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Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

March 20, 1965

1. The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics met in the office of the Institute, 335 East 45th Street, New York, New York 10017.

Present: Ralph A. Sawyer – Chairman, Laurence Batchelder, James T. Bergen, H. R. Crane, S.O. Duntley, Herbert A. Erf, S.A. Goudsmit, Cyril M. Harris, W.W. Havens Jr. , A.C. Helmholz, James Hillier, R.B. Lindsay, Richard C. Lord, A.I. Mahan, E.R. Piore, S.L. Quimby, Paul M. Routly, John A. Sanderson, Frederick Seitz, Frank Verbrugge, Mary E. Warga, Elizabeth A. Wood

Absent: E.U. Condon, John C. Miller, Vincent E. Parker, Melba Phillips

Guest: Van Zandt Williams

AIP Staff: Wallace Waterfall, G.F. Gilbert, Mary M. Johnson. The following AIP staff members were present during part of the meeting: W.C. Kelly, E.H. Kone, H.C. Wolfe.

Chairman Sawyer called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. and introduced the new Board members who were present, Messrs. Harris and Sanderson. The Chairman announced that Mr. Harris was elected by the Acoustical Society of America to fill the unexpired term of Horace M. Trent who died on 16 December 1964. Upon motion made, seconded and passed unanimously, the following resolutions were adopted by the Board:

RESOLVED, that the Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics recognizes in the untimely death of fellow Board member, Horace M. Trent, that it has lost an esteemed friend and one who has contributed much of his time and energy to the welfare of the Institute by service on its Board and by Chairmanship of its Advisory Committee on Public Relations; and be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the family of the deceased.

2. Minutes

On motion made, seconded and carried, the minutes of the meeting of 2 October 1964 were approved as distributed.

3. Report of Annual Meeting

The Secretary reported that the annual meeting of the Corporation was held on 19 February 1965, in compliance with New York State law, and all five Member Societies were represented. The election of new Board members was reported and, after the completion of other routine business, the meeting adjourned for luncheon. (The Board members as of 20 March are those listed as “Present” and “Absent” at the beginning of these minutes.)

4. Confirmation of Mail Ballot on Election of Director

By authorization of the Executive Committee, a mail ballot was sent out to all members of the Governing Board on the election of Van Zandt Williams as Director of the Institute to be effective on 1 April 1965. The Secretary reported that the returns were unanimously in favor of the election. On motion made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote, the results of the mail ballot were confirmed.

5. Report of Chairman (Review of Executive Committee Actions)

Chairman Sawyer reported briefly on the following actions:

  1. The special committee appointed to survey the activities of the Institute and select candidates for Director had completed its task satisfactorily with the results as already reported. It was decided to leave it to the new Director to recommend such organizational changes as he believes may be necessary after he has had experience with AIP activities.
  2. A committee consisting of Messrs. Lindsay, Ballard and Goudsmit had been appointed to nominate candidates for the Second John T. Tate Award.
  3. A committee to select a new editor, or editors, for the JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS and APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS had been appointed and had chosen Frank E. Myers of Argonne to be editor of both journals with Foster F. Rieke and Lester Guttman as his assistants. They took over the job as of 1 January 1965.
  4. A committee of which Mr. Quimby was chairman was appointed to study a new pension plan prepared for the Institute by consultants and that committee was given power to put the new plan into effect if the cost was within limitations prescribed by the Executive Committee. The new plan was approved and went into effect as of 1 January 1965, subject to final approval by the Internal Revenue Service.
  5. An AIP personnel study by selected consultants was authorized and completed. The study showed that 85% of our employees were within their appropriate salary ranges. The consultant also recommended personnel policies and procedures which have been adopted and which the administrative staff believes will be very helpful in the future.

6. Report of the Nominating Committee

The Chairman reported that a committee consisting of Laurence Batchelder, H.R. Crane and A.C. Helmholz had been appointed to nominate candidates for Chairman, Director-at-Large, and the Executive Committee, all to take office at the close of the present meeting. Mr. Batchelder reported that the committee was unanimous in nominating Ralph Sawyer for Chairman, E.C. Creutz for Director-at-Large, and the present Executive Committee to succeed itself. (The Executive Committee so nominated would consist of Messrs. Sawyer – Chairman, Goudsmit, Havens, Lindsay, Parker, Quimby and Miss Warga.) A motion to close the nominations and direct the Secretary to cast a unanimous ballot for the nominees that the ballot had been so cast. Mr. Sawyer thanked the Nominating Committee and the Governing Board for himself and on behalf of the Executive Committee.

7. Change of Rules re Executive Committee Powers

The Secretary reported that recent discussions with the Institute's attorney had disclosed an ambiguity in the Rules of the Institute about the actions which the Executive Committee may take between meetings of the Governing Board. It has obviously been the intention of the Governing Board that the Executive Committee should handle the business and activities of the Corporation between meetings of the Board but when the Institute's Rules were rewritten some years ago, an error was made in specifying those things which the Executive Committee could not do. The Executive Committee considered the situation yesterday and recommended that Article IV of the Rules be changed to read as follows:

“In the interim between meetings of the Governing Board the Executive Committee may exercise all the powers of the Governing Board except those given to the Governing Board by Articles VII (Section 2), IX, X, XII, XIII, XIV, and XV of the Constitution and by Articles VII, VIII, X and XI of the Rules.”

The change is to substitute “Article VII (Section 2)” in the third and fourth lines above instead of “Article VII.” The Secretary explained that the Rules can be changed by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the whole membership of the Board. A motion to change Article IV of the Rules to read a proposed above was made, seconded and passed by all twenty-two Board members present.

8. Titles of AIP Officers

Chairman Sawyer said that, as of 1 April, he would lose his title of Acting Director and something should be done about changing the other temporary titles which had been established. On the previous day the Executive Committee had considered the matter and recommended the following resolutions to the Board which alone has the power to name AIP officers:

RESOLVED, that Wallace Waterfall continue as Secretary with the responsibilities given to that office by the By-Laws.

RESOLVED, that Wallace Waterfall be given the title of Deputy Director and, as such, that he assume such administrative responsibilities as are assigned to him by the Director.

RESOLVED, that Gerald F. Gilbert be given the title of Treasurer and Controller with such responsibilities as are given to the office of Treasurer by the By-Laws and such other responsibilities as may be given to him by the Director.

On motion made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote, the above resolutions were adopted.

9. Annual Report of Director for 1964

Mr. Sawyer said that, as Acting Director during the la8t few months of 1964, he bad inherited the responsibility for producing an Annual Report for that year. Elmer Hutchisson was Director for most of the year so he had been asked to write an introduction and Miss Lasky had prepared the body of the report. Copies of a draft of the report had been distributed to all Board members in advance of the meeting and the figures which were missing from the draft were distributed at the meeting. Mr. Sawyer said that he assumed Board members had read the report and rather than go through it in detail be suggested that they ask any questions they might have.

Mr. Seitz said it might be well to ask Harvey Brooks to check the figures for Government spending on science. Mr. Bergen displayed a chart he had prepared based on financial statements from 1943 to 1964 which indicated that AIP total expenses for itself and the Societies might be expected to reach 10 to 12 million dollars by 1970 as compared to about 6 million in 1964.

The Chairman called attention to the fact that 1964 had been a very satisfactory year for the Institute financially and he commented on some of the specific items which made it so. After further discussion of various details of the draft, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting
vote:

MOVED that the Annual Report for 1964 as presented by the Acting Director, with such editorial changes as he may wish to make in it, be accepted and published in PHYSICS TODAY as the report of the Governing Board.

10. Financial Report for 1964

Mr. Waterfall said that copies of the report had been distributed to all Board members along with his covering letter of 9 March 1965. Several figures in the letter were a little bit wrong. The expense for PHYSICS TODAY for 1964 should have been $192,302, net advertising income should have been $236,924, and the net income should have been $44,622. The final figures in the financial report as distributed are correct but details on several of the pages need to be corrected. All Board members were requested to turn in their copies and were promised that they would receive corrected copies long with the minutes of the meeting.

The Secretary displayed a copy of the auditor’s report which had been received just before the meeting and said that copies of it would be sent to all Secretaries and Treasurers shortly. The auditor’s report agrees in all essential details with the financial report prepared by the staff.

Mr. Gilbert distributed copies of pie charts illustrating the relative importance of AIP income sources for 1964 and also showing the distribution of AIP expenses for the year. The staff realizes that the financial activities of the Institute are quite complex and is experimenting with ways of presenting them more intelligibly.

Newspapers and magazines have carried stories recently about plans of the Internal Revenue Service for taxing certain sources of income of tax-exempt organizations such as AIP. Mention of these triggered a discussion of the situation by Board members. IRS contends that this can be done by new interpretations of existing laws and it appears that new legislation may be necessary to curb the powers of IRS to prevent great damage to the educational programs of such organizations as AIP. Legislation to do this was introduced in the last Congress but never passed and new bills with the same objective have been introduced in the present Congress. The officers of the Institute are following the matter closely and propose to keep physicists informed so that they may make their opinions known to their congressmen at the appropriate time.

During the above discussion it was pointed out that the Institute now has no individual members and, technically, all subscriptions to Institute-owned journals are non-member subscriptions. It was recalled that, at one time, AIP By-Laws were such that all members of AIP Member Societies were automatically individual members of AIP but this provision for individual memberships was eliminated at the instigation of the Societies when the By-Laws were rewritten in 1958. Several Board members expressed the opinion that the climate had now changed and that there were a number of reasons why we should again consider changing the By-Laws to make all members of Member Societies individual members of AIP. To this end Mr. Piore made, Mr. Seitz seconded, and the Board passed without dissenting vote the following motion:

MOVED that the governing bodies of Member Societies be asked to express their attitude toward a change in AIP By-Laws which would automatically make all members of Member Societies individual members of AIP.

11. Dues Percentage to be Paid by Member Societies in 1966

The contract between the Institute and Member Societies says the Governing Board each year shall fix the percentage of dues up to a limit of 15% which each Society shall pay to the Institute. For many years it has been set at 10% and the Secretary reported that the Executive Committee at its meeting on the previous day had recommended that it again be set at 10% for 1966. The following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that ten percent (10%) be set as the percentage of dues collected in 1965 which is to be paid to the Institute in 1966.

12. Applications for Affiliation and Requests for Services

The Chairman explained that the Institute now has three classes of society membership: Member Societies, Associate Member Societies, and Affiliated Societies. The five founder societies are the only Member Societies, the American Crystallographic Association and the American Astronomical Society are the only two Associate Member Societies, and there are fifteen Affiliated Societies.

  1. The Physics Club of New York
  2. The Secretary reported that The Physics Club of New York had requested to be accepted as an Affiliated Society of the Institute and the Executive Committee had recommended acceptance. The Club is a very old one, having adopted its constitution in 1899. It is now said to have 135 members, mostly high school and small college physics teachers in the New York area. The Club requests no services from the Institute but Club members would be entitled to subscribe to Institute-owned journals at the special member prices. On motion made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote, The Physics Club of New York was elected an Affiliated Society.

  3. Society for Applied Spectroscopy
  4. After some preliminary conversations with officers of this Society, the Institute received, in December of last year, a formal application for Affiliated Society status. Mr. Williams attended the January meeting of our Executive Committee meeting where the application was discussed. He indicated some background familiarity with the group and was asked to investigate and recommend what action the Institute should take. Mr. Williams attended a meeting of the Executive Committee of SAS in Pittsburgh on 2 March at which Mr. Lord and Miss Warga of the Optical Society and Mr. Hallett of the American Chemical Society were also present. SAS is a recent (six years) confederation of local groups of varying size, lifetime, and strength. It has about 2,500 members and is growing. Mr. Williams inquired rather deeply into the organization and objectives of SAS because the officers of the Society had indicated that they would like to have AIP publish and distribute their journal, collect dues, and perform other services if SAS became an Affiliated Society. Mr. Williams reported to the Executive Committee at its meeting on 19 March that, although SAS had not yet acquired much stature as a national organization and the goals of the Society did not yet seem clearly defined, it appears that the officers are aware of their difficulties and are working hard to overcome them, and that affiliation with the Institute would help strengthen the Society. He recommended that the Society be accepted and the Executive Committee moved to recommend such acceptance to the Governing Board. The Executive Committee moved to recommend such acceptance to the Governing Board. The Executive Committee also moved to authorize the Institute to perform services for SAS if that Society is elected an Affiliated Society by the Governing Board.

    After brief discussion of the subject, a motion was made, seconded and passed with one dissenting vote from Mr. Lord, that the Society for Applied Spectroscopy be elected an Affiliated Society.

  5. Services for AAPT
  6. For the information of Board members, Mr. Crane reported that AAPT had decided to transfer back to the Institute some of the service activities which have been performed for the last two years in the Washington Office of the society. Beginning late in 1965 AIP will take over AAPT dues billing and collection and subscription handling for TPT and other services.

13. American Crystallographic Association

Mrs. Wood said that ACA became and Affiliated Society of the Institute in 1950, an Associate Member Society in 1959, and now wished to become a Member Society. She gave some information about the society’s activities and said that, although the society had requested very few services from the Institute, those that had been requested had been handled in a very satisfactory manner and that the  society now wished the Institute to take over dues billing of members and perhaps perform other services in the future. The Executive Committee had considered the matter in some detail and recommended the change to full membership. The Secretary read Article IX of the Constitution covering the procedure for election of Member Societies and the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissent:

MOVED that the Governing Board nominate the American Crystallographic Association for full Membership in AIP.

14. American Astronomical Society

Mr. Routly was asked to speak for AAS which had a1ao petitioned for full Membership in the Institute . He said that AAS had been an Associate Member Society since 1959 and that the association had been beneficial. Mr. Routly then read a letter reporting that, at the meeting of the Society on 15-17 March, the Council had unanimously voted to apply for full Membership in the Institute. The Secretary said that the Institute had been handling subscriptions to THE ASTONOMICAL JOURNAL and, beginning in 1966, AAS would like to have the Institute collect dues and handle AAS member subscriptions to the ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL which is published by the University of Chicago Press. The Secretary also reported that the Executive Committee, at its meeting on the previous day, had recommended that the Governing Board nominate AAS for full Membership in the Institute. The following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Governing Board nominate the American Astronomical Society for full Membership in AIP.

During the discussions of the applications of ACA and AAS for full Membership in AIP attention had been called to the formula stated in the Constitution for determining the representation of member organizations on the Governing Board of AIP. Several changes were suggested but none of them appeared to be completely acceptable. It was agreed that the matter should be explored further by the executive Committee whose recommendations would be expected at the next meeting of the Governing Board.

15. Center for History and Philosophy of Physics

The Chairman told about the establishment of the Niels Bohr Library and gave some statistics on its growth. He said that last year the staff had begun to realize that the present Institute building could not long accommodate the rapidly growing collection of historical material. One of the last things Elmer Hutchisson had done before leaving the Institute was make a proposal for the establishment of a Center for the History and Philosophy of Physics which he presented briefly at the Governing Board meeting in October of last year. The Chairman then invited Mr. Lindsay to explain the situation as he saw it.

Following is the Secretary’s record of what Mr. Lindsay said:

The Constitution of the Institute provides, in connection with its purposes, for activities which transcend services to the Member Societies in the way of publication and dues collection. The Constitution indicates the Institute should concern itself with the public image of physics, public relations, and education. In the last phrase of the stated purposes we are urged to foster relations between physics and the other sciences, arts and industry. Because of the fact that this activity was encouraged, our former Director took a very great interest in developing this side of the Institute's work. In 1960 a Committee on the History and Philosophy of Physics was formed to discuss ways in which this rather important site of the subject might be fostered by the Institute. I am sure all of you know how much this meant to Elmer Hutchisson. There are differences of opinion as to the extent to which the history of physics is important to physicists. It is of tremendous importance to the culture of our society as a whole. I also feel that the philosophy of physics is an important part of physics. This Committee decided that the time had come when we should look at the whole problem of the future of the history of physics in the United States with respect to the record that must be preserved and exploited if there is to be any possibility of writing this history. Records of physicists tend to get scattered, destroyed, dissipated, and unless some effort is made by an organization interested in the subject there will be no future record. Papers of many important physicists in this country have already been dissipated; others are stored away where they have been almost forgotten. The Committee felt the time had come to see that these important records should be maintained and otherwise brought to light. A project was developed to gain some support for the recent history of Physics in the United States. A two-year grant for this purpose was received in 1961 and renewed in 1963 for another two years. A sum of about $140.000 was earmarked for this purpose and the Institute itself has made available space and a certain amount of service. A director for the project was obtained, W. J. King, who headed it for the first three years and recently has been replaced by Charles Weiner. Many of you know what this project has accomplished to date. Living physicists have been urged to send in autobiographies and bibliographic material. Interviews have been taped with older men. Records of notebooks and details of physical apparatus have been assembled. Archives have been set up at AIP and a catalog indicating where other material may be found. I think this project has made a very good start in fulfilling the original intention. We have reached the stage where something more elaborate must be done or the project will wither away. The Institute, with its present facilities, cannot possibly handle the amount of material the project is already bringing in. This is not the sort of thing you can try to level off at a given rate of progress. Once you look for and find the material, it rapidly increases in quantity and there isn't room here to take care of it. It has been suggested that, in order to take care of the future of this project properly, a much more elaborate venture should be contemplated. This is the proposed Center for the History and Philosophy of Physics, in which we would seek funds to build a center which would involve another building--either one built for the purpose or one which might be acquired in the City of New York. Most of those who have been told about the project are enthusiastic about it. They do not necessarily feel it is the proper thing for the Institute to run if and when it should be established. The budget that has been proposed would be in the neighborhood of 3 ½ million dollars, of which 1 ½ would go for a building. It would require, certainly, 2 million dollars to provide an endowment for operating expenses, and some extra money which might be available from foundations would be desirable for special purposes. The Executive Committee, in discussion of the plan, has indicated its approval of the carrying out of a feasibility study for the raising of such a sum, and the Executive Committee comes to the Governing Board now with the hope that its approval of the appropriation to make the feasibility study will receive the endorsement of the Board. In the future, it may well be that, if the Institute takes the lead, other programs can be brought in. We are actually encouraging other scientific societies to take a greater interest in the history of their fields. The Executive Committee voted yesterday to approve the expenditure of up to $1,000 for the conduct of a feasibility study with respect to the raising of the amount indicated. They felt their action should be contingent on an expression of endorsement by the Governing Board with respect to the project as a whole. If we don’t go ahead with it I think it means that the present project, which is to be supported by the Institute through the balance of the year, inevitably will have to be tapered off and abandoned altogether within a few years.

I move that this Board endorse the action of the Executive Committee and approve going ahead with the feasibility study, with the idea that this is an important activity for the Institute to initiate even if it does not ultimately maintain control over the establishment.

The motion was seconded and a discussion ensued. A question was raised about the possibility of putting the material which the Institute collects in the Congressional Library in Washington or in some university library. The reply was that this possibility had been explored in a meeting with historians of physics and they favored a center not connected with any one university. It was also suggested that physicists might join with others in the physical sciences and establish a history center of broader scope. A Brookhaven-type organization in which a number of universities might participate was also suggested. It was obvious that the Center might become a bigger operation than AIP and it might well be managed by a separate corporation in which AIP would share responsibility with others. Mr. Sawyer reported on conversations on the subject with fund raising experts and expressed the opinion that they would be reluctant to undertake a feasibility study without a fairly clear picture as to where the Center would be located and what organization or organizations would be responsible for it. There was also comment that the Institute's present quarters will be inadequate for the Institute's present activities before long and that it might be well to consider space for the Center as a part of the over-all problem of facilities for AIP.

There appeared to be no general agreement on where the Center should be located or who should ultimately be responsible for it but there was no agreement that AIP would probably have to take the initiative if anything were to be accomplished. The motion made by Mr. Lindsay was then passed without dissenting vote. The Chairman said that he and others would explore future and would have something to report at the October meeting of the Board.

16. Nomination of Physicists for the Hall of Fame
Mrs. Wood reported that Donald Nelson, of Bell Telephone Laboratories, had been making a study of New York University’s Hall of Fame, had nominated Michelson, and had asked the Institute to endorse his nomination. A candidate must have been a US citizen and must have been at least 25 years. After some discussion by Board members, it was agreed that Michelson would be an appropriate candidate. Mrs. Wood made the following motion which was seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Director be requested to prepare an appropriate communication endorsing and supporting the nomination of Albert A. Michelson to The Hall of Fame and that this be sent to the College of Electors.

17. Appointment of Committees and Representatives

On motion made, seconded and passed without dissent, the list of proposed committees and representatives for the coming year, as distributed prior to the meeting and appended to these minutes, was approved. It was agreed that the Chairman should have authority to make such changes and additions are necessary during the year.

The meeting adjourned for luncheon at 12:10 and reconvened at 2:10 p.m.

18. Pre-College Physics Program

Mr. Kelly described the background history and the present status of the Institute's Pre-College Physics Program. In June 1964, the Executive Committee had asked the staff to investigate the reasons for the dropping of enrollment in pre-college physics courses and recommend what, if anything, should be done about the situation. Victor Young was enjoyed by the Institute in August 1964 and started his study by visiting and interviewing many high school teachers, administrators and pupils. Part One of the report on the survey was given out at the Assembly of Society Officers and Governing Board Members in October 1964. The reaction to the report indicated that the 8tudy should be continued and Institute funds were made available to continue it to 30 June 1965. Part Two of the report is now available and there will be another part and a summary. Mr. Kelly pointed out some of the problems which exist and so of the remedies which might be tried. He said it had been decided that the best course would be to select two states and concentrate our efforts on them. New Jersey and Delaware appear to offer the best possibilities for a pilot project as we have indication that we will receive good cooperation from universities and educators in those states. Mr. Young will leave the project at the end of June but we have another candidate who is enthusiastic and well qualified. We do not expect to get any help from NSF on this project but the Sloan Foundation has been approached and has shown interest. We have requested $60,000 to carry the project for a period of two years. $18,700 was included in the 1965 budget to carry the project for the first half of 1965.

Then followed a discussion of the various problems involved in the teaching of pre-college physics which ended with the following motion which was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that up to $20,000 be appropriated to continue the proposed Pre-College Physics Program during the second half of the 1965 calendar year.

It was agreed that the funds just appropriated should be used only if the Institute does not receive support for the project from outside sources.

19. Plans for Fall Meeting

The Chairman said that the recent poll of Governing Board members and Society officers had indicated an overwhelming choice of the 29 September through 1 October dates. Those dates have therefore been chosen as the dates for the Assembly, the Corporate Associates meeting, and the next Governing Board meeting. The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel will be used as headquarters with the one-day meeting for Corporate Associates at the Rockefeller Institute.

20. Reports of Editors

The Chairman reported that the annual reports for 1964 have been received from editors of all AIP-owned journals and are available to anyone who wishes to see them.

21. Adjournment

The Chairman expressed his appreciation to Mr. Hillier, whose term expired at the end of this meeting was adjourned at 2:55 p.m.