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Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

September 28, 1962

1. The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics met at Arden House, Harriman, New York.

Present: Ralph A. Sawyer, Chairman; S.S. Ballard; Wallace R. Brode; Dirk Brouwer; Malcolm Correll; N.S. Gingrich; W.W. Havens, Jr.; James Hillier; W.V. Houston; Winston E. Kock; R.B. Lindsay; David L. MacAdam; John C. Miller; Leonard O. Olsen; Ray Pepinsky; Francis W. Sears; Mary E. Warga

Absent: R. H. Bolt; Herbet A. Erf; John D. Ferry; S.A. Goudsmit; H. Victor Neher; S.L. Quimby; Frederick Seitz; C. Guy Suits

Guests: Paul M. Routly; John H. Dillon

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

Chairman Sawyer convoked the meeting 8: 10 a.m. and introduced Mr. Hiller, a new member of the Governing Board.

2. Minutes

On motion made, seconded and carried, the minutes of the meeting of March 24, 1962, were approved as distributed.

3. Authorization for Mortgage Application

The Treasurer stated that it would be necessary to apply to the New York courts for approval of placing a mortgage on the Institute's headquarters, and that one of the conditions for such approval would be that the mortgage be authorized by a vote of a majority of the whole number of the members of the Governing Board. A mortgage of $300,000 was approved in principle last year by the Board at its meeting held March 25, 1961. The Executive Committee unanimously authorized the officers to negotiate a $350, 000 loan at its meeting September 27, 1961. The Treasurer presented to the meeting a copy of a letter from Bankers Trust Company to the Institute dated November 13, 1961 offering to make a loan secured by a mortgage on the Institute's headquarters of $350,000 due fifteen (15) years after disbursement, bearing five and five-eighths per cent (5-5/8%) interest payable quarter-annually, amortizable by equal quarterly payments of $8,675.05 each, applicable first to interest and the balance to principal.

The following motion was then made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote (16 directors were present at the time of voting and all voted in favor of the motion):

MOVED that the Governing Board hereby authorizes the officers of the Institute to borrow from Bankers Trust Company $350,000 due fifteen (15) years after disbursement bearing five and five-eighths percent (5-5/8%) interest payable quarter-annually, amortizable by equal quarterly payments of $8,675.05 each, applicable first to interest and the balance to principal, as set forth in letter from Bankers Trust Company dated November 13, 1961, subject to such changes as may be hereafter agreed upon between the officers of the Institute and Bankers Trust Company, and further to execute and deliver a mortgage on the Institute's headquarters at 335-341 East 45th Street, New York, New York, securing said loan.

4. Membership Applications

  1. American Rocket Society
  2. The Secretary reported receipt of an application tor affiliated membership from the American Rocket Society. He gave some background information about the Society which has 20,000 members and publishes three journals. In answer to a question, the Secretary stated that members of an Affiliated Society are entitled to subscribe to AIP-owned journals at the member rates and he said that additional subscriptions, even at the reduced rates, would be desirable. The following motion was then made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote (17 directors were present at the time of voting and all voted in favor of the motion):

    MOVED that the American Rocket Society be approved as an Affiliated Society of the Institute, effective immediately.

  3. American Vacuum Society
  4. The Secretary stated that he had had several meetings with Mr. M. W. Welch who has been urging the American Vacuum Society to apply for membership in the Institute. Although no formal application had been received up to the time of this meeting, the AVS Board is expected to request membership as an Associate Member Society which would require approval by the Governing Board, then favorable action by four of the five Member Societies. The Secretary gave some background information about the American Vacuum Society, which has approximately 1200 members (25% of which are members of other AIP Societies), and be said AVS would like the Institute to handle several mailings per year to their members. It was also indicated that the Institute might be asked to publish their Journal. The Secretary suggested that action might be taken by the Board wished to authorize one.

    During the discussion which followed it was the consensus that a matter of such importance should not be handled by mail ballot and also that it might be better for AVS to apply first to become an Affiliated Society. Therefore, the Secretary was instructed to suggest to officers of AVS that they apply first for Affiliated Society status and, in any case, no action could be taken until the next meeting of the Board.

5. Physics at the National Bureau of Standards – A Report by John H. Dillon

Mr. Dillon distributed copies of his report on “Physics at the National Bureau of Standards” dated September 28, 1962. He gave a brief summary of the report and his closing statements are reproduced below:

“Only a cursory treatment of physical research at the Bureau was possible in this report. It is hoped, however, that the functioning of the various NAS-NRC Panels has been portrayed with reasonable accuracy. Throughout the Panel reports certain points of mutual agreement appear:

  1. The mission of the Bureau is properly conceived and important in the national interest,
  2. NBS appropriations are not increasing at a rate proportionate to the increasing demands for the Bureau’s services,
  3. Civil Service salary scales must be increased to make research posts at NBS attractive to competent scientists,
  4. Basic research at the Bureau is justified and should be increased in relation to the more pedestrian applied work,
  5. Routine testing should be reduced to a minimum,
  6. Better liaison with industry and other research organizations is desirable,
  7. In general, the work at the Bureau is of high quality, but in many instances is limited by lack of proper equipment and shortage of qualified personnel,
  8. The ratio of laboratory assistants to independent workers should be increased for better efficiency,
  9. The apparent necessity of long-range budget projections, project by project, is inappropriate for a research organization which should be free to follow new promising paths revealed in the course of the research,
  10. Planning for the new Gaithersburg laboratories should be boldly realistic in the light of our rapidly expanding technology.

“In several instances, it was suggested that the Bureau’s name should be changed and/or it be removed from the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce. If, in closing, I may be permitted a personal thought, I would question the desirability of changing the name of a 60-year old organization which I known the world over for its research excellence, however incomplete or inappropriate that name may be. Further, it seems that continued association with the Department of Commerce may actually be most appropriate and desirable. Commerce is the only administrative department which officially represents the interest of American industry and which has the potential for providing effective bruidges between government and private industrial research. Perhaps the National Bureau of Standards could serve well as one of those bridges, granting that better understanding of its important program is brought to both industry and government.”

The Director stated that the Institute is frequently asked to endorse nominations made by the National Academy of Sciences of people in the field of physics for membership on these advisory panels. He thanked Mr. Dillon for his excellent report.

6. Future Meeting Dates

The Secretary read a list of future meeting dates which had been set by the Executive Committee at its meeting on September 26 to cover the period through June 1963. There was some discussion of a possible conflict between the spring Board meeting and a meeting of the Optical Society but it was finally agreed to retain the dates as recorded in the minutes of the Executive Committee or September 26.

7. Physics at the New York World’s Fair

The Chairman reported that the assembly of Governing Board members and Society Officers which was he1d the previous evening had taken action urging that physics be adequately represented at the forthcoming New York World’s Fair. The action which bad been taken was read, and, after brief discussion, during which it was agreed that no large expenditure should be undertaken, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Institute be authorized and encouraged to press for the inclusion in the New York World’s Fair of a science exhibit or other representation commensurate with the importance of science on today’s world.

8. Evaluation of PHYSICS TODAY

Mr. Ballard stated that he felt it was time for a reappraisal of PHYSICS TODAY, especially in view of the fact that it is now being sent to so many students who are members of AIP Student Sections. The Director agreed, saying that he favors a periodic examination of both the objectives and performance of PHYSICS TODAY to see whether the objectives are still appropriate and whether PHYSICS TODAY is meeting them. The following motion was then made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Director be authorized to appoint a committee to study both the objectives and performance of PHYSICS TODAY, such study to be completed by the spring of 1963.

The meeting adjourned at 9:15 a.m.