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Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

October 1, 1965

1. The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics met in the Louis XVI Suite of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York City.

Present: Ralph A. Sawyer – Chairman, Laurence Batchelder, James T. Bergen, E. U. Condon, H.R. Crane, E.C. Creutz, S.Q. Duntley, Herbert A. Erf, Cyrill M. Harris, W.W. Havens, Jr., A.C. Helmholz, R.B. Lindsay, Richard C. Lord, A.I. Mahan, John C. Miller, Vincent E. Parker, Melba Phillips, Paul M. Routly, John A. Sanderson, Frank Verbrugge, Mary E. Warga, Elizabeth A. Wood.

Absent: S.A. Goudsmit, E.R. Piore, S.L. Quimby, Frederick Seitz

Guest: Elmer Hutchisson – Director Emeritus

AIP Staff: Van Zandt Williams, Wallace Waterfall, G.F. Gilbert, Mary M. Johnson

Chairman Sawyer called the meeting to order at 1:05 p.m. and introduced the new director-at-large, Mr. Creutz.

2. Minutes

On motion made, seconded, and carried, the minutes of the meeting of 20 March 1965 were approved with the following corrections:

  1. Page 3, Item 6, Line 5, change “Charles Creutz” to “E.C. Cruetz.”
  2. Page 7, Item 13, Line 1, change “Miss Wood” to “Mrs. Wood”
  3. Page 8, Item 14, Lines 3-5, change to read: “The Secretary said that the Institute had been handling subscriptions to THE ASTRONOMICAL JOURNAL and, beginning in 1966, AAS would like to have the Institute collect dues and handle AAS member subscriptions to the ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL…”

3. Confirmation of Mail Ballots

The Secretary reported that, under New York State law, it is necessary for the Governing Board to confirm the results of the two mail ballots dated 21 June 1965 on (a) Membership of Individuals in AIP and (b) Formula for Representation on the AIP Governing Board. (Sample copies of the two mail ballots are attached to official minutes.) As of this date there are 21 votes in favor of a ballot (a) and 20 in favor of (b) with no opposing votes.

Upon motion made, seconded and passed without dissent, the results of the two mail ballots were confirmed.

The Secretary stated that the Member Societies were officially notified of the proposed constitutional amendments on 27 July 1965 and, under the present Constitution, they have up to one year from that date in which to act.

4. Financial Statement for first Six Months 1965

The Secretary reported that copies of the financial statement for the first six months had been sent to all Board members in advance of the meeting together with a covering letter signed by the Treasurer. (Copies of the statement and Treasurer’s letter are included with these minutes for those who did not receive them previously.) The Chairman pointed out that the service costs have been below budget, and it is hoped and expected that unit costs will go even lower as the base on which they are charged gets broader.

The Treasurer reported briefly on various items as follows:

  1. As of 30 September, the 1966 dues and journal renewal billing had been substantially completed for all members and non-members. A total of 57,500 bills were mailed and 10% have been paid already.
  2. We have $941,977 in a savings account at Bankers Trust Company earning 4% interest. (There is further discussion of this subject in the Executive Committee minutes of 1 October 1965, on Page 2, under Item #2b.)
  3. Our Russian Translation Program has been very successful and we expect a net income of $90,000 for this calendar year.
  4. We are currently studying the honoring of publication charges to determine the trend during the past five years. We bill only in those instances where the authors have said the charges will be paid, and 78-80% of such publication charges are now being honored.

The Secretary reported that we have been notified by Byrd Press that slightly higher printing prices will go into effect to the first of next year, but there will be no change in Lancaster’s prices until after the end of 1966. In answer to a question, the Secretary stated that our net worth is about one and a half million dollars and our yearly business is approximately seven million dollars.

The Director reported that the staff is working on a five-year projection of programs for each of the Institute divisions, as well as on a three-year financial projection.

5. Appointment of Committee to Nominate Chairman, Executive Committee and Director-at-Large for 1966

Upon recommendation of the Chairman, a committee consisting of Messrs. A.C. Helmholz (chairman), Vincent E. Parker, and Richard C. Lord was appointed to nominate a Chairman, Executive Committee, and director-at-large of the Governing Board for next year. This committee will be expected to present its report at the March 1966 Board meeting.

6. Consideration of Recommendation from Assembly of Society Officers

The Chairman reported that the only recommendation made by the Assembly to the Governing Board was that the Institute investigate the possibility and desirability of providing facilities for occasional conferences in certain areas of physics (similar to the Gordon Conferences) to which a limited number of participants could be invited. Mr. Havens said he favored such a study and made the following motion which was seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Institute proceed, in whatever manner it deems appropriate, to investigate the feasibility of and procedures for sponsoring topical conferences in physics.

7. Status Report on Feasibility Study of “Institute for the History and Philosophy of Physics”

The Chairman stated that the subject study, which was authorized by the Executive Committee on 29 January 1965 and expanded on 10 June 1965, has been proceeding under the guidance of a steering committee composed of the following members:

Ralph A. Sawyer, Chairman
Charles C. Gillispie
Gerald Holton
Polykarp Kusch
R. Bruce Lindsay
Robert K. Merton

We have submitted to NSF a request for $29,000 to support a series of conferences and a meeting of the Steering Committee has been scheduled for early November at which time plans will be made for panel discussions later among historians and philosophers of physics. Charles Weiner, Director of the Center for History and Philosophy of Physics at AIP, is going to describe our program to a meeting of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, and we will be interested in their reaction.

8. Criteria for Society Membership in AIP

The Director reported that this subject arose as the result of recent requests for membership in the Institute, and copies of proposed criteria for various classes of membership were prepared by the staff and sent to all Board members prior to this meeting. (Copy attached to official minutes.) From the discussion which followed, it appeared to be the consensus that no fixed percentage of membership overlap with the present Societies should be written into the criteria. It was pointed out that there is no need for action on such criteria at this time and it was agreed that further study is desirable.

9. Status of Education and Manpower Department

The Director reported on his progress in reorganizing the Education and Manpower Department. When Mr. Kelly resigned, there was no one in the Department to take over all his duties. In reorganizing, an effort is being made to provide greater depth in top management. A man to head undergraduate physics education activities as well as a new director to replace Mr. Kelly are being sought. We are enlisting the help of AAPT as well as the Commission on College Physics in this search.

10. Information System for Physics

In view of the statements made by Mr. Knox at the recent Corporate Associates meeting and other current developments, the Director said he believed it was essential that AIP develop means for a broad, well integrated information system for physics. He proposed that a committee be appointed to determine the program and that a competent person be added to the AIP staff to administer the program and keep abreast of the plans and work of others. There was some discussion of the Director’s proposal but there were no objections to it.

11. Policy Committee

The Director stated that the increasing number of important problems are being presented to the Institute on which policy decisions are needed. Policies must ultimately be determined by the Governing Board and Executive Committee but more study than those bodies or the staff can give is needed to provide a basis for decisions. He recommended that a Policy Committee be established with Mr. Sawyer as chairman and that the other members be selected to advise on specific problems as they arise. The following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that a Policy Committee be appointed with Ralph A. Sawyer as Chairman, the other members to be designated by the Chairman and the Director in concert.

12. Next Meeting

Saturday, 26 March 1966, was agreed on as the date of the next Governing Board meeting.

The Annual Meeting, at which Member Societies will be represented by proxy, was set for Friday, 18 February 1966.

The meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.