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Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

September 30, 1960

1. The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics met at the offices of the Institute, 335 East 45th Street, New York 17, New York.

Present: R.A. Sawyer, Chairman; J.G. Baker; R.H. Bolt; W.R. Brode; Harvey Brooks; J.W. Buchta; V.E. Eaton; J.H. Elliott; H.A. Erf; S.A. Goudsmit; W.W. Havens, Jr.; R.B. Lindsay; H.V. Neher; C.J. Overbeck; Ray Pepinsky; F.W. Sears; Frederick Seitz; G.E. Uhlenbeck; M.E. Warga

Absent: Dirk Brouwer; W.E. Kock; G.E. Pake; John Strong; V.F. Weisskopf; W.R. Willets

Guest: Harlan J. Smith (American Astronomical Society)

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

Chairman Sawyer convened the meeting at 4:05 p.m.

2. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of March 26, 1960, were approved as circulated.

3. Mail Ballot Approval

The Secretary reported that, under New York State laws it is necessary for the Governing Board to confirm the result of the recent mail ballot which established Karl K. Darrow as the recipient of the second Karl Taylor Compton Award. Upon motion made and passed the result of the mail ballot was confirmed.

4. Review of Arden House Discussions

The Chairman reported that one of the subjects is considered at the Assembly of AIP Governing Board and Member Society officers earlier the same day was the translation of foreign physics material. There was considerable discussion of the problem created by the inclusion of non-scientific material in the translation journals and the following resolution was passed unanimously by the Assembly:

Be it resolved that this group of officers of the American Institute of Physics and of its Member Societies believes that it is essential to the national interest that scientists of the United States be informed not only of the progress of science in other countries but also of the influences being brought to bear on scientists In those countries and of the intellectual climate in which these scientists work. We therefore urge that translations of foreign journals include, as far as is practicable, all material printed in the original issues, even when some of this material is clearly not strictly of a scientific nature.

Mr. Brode read his editorial on this subject which had appeared in the JOURNAL OF THE OPTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA and, after brief discussion, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the above resolution, passed by the Assembly of AIP Governing Board and Member Society officers, be supported by this Governing Board.

During the discussion which followed, it appeared to be the consensus that the small group discussions on the first evening at Arden House could have been more productive if more fully organized. The final general Assembly meeting seemed to satisfy participants. It was agreed that the panel discussion on "Physics and Engineering in a Free Society." which was attended by about 75 representatives of our Corporate Associates, was most worthwhile and very well received. All indications were that it is highly desirable to continue these annual meetings.

5. Honoring of Publication Charges

The Secretary displayed a chart depicting the percentage of publication charges honored on each of the Institute and Society-owned journals. He reported that the amount of money which might have been but was not collected from this source in the first six months of 1960 was a little over $18,000 on Society journals and $26,000 on Institute-owned journals which represents more than 10% of the cost of publishing the latter. In the case of Institute journals, 40% of pages on which the charge was not honored came from academic institutions; 28% from foreign contributors; 18% from industrial laboratories, and 13% from Government laboratories. The failure to honor among academic institutions is largely by other than physics departments.

In answer to a question, the Secretary displayed an order form which is returned with galleys and explained that an author's institution may elect to honor or not to honor the publication charge. A higher price is charged for reprints if the charge is not honored. He emphasized that payment of this charge is voluntary and editors have taken the position that they do not want to know who pays and who does not. In no case does failure to honor influence the publication of a paper. The Secretary offered the opinion that personal contacts were the most effective in increasing honoring, as in the case of a campaign conducted by Mr. Seitz on behalf of JCP a few years ago which resulted in an increase in honoring of about 15%.

The Secretary agreed to send quarterly reports detailing the status of publication charges honored to the secretaries of the Member Societies for their own journals with some comparable figures for other journals. The Institute will undertake tactfully to increase the percentage of such charges honored for its journals.

6. Building Plans

The Secretary recalled that the staff has been investigating the problem of our need for additional space in the very near future. He displayed a series of architect's drawings culminating in a 12-story building on the 100’ X 100' property we presently own, and described the alternatives we might elect to follow in achieving that goal. A 3-story and basement building on the 40' x 100’ vacant lot next door would cost approximately $632,000 and would furnish 15,200 square feet of floor space.

The Secretary stated that the bank building on the corner of 45th Street and United Nations Plaza is for sale, although it stands on leased ground which is not now for sale. The building consists of four stories of nice office space providing a total of 16,360 square feet in addition to a bank and store on the first floor. The price is $510,000 and very little alteration would be required to make it suitable for our requirements. If we should buy it, it could eventually be integrated into the proposed 12-story structure on our present 100-foot property. It is not inconceivable that we might be able to convince the owner of the land that it would be a big tax advantage to him to donate this property to the Institute. The rent and taxes on the land would amount to about $23,000 per year, but this would be partly offset by rentals from the bank and possibly the store. We would also have to pay tax on that part of the building occupied by renters.

The Secretary said the above suggestions and the means of financing our expansion have not yet been studied by our Property Committee, but some time early next year we expect to present a fairly definite proposal which will probably include mortgaging our property.

7. Report on Student Sections

The Director recalled that about a year ago a committee headed by Robert S. Shankland had recommended that we increase our emphasis on Student Sections. As a result of that recommendation, Donald E. Cunningham was employed and he and Mrs. Ethel Snider have been devoting a considerable amount of their time to this activity. The number of Student Sections has increased from about fifty last year to about one hundred at the present time and the number of student members from 1,000 to 2,300. This project will cost almost $20,000 for the year and the Director said he is concerned whether the results justify such a large expenditure. There was a brief discussion of Student Section activities during which the Director described some of the new services being offered to members under this expanded program. It appeared to be the consensus that it is too soon to evaluate our increased Student Section activities but they should be watched closely.

8. Future Meetings

The Secretary announced that meetings of the Governing Board and Executive Committee for 1961 will be set at the December meeting of the Executive Committee and the dates will be reported in the minutes of that meeting. The spring Governing Board meeting is usually held on a Saturday between the middle of March and the middle of April, and Board members were requested to advise the Secretary's office of any Saturdays during that period which would be inconvenient so that they can be avoided if possible.

The meeting adjourned at 5:40 p.m.