motion with the corrections made at the meeting of October 20.)

Attention was called to the fact that the proposed new Rules provide for an increase in the dues of Corporate Associates from $250 to $350 per year. The Director explained that the Executive Committee had recommended that this change be made effective on January 1, 1958, and action on this change should be taken immediately as dues bills for that year must be sent out within the next few weeks. He then explained the reason for the change as he had done to the Executive Committee on the preceding day. After brief discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed with seventeen affirmative votes and no negative votes.

MOVED that the present Rules of the Institute be amended to change the dues of Corporate Associates from a minimum of $250 per year to a minimum of $350 per year, effective January 1, 1958.

Attention was then directed to the proposed new Rules and the following motion was made, seconded and passed with seventeen affirmative votes and no negative votes.

MOVED that the Rules be amended to read in accordance with the draft of October IS, 1957, as amended at the Executive Committee meeting of October 20, 1957, with the understanding that they will become effective when and if the new Constitution is ratified by the requisite number of Member Societies.

(The Rules as adopted by the above motion are attached.)

The Chairman stated that he hoped the new Constitution would be ratified by the Member Societies and in effect by the time of the next Governing Board meeting.

6. The Institute’s Programs

The Director referred to an eight- page brochure describing the programs of the Institute which had been distributed to all Board members and said he would use it as a guide in discussing the present activities or the Institute. He said this brochure had been prepared to give the Institute's members and others a better picture of the ramified activities of the Institute and he intended to mail copies of it to all Institute members in a final effort to get a larger percentage of them to make contributions to the AIP Development Fund. (Copy of the brochure is attached.)

  1. Problems of Growth of Physics Literature
  2. The Director explained the crisis which the Institute is facing in finding adequate printing facilities (see minutes of Executive Committee meeting of October 20, 1957). He pointed out that Lancaster Press has been unable to keep up with the growth of our present journals and has expressed inability to undertake the printing of the new journal, "The Physics of Fluids” which we are just starting. The Secretary explained efforts which are being made to find a suitable printer for this new journal and indicated that the job would be given to one of the smaller monotype houses in the United States who has expressed willingness to undertake it.

    Board members then entered into a discussion of newly developed printing processes, printing prices, and the need for a combined attack on this problem which appears to be common to all scientific and engineering groups.

    The Director reported that funds to subsidize "The Physics of Fluids” had not yet been received from the Air Force OSR but we had been assured that we would receive $32,000, $16,000 of which had already been transferred to OSR from CNR for the purpose. We hope to get the first issue of this journal out in January 1958. The Director also reported that $64,800 had been requested from AEC to subsidize a new journal of mathematical physics which had been reported in previous minutes, No reply had been received to our request to date but the new journal will probably not be ready for publication until the middle of 1958.

  3. Physics Abstracting
  4. The Director reported that the American Physical Society makes a very substantial grant each year to the Institute of Electrical Engineers in England to help underwrite the costs of "Physics Abstracts". He said he had undertaken to find out whether some arrangement could be made so that copies could be re­produced here by photo-offset and distributed to subscribers in this country at a reasonable cost. Such an arrangement would save approximately four weeks in the time of delivery of the journal to subscribers in this country but the prices obtained to date have not been particularly attractive.

  5. Russian Translation Journals
  6. The Director explained that Mr. J. George Adashko had taken over as Editor of “Soviet Physics – JETP” and that Robert Beyer had becom6 Chairman of the Institute's Advisory Board on Russian Translations and had also been employed as a consultant to the Institute to help us with same of the administrative problems of the Russian Translation Program. It was also explained that the Institute has had discussions with the National Science Foundation on the translation of Russian journals of astronomy and crystallography as previously authorized by the Executive Committee. JETP promises to become self-supporting but the other translation journals are still running large deficits. NSF is aware or the funds we will need for the continuation of our present translation program and the addition of the new journals and we anticipate no difficulty in obtaining the money. With the approval of NSF, we have adopted a policy of charging approximately three cents per page for these translation journals.

  7. Public Information and Public Relations
  8. The Director said that, in the first phase of the Institute's public relations program, we had been reasonable successful in bringing the press and physicists into contact and in providing authoritative information to public information media. The Director said he believed the Institute should now undertake a larger and more positive program to promo the more substantial instruction in mathematics and physics in secondary schools for all students, greater public acceptance of the need for basic research, increased support for advanced study in physics and other sciences, and a greater appreciation on the part of the public for the role of the physicist in society. He had suggested that the budget for 1958 be approximately fifty per cent higher than tor 1957 and the Executive Committee had approved this. The Director also said he had recommended that an advisory committee on public relations be appointed, consisting of public relations experts from some of the large industrial and academic organizations, and he expected this committee could be very helpful in determining policy.

    Board members entered into a brief discussion of the Institute's public relations program during which it was suggested that the Institute might start a syndicated column.

  9. Relations with Industry
  10. The Director stated that many of the Institute activities which he envisioned for the future are closely related to the industry and should receive financial support from industry. For this reason we should develop better relations with industry and he proposed a meeting with our Corporate Associates at least annually to discuss mutual problems.

  11. Physics Education Programs.
  12. The Director stated that the addition of Messrs. Gale and Kelly to the Institute staff, on leave from their educational institutions, had made a great difference in the amount of attention which the Institute is able to devote to educational affairs. The projects on which they are working are well underway and it is hoped that some means will be found for continuing them beyond the present year. Several meetings of the Advisory Committee on AIP Education Program have been held and both Messrs. Gale and Kelly are working closely with AAPT committees.

    "Physics Today" is becoming accepted as a medium of communication among physicists and a large number of people regard it very highly. Mr. Kittel and others have been particularly helpful in making suggestions for its improvement.

    The Institute’s “Physics as a Career" booklet is to be revised and printed in a new form and we are planning to publish a companion booklet for high school students if we can locate a suitable author.

    With little help from the Institute, interest in Student Sections continues to grow and many people regard this as one of the Institute's most important activities. We are exploring ways within our means to do more to encourage Student Sections.

    Through Mr. Kelly’s activities in supervising the AAPT-AIP Visiting Lectureship Program and Mr. Gale’ s project on evaluating the teaching of physics by television and movies, the Institute is helping physicists to improve teaching at the high school and college levels.

  13. General Services of the Institute
  14. At the request of the Director the Secretary enumerated and explained briefly the various routine services which the Institute performs for Member Societies as covered by existing service contracts.  As the Member Societies grow older and larger they call upon the Institute to perform more of the routine activities and the Institute stands ready to furnish this assistance whenever requested.

  15. Development Fund Drive
  16. The Director said that the Institute had realized approximately $453,000 to date on Its Development Fund Drive and that the cost of the campaign had been approximately 835,000.00. Same of the grants requested are still pending and we hope to receive them. We expect to bring the campaign to a close at the end of the present calendar year but we intern to make one more effort to get a larger percentage of our individual members to make contributions.  Only about fifteen per cent have contributed to date and we need a much higher percentage in order to make a strong appeal for financial support from industry.

    One thing which the Director said particularly concerned him was that the grants for special projects which were received as part of our Development Fund Drive have definite time limits whereas the projects themselves are or great value and should be continued over a period of years. This means that we should immediately start looking for funds from industry and Government to continue these projects. Ways of attracting this continuing support are under consideration,

  17. Facilities for the Future
  18. The Director recalled previous statements which had been made about the continuing growth of Institute activities and said it appeared we should figure on enlarging our physical facilities again in about ten years. For that reason the Executive Committee was taking steps toward acquiring additional space for future expansion. (See minutes of Executive Committee meeting of October 20.)

7. Next Meeting

The Secretary reported the dates for future meetings which had been set by the Executive Committee on the previous day. Members agreed that the next meeting of the Governing Board should be held on Monday, March 24, 1958.

The meeting adjourned at 12: 35 p.m.