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Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

April 4, 1959

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.G. Baker; J.W. Beams; R.H. Bolt; J.W. Buchta; J.H. Dillon; H.A. Erf; S.A. Goudsmit; W.W. Havens, Jr.; Charles Kittel; R.B. Lindsay; W.C. Michels; C.J. Overbeck; G.E. Pake; J.B. Platt; R.A. Sawyer
Absent: V.E. Eaton, W.E. Kock, John Strong, G.E. Ulenbeck, V.F. Weisskopf

AIP Staff Present: Elmer Hutchisson, H.A. Barton, Wallace Waterfall, Mary M. Johnson. Messrs. Kelly, Kone and Maizell attended part time.

Chairman Seitz convened the meeting at 9:35 a.m.

2. Minutes

On motion, made, seconded and carried, the minutes of the meeting of October 27, 1958, were approved and circulated.

3. Report of Annual Meeting

The Secretary reported that the annual corporation meeting had been held on February 27, 1959, in accordance with New York State law. It had no official business to transact but those attending appeared to enjoy the reports presented and the discussion of Institute activities.

4. Report of Chairman

The Chairman stated that the present rate of growth of Institute operations is about 20% per year as contrasted to the rate of growth of membership in our Member Societies which is about 5%. He said that the Institute does a tremendous amount for the Societies and, in his opinion, does a good job. The Chairman said he has sometimes felt that the establishment of the Institute was not a good thing from the point of view of the Societies. In has encouraged them to pay less attention to the managements of their business affairs. It has been natural for the Institute to assume these responsibilities event though this may not have been the original intention and may sometimes be resented.

5. Report of Board to Members for 1958

  1. Report of 1958 Activities as Prepared by Director
  2. Copies of the Director’s Annual Report were distributed and it was read aloud by the Director (copy attached). The Director described the work which has been done during the past year on  translation journals, our success in putting AIP journals back on schedule, efforts to increase efficiency, our back number study, the documentation research project and revision of the AIP “Style Manual.” He stated, in connection with our public information services, that we have furnished lay-language versions of meeting papers to interested parties, press releases on the Visiting Scientists Program; we are distributing a “Public Relations Newsletter,” and have requested support to provide lay-language versions of journal articles to the press. Our education projects include the Visiting Scientists Program, a project on the design of physics buildings, preparation of three career booklets, an apparatus project, and the “Educational Newsletter.” He mentioned also the success of our Placement Service, growth of Student Sections, efforts to make “Physics Today” more useful, and the services we perform for Member Societies. The Director said we have requested funds for the future for both high school and college visiting scientists programs. Mr. Buchta pointed out that the results of the Visiting Scientists Program have been two-fold in that the visits also have been helpful in securing research support for small colleges. In conclusion the Director stated that we may expect continuing personnel and space problems as a result of growth of AIP activities.

  3. Financial Report
  4. The Treasurer reported that in the past five years the volume of money handled by the Institute had doubled to over two million dollars in 1958. As we had predicted, our costs have risen substantially during the last couple of years. This is partly due to a change in our accounting methods and partly to the fact that we have staffed and equipped ourselves to do a better job. Perfection is possible but only at excessive cost. Our aim is to do a generally acceptable job at the lowest possible cost. Rapid expansion of activities makes it difficult to locate inefficiencies and sources of errors but we plan to concentrate on locating and eliminating them during the coming year.

    The Treasurer reported that the 1958 audit had been completed and received, and copies would be distributed to the Member Society secretaries and treasurers within the next few days.

    The Treasurer called attention to the financial statement, dated March 31, 1959, copies of which had been distributed (and a copy of which is attached). He stated that our cash position, as usual, is good although our accumulated income has gone down mostly because of purchase of the adjacent vacant lot. The Executive Committee, at its meeting on April 3, authorized prepayment without penalty of the mortgage on our building which amounts to approximately $114,000.00. The net worth of the Institute is approximately the value of our building and land and equipment, free and clear, minus about $35,000.00. Based on book values, this comes to about $835,000.00.

    Our Statement of Income and Expenses for 1958 shows that we were in the black by about $12,600 at the end of the year. We have budgeted a net income of $4,625 for 1959. Income from special projects (mostly overhead on grants) was higher than budgeted for 1958 and is budgeted at $66,400 for 1959. More than $500,000 in grants is anticipated in 1959. Income from Corporate Associates was budgeted at $37,000 for 1959 but already exceeds $50,000.00. The “Statement of Administrative Expense” on Page 4 is new and shows what makes up administrative expense and how it is distributed on various operations. The 1959 budget is lower than 1958 because of transfer for some administrative staff to operating departments. Of the total administrative expense, only about $6,000 or $7,000 eventually gets charged to Member Society journals.

    Advertising income, particularly from “Physics Today,” promises to be better than the budgeted for 1959. The net cost of PT, after crediting advertising income, was about 67c per person receiving it in 1958. It is expected to be a little higher in 1959.

    “The Journal of Chemical Physics” was budgeted for a loss of $15,900 in 1959 but we hope to make back most of this in 1960 by increases in subscription prices and publication charges which have been authorized. Income on all journals in 1958 was less than expected because of unexpected increases in printing and other costs. We believe our 1959 budget will prove more realistic.

  5. Authorization for Publication in “Physics Today”
  6. The following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the Annual Report of the Director for 1958, including a summary of the financial report, be adopted as the report of the Board to members, and that it be published in “Physics Today.”

6. Election and Appointments

  1. Report of Nominating Committee and Election of Chairman
  2. Mr. Beams, Chairman of the Nominating Committee, reported that Mr. Seitz had very compelling reasons for not wishing to continue in his capacity as Board Chairman and the Nominating Committee wished to place in nomination for Chairman of the Board the name of Ralph A. Sawyer. Mr. Michels moved that nominations be closed and that the Secretary be instructed to cast a unanimous ballot. The motion was seconded and carried without dissenting vote and Mr. Sawyer was declared elected.

    Mr. Beams then offered the following resolution which was seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

    WHEREAS Frederick A. Seitz has, by many acts and services, made an outstanding contribution to the American Institute of Physics and to its objectives, the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of physics; and whereas, despite heavy demands up on him to contribute otherwise to the development and security of the nation, he has rendered faithful and highly constructive service on the Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the Institute; and whereas, with exceptional concern and wisdom, he has guided the Institute through a period of self-examination as a working federation of Member Societies and of greatly accelerated expansion, culminating in the establishment of the new and large headquarters in New York City on East 45th Street:

    BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED

    That the Governing Board places on record this acknowledgement of the American Institute of Physics of its indebtedness to Frederick A. Seitz for his leadership and orders a copy of this minute suitably inscribed and delivered to him.

    The Chairman thanked the Board and replied that there had been no task of this kind which he had enjoyed more.

    M. Sawyer stated that he was very honored to be elected Chairman of the Board and that he hoped he would discharge his responsibility well.

  3. Report of Nominating Committee and Appointment of Executive Committee and Director-at-Large
  4. The Chairman explained that the new Bylaws provide that the Board itself shall elect directors-at-large and the advantage in this is that the Board will be able to choose the individuals with whom it wants to work. He added that he feels it is important to have young people represented on the Board. Mr. Michels, Chairman of this Nominating Committee, presented his report (copy attached to official minutes) which stated that there had been no precedent for this Committee to follow and no specific instruction from the Board as to whether there should be more than one candidate for director-at-large. After due deliberation, taking various factors into account, the Committee nominated only candidate, Harvey Books, for the position of directors-at-large for a three-year period to 1962. The nomination was seconded  and Mr. Brooks was unanimously elected.

    Mr. Michels reported that the Nominating Committee believe that all Member Societies should be represented on the Executive Committee, when possible; that continuity of service is desirable, and that all candidates should be asked their ability to attend a majority of Executive Committee meetings. Of the seven persons now on the Executive Committee only Mr. Bolt doubted his ability to attend meetings and requested that he not be renominated. The following names were therefore presented as nominations for the Executive Committee:

    Ralph A. Sawyer, Chairman
    Walter S. Baird
    Jesse W. Beams
    J.W. Buchta
    S.A. Goudsmit
    R. Bruce Lindsay
    Walter C. Michels

    Upon motion made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote the foregoing were election to constitute the Executive Committee of the Governing Board for the coming year.

  5. Appointment of Other Committees and Representatives
  6. The Secretary reported that a list of present and proposed committees and representatives was presented to the Executive Committee at its meeting yesterday. Several suggestions had been made and noted, and the Chairman was authorized by the Executive Committee to make appointments as needed. (A copy of the current list of committees and representatives is attached to the minutes of the April 3 Executive Committee meeting.)

7. Plans for 1959 Activities

The Director stated that he felt the Board would like to hear directly  from the people who are conducting our education, documentation and public information activities and so he invited them to report in person at this meeting.

  1. Education Projects Including Joint AAPT-AIP Projects
  2. Mr. W.C. Kelly, Head of the Education Department, reported that a project on the design of physics buildings had been undertaken, supported by a grant from the Educational Facilities Laboratories of the Ford Foundation. Mr. R. Ronald Palmer is director of the project and Mr. William Rice is serving in the capacity of staff architect. AAPT has appointed an advisory committee to assist in this work, the chairman of which is Mr. Yale K. Roots. The final product of this project is to be a book or booklet of recommendations on the design of physics buildings. Messrs. Palmer and Rice will visit several  institutions in the course of their work. A bibliography of current literature on the subject has already been prepared to assist physics departments having immediate problems.

    The second project, being carried out under an NSF grant, is a series of career booklets. One is for the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades; one is for the early undergraduate years in college, and the third for graduate work. The last-named booklet is the result of a problem which was brought to our attention through the Visiting Scientists Program, namely, that students are not acquainted with the procedures for continuing in graduate work, nor do they realize how and where they can obtain assistance.

    The Visiting Scientists Program, an active joint project of AAPT and AIP is now in its second year and is being assisted by an advisory committee of which Mr. Buchta is chairman. There are 80 physicists engaged in making visits to colleges and universities. We also hope to conduct a series of visits to high schools which will consists of about 300 visits involving 100 or more physicists.

    The apparatus drawings project, also conducted under an NSF grant, will make available drawings of and notes on physics equipment. This project is also being assisted by an advisory committee and will have a technician to make the actual drawings. It is sponsored jointly by AAPT and AIP.

    In addition to the above, the Education Department is helping the states in their purchase of physics equipment under Title 3 of the National Defense Act.  The first thing needed is a good list of equipment to be recommended and Mr. Kelly said he had been asked to serve as physics representative on a committee appointed by state purchasing officials. the Council of Chief State School Officers. (9/24/59 MMJ)

  3. Documentation Research
  4. Mr. Robert E. Maizell, head of the subject project, distributed copies of a report prepared for the meeting (copy attached) and commented on it. During his discussion he suggested publication of a monthly index covering all AIP and Member Society Journals. The subject was discussed briefly by Board members but no conclusion was reached. Comments made by Mr. Maizell on abstracts led to a discussion of “Physics Abstracts” with which several Board members expressed strong dissatisfaction. The Director said that 95% of the physicists replying to a recent questionnaire had expressed satisfaction with “Physics Abstracts” and he recommended that those who had other opinions should discuss their objections with the joint APS-AAPT Committee on Science Abstracts.

    Mr. Lindsay called attention to the rather comprehensive references to world literature on acoustics published regularly in “The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.” He said workers in acoustics had found it very useful.

  5. Public Information
  6. Mr. Eugene H. Kone reported that one of the objectives of the AIP public information program is to gain and maintain a favorable attitude on the part of the public at large toward the profession of physics and physicists. Another objective is to provide career information to students in the form of career booklets and the demand for these has been overwhelming the past six months without any promotion of them on our part. A major objective is to inform the public on progress in physics and its role in modern society.

    Press representation at the recent APS and Optical Society meetings has been very encouraging. Interest in attendance by the business and technical press has increased and we feel there is being built up a mutual “tolerance” between scientists and the press. We have also been distributing “home town” releases for every visit of the Visiting Scientists Program and, by correspondence, we have tried to assist Member Societies in setting up press relations at meetings where AIP staff members are not present. AIP is planning a project to issue lay-language versions of articles appearing in our journals. We also distribute the “Public Relations Newsletter” and “Physics in the News” to keep leading physicists informed on the coverage of physicists’ activates by the press.

  7. AIP Publications
  8. The Director said reports had been received from the editors of our various journals and the principal problems with which we are now concerned are (1) publication of conference proceedings (2) the JCP backlog and (3) “Physics Today” editorial policy and contents.

    The Director also reported that a grant of $64,800 had been received from NSF for a journal of mathematical physics and a meeting had been held recently to discuss its cope and to choose and editor.

    The meeting adjourned for luncheon at 12:15 p.m. and reconvened at 2:10 p.m. Chairman Seitz left and requested Mr. Sawyer to preside during the balance of the meeting.

  9. Joint Meeting of Governing Bodies of Member Societies
  10. Mr. Barton reported that the Executive Committee, at its meeting on January 30, had favored a proposal to have a joint meeting of the AIP Governing Board and Member Society councils. Upon examining the financial aspects of such a meeting it was concluded that the expenses of such a large group would be too great for the Institute to bear, so the staff would like to offer an alternative proposal that a meeting of AIP Governing Board members and Society officers be considered. Mr. Barton said we could have the use of Arden House, which is located about an hour’s drive from New York City and which is owned by Columbia University, for the period of September 30 to October 2, 1959.

    The plan includes a joint meeting with representatives of our Corporate Associates who would be brought to Arden House for the one day by bus from New York City. Separate meetings of the Governing Board, Executive Committee, or other committees could also be held during the period. As time permits. The total cost of the 3-day session is estimated to be about $5,000 over what we normally spend for an Executive Committee and Governing Board meeting.

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

    MOVED that the plan proposed by the staff and described above be approved in principle, that the invitations be sent out in the name of the Governing Board, and that the staff be authorized to work out the details.

  11. Corporate Associates
  12. The Director called attention to a list of Corporate Associates which had been distributed and said that, as of the present time, the AIP has a total of 136 Corporate Associates and expects a net income from them of approximately $60,000.00. He pointed out that this is a continue campaign for potential Corporate Associates.

  13. Looking to the Future
  14. The Director called attention to a report entitled “Looking to the Future,” copies of which had been distributed, and discussed the significance of the various charts contained therein. Various questions were asked including one about our plans for expansion spacewise, and the Board was told that the staff has already looked into this subject and is continually aware of its importance.

8. Application of American Astronomical Society for Associate Membership

The Secretary reported that the Institute had received an application for Associate Membership from ASS and the Executive Committee had recommended to the Board that this application be presented to the Member Societies with a recommendation for favorable action. In answer to a question, the Director reported that the Institute may be asked to consider taking over publication of the AAS journal.

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

MOVED that the American Astronomical Society be nominated for Associate Member Society status with the recommendation that it be accepted by the Member Societies of the Institute.

9. Percentage of Dues to be Paid by Member Societies in 1960

The Secretary reported that, at its meeting yesterday, the Executive Committee recommended that 10% be fixed as the amount of Member Society dues to be paid to the Institute in 1960. After brief discussion, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that ten percent (10%) of the dues collected in the 1959 be set as the amount to be contributed by each Member Society for the support of the Institute in 1960.

10. Development of AIP Student Sections

Mr. Barton stated that March White approaching retirement age, Sigma Pi Sigma is faced with reduced activities and we have been approached on the subject of combining Sigma Pi Sigma with the AIP Student Sections. This might mean that AIP would take over sponsorship of the present Sigma Pi Sigma chapters as AIP Student Sections and Sigma Pi Sigma would continue solely as an honor society. This would mean that our present program would grow from 52 Sections with 1,250 members to about 110 Student Sections with 2,800 to 3,000 members. The minimum cost to AIP would increase from the present $4,200 to about $10,000 per year minimum. A committee to study the subject has been formed but has not yet had a meeting. We do not do very much for our Student Sections at present time and may wish to consider expanding services by employing the part-time services of some physicist, establishing a newsletter to help Sections with their activities, etc. This might bring the total cost of maintaining and assisting Student Sections to about $18,000 per year.

The Director said there would be no connection between AIP and Sigma Pi Sigma as an honor society. The money for this increased activity would be considerable and would have to come out of our pockets but we feel it would be one very good way of encouraging young people in physics. The proposed arrangement is now also under consideration by the Sigma Pi Sigma board and Marsh White is sufficiently interested that he has appointed Stanley S. Ballard to negotiate with AIP. There was a brief discussion of the value of Student Sections after which the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Governing Board favors expanding our Student Section activities and leaves interim action on the subject to the Executive Committee.

11. Position of AIP on Ratification of “Florence Convention on Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials.

The Director explained the implications of the “Florence Convention” (see Item 13f, Page 7, of April 3 Executive Committee meeting minutes). After brief discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that any action on the position of AIP with respect to the “Florence Convention” be postponed to a future time.

The Director said he will send copies of a booklet describing the subject agreement to all Board members. (Sent on April 23, 1959.)

12. Report on National Research Council Annual Meeting

    The Director reported briefly on the meeting of all of the divisions of NRC in Washington on March 19-21, 1959. The following topics were considered:

  1. Fellowship – Adequacy of pattern, need for more inter-disciplinary fellowships, scholarship vs. financial need, and lengthening of period to obtain doctor’s degree.
  2. Behavioral Sciences – Their role in NRC.
  3. Support of Science – Adequacy of pattern, project vs. scientist approach, rebuilding funds, and training of technicians.
  4. Foreign Aid – Science in foreign aid, strengthening of existing institutions, visiting scientist programs, cooperation with religious groups, and role of NRC.

The meeting adjourned at 3:50 p.m.