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Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

March 26, 1966

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, E.U. Condon, H.R. Crane, Herbert A. Erf, W.W. Havens, Jr., A.C. Helmholz, R.B. Lindsay, A.I. Mahan, Robert S. Marvin, Melba Phillips, Vincent E. Parker, E.R. Piore, S.L. Quimby, Paul M. routly, Isadore Rudnick, John A. Sanderson, Mary E. Warga, Elizabeth Wood

Absent: Arnold Arons, E.C. Creutz, S.A. Goudsmit, Frederick Seitz, C.H. Townes, John A. Wheeler

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

Chairman Sawyer called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m. and introduced the two new Board members present, Messrs. Marvin and Rudnick.

2. Minutes

On motion made, seconded and carried, the minutes of the meeting of October 1, 1965 were approved as distributed.

3. Report of Annual Meeting

The Secretary reported that the Annual Meeting of the Corporation was held in compliance with New York State law on February 18, 1966. It was an historical occasion in that new Member Societies of the Institute were elected for the first time since the Institute was founded. The American Crystallographic Association and the American Astronomical Society became full Member Societies effective January 1, 1966.

  1. Designation of Five Original Member Societies as “Founder Societies”
  2. The Secretary stated that, during negotiations on By-Law changes, it was suggested that the original five Member Societies be designated as "Founder Societies. " Our By-Laws do not provide for any such class of membership and the staff proposes not to divide Member Societies in listing them in journals and elsewhere but to refer to the five Societies as "Founder Societies" in any history or other document pertaining to the evolution of the Institute. Upon motion made and passed, the Governing Board approved the above course of action.

4. Report of Chairman and Review of Executive Committee Actions

The Chairman stated that the past year had been a good year for the Institute. The Institute's financial position has been further strengthened and we are now performing more services for more societies than ever before. He reported briefly on the following matters which had transpired during the past year:

  1. A gift from Mr. and Mrs. W.F. Meggers of their coin and stamp collection valued at $49,942. Under the terms of the gift, the Institute is to take possession of $6,000 worth each year.
  2. Establishment of a Washington Office with Dwight E. Gray as our representative.
  3. Change of AIP By-Laws to provide a more equitable formula for representation of Societies on the Governing Board and to make all individual members of Member and Associate Member Societies individual members of the Institute.
  4. Election of ACA and AAS as full Member Societies.
  5. Relocation of the Advertising Department in rented quarters at 820 Second Avenue, on the corner of 44th Street, to provide space for other activities in the AIP headquarters building.
  6. Sponsorship of the Albert Einstein eight-cent U.S. Postage Stamp.

5. Report of Nominating Committee

Mr. Helmholz, reporting for the Nominating Committee consisting of Messrs. Vincent E. Parker, Richard C. Lord, and himself as chairman, nominated Ralph Sawyer for Chairman, the present Executive Committee to succeed itself, and Robert S. Shankland as director-at-large for a three-year term. There were no other nominations and a motion to close the nominations and direct the Secretary to cast a single ballot for the above nominees was seconded and passed without dissenting vote. The membership of the Executive Committee for the current year is as follows:

Ralph A. Sawyer, Chairman
S.A. Goudsmit
W.W. Havens, Jr.
R.B. Lindsay
Vincent E. Parker
S.L. Quimby
Mary E. Warga

6. Annual Report for 1965

The Chairman stated that a draft of the Annual Report had been mailed to all Board members prior to the meeting and that the Director was making a few minor changes based on comments received.

  1. Acceptance by Board and Authorizatoin of Publication in PHYSICS TODAY
  2. Mrs. Wood inquired about publishing a short summary of the report in PHYSICS TODAY and the Director said that was his intention but that the full report would also be published in booklet form for those who wanted it. The following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the Annual Report of the Director for 1965 be accepted and that a summary be published in PHYSICS TODAY as the report of the Governing Board to members.

7. Financial Report for 1965

Mr. Gilbert said that copies of the Financial Report for 1965 were sent to all Board members on March 16 with his covering letter. He distributed copies of pie charts showing where the AIP dollar came from and how it was spent, and answered some questions about the financial statement and the charts. (Copies of  the statement and charts are attached to official minutes. )

The Secretary displayed a copy of the recently completed auditors report and said that a copy will be sent to each Member Society Secretary.

The Secretary reported that the Institute had contracted with Systems Development Corporation for a study of fulfillment systems as the result of a request for collaboration from "Scientific American." On December 11, 1965, the Executive Committee authorized the staff to sign the contract and make an initial payment of $1, 000 toward the cost of the study, with the total AIP expenditure not to exceed $5,000. "Scientific American" is committed to spend about $90,000 as they will be the chief beneficiaries of the study but it should also help AIP in selecting future systems so the token participation of AIP seems justified.

  1. Policy on Reserve for Building Replacement
  2. The Secretary distributed copies of a memorandum which contained a history of our Building Reserve (copy attached). The subject had been discussed by the Executive Committee on the preceding day and the three recommendations contained therein were recommended for approval by the Governing Board. After brief questioning, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissent:

MOVED that the Treasurer be authorized to:

  1. Transfer $142,407.76 from Accumulated Surplus to our Reserve for Replacement of Building to make the reserve equal to the $292,407.76 in our Accumulated Depreciation on the Building.
  2. Credit the Reserve for Building Replacement regularly in the future beginning with January 1966 with the amount we depreciate our building.
  3. Credit the Reserve for Building Replacement regularly with the income from our Investment Advisory Account beginning with January 1, 1966.

In answer to a question, the Secretary stated that our building is currently valued on our books at a little over one million dollars and the land is carried on our books at $266,535 although its sale value is much higher than that.

8. Dues Percentage to be Paid by Member Societies in 1967

The Secretary said that the Executive Committee, at its meeting on the previous day, had recommended that 10% be set as the percentage of 1966 dues to be paid by Member Societies for the support of AIP in 1967, the same as it has been for several years past. The following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that ten per cent (10%) be set as the percentage of dues collected in 1966 which is to be paid to the Institute in 1967 by each Member Society.

9. Progress in Staffing AIP Departments and Projects

The Director reported that progress in two major areas has been hampered by our inability so far to engage qualified people to head up the Education and Manpower Department and the Information Program. Concerning the former, a committee was appointed toward the end of last year to assist in the search and we now have a prospect whom we may be able to hire on a two-year basis to start.

The Director also reported on the action taken by the Executive Committee on the preceding day to provide funds for the continuation of the Pre-College Physics Project for another year." (See Item 2 of Executive Committee minutes of March 25, 1966.)

10. Proposed AIP Information Program

The Director reported that he had sent to all members of the Governing Board copies of proposals made to NSF for a physics information system. He said he felt it was necessary for AIP to submit this proposal promptly in an effort to forestall the assignment of this study to some group outside of physics, as was done in the case of chemistry.

The Director said he believed the Committee on Scientific and Technical Information (COSATI) will announce as its objective the establishment of a national information network having as its responsibility: (1) Possession of and access to at least one copy of every pertinent scientific and technical document in the world, and (2) the obligation to make known to interested parties the existence of such documents and to make available, at reasonable cost and speed, copies of such documents as may be requested.

The Director then proceeded to discuss various aspects of the proposals made to NSF and also work being done and contemplated by others.

Following the Director's remarks there was a general discussion of the information problem, and the conclusion appeared to be that the need for embarking on this large-scale project at the present time is dictated by Government activity which, if we do not take the lead, may impose upon us an information system which will be unwelcome. (Specific action approving the NSF proposals appears under Item 12.)

11. Appointment of Committees and Representatives

A list of proposed committees and representatives for the current year was distributed to all Board members prior to the meeting. The Secretary said the Executive Committee, at its meeting the previous day, had made a few changes and had recommended that the list be approved. After brief discussion, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the proposed list of committees and representatives for the current year be approved with the changes agreed upon; and that the Chairman and the Director be empowered to make such changes and additions as are necessary during the year.

A copy of the list of committees and representatives as approved is appended to these minutes, including the PT Editorial Advisory Board, the membership of which was not completed at the time of the meeting.

The meeting adjourned for luncheon at 12:35 and reconvened at 2:25 p.m.

  1. Authorization for Payment of Expenses
  2. The Secretary said that payment of expenses for committee members and appointees is becoming something of a problem because there is no over-all policy to cover the situation. Once upon a time, we had a rule that the matter of expenses was to be settled for each committee and representative at the time of appointment, but we have been lax in enforcing it. We have usually paid expenses for any committee member or representative who submits a bill. We do feel, however, that appointees should be informed at the time they are appointed whether or not they may expect to have their expenses paid.

    Mr. Havens and Miss Phillips described the procedures followed by APS and AAPT which were, in effect, that expenses would be paid if there was no other source of reimbursement, and it was suggested that AIP adopt a similar policy. The following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the Director and Deputy Director be authorized to decide each case individually, with the suggestion that a statement similar to that used by APS and AAPT would be appropriate.

12. Report of Policy Committee on AIP-Member Society Relations

The Chairman reported that the first meeting of the subject committee was held on March 4 at the Institute. All seven Member Societies were represented and a report of the meeting was sent by the Secretary to all committee members and alternates. A motion was made, seconded and passed without dissent that a copy of the report be appended to these minutes.

The Secretary stated that the meeting was devoted almost entirely to the information and education problems. Concerning the former, our proposals to NSF were discussed and the reasons for hasty submittal were explained. Mr. Sanderson pointed out that, in the Policy Committee discussion, it had been recommended that approval of the NSF proposals be left for Governing Board action. Accordingly, the following motion was made by Mr. Parker, seconded by Mr. Quimby, and passed with one dissenting vote (Condon):

MOVED that the Governing Board endorse the Director's action in submitting proposals to NSF for grants to explore and start the development of an information system for physics.

13. Consolidation of Sigma Pi Sigma and AIP Student Sections

The Director reported that Sigma Pi Sigma had proposed a merger with our Student Sections. We have broadened the scope of our Advisory Committee on Student Sections and changed the name to Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Activities with the intention of forming a subcommittee to investigate the feasibility of such a merger. Sigma Pi Sigma proposed that the AIP Student Sections continue to function as in the past and that they elect their outstanding members to Sigma Pi Sigma, the honorary society.

There was a brief discussion following the Director's account and a motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote, as follows:

MOVED that the Governing Board approve the proposed study of consolidation of Sigma Pi Sigma with the AIP Student Sections.

14. Plans for Fall Meeting
The Secretary said the annual meeting of AIP Governing Board, Society officers and Corporate Associates will be held this year from Wednesday, October 5 through Friday, October 7 in New York City at a hotel to be selected. The Director proposed "Education" as the main theme, and several Board members made suggestions as to speakers and sessions. A formal announcement of the meeting and reservations forms will be sent out later this year.

15. History of AIP

The Director announced that the Executive Committee, at its meeting the previous day, had authorized him to invite Elmer Hutchisson, Director Emeritus, to write a history of the Institute . (See Item 8(3a) of Executive Committee minutes of March 25, 1966.)

16. History and Philosophy of Physics

The Chairman reported that we anticipate receipt of a grant of $21,850 from the Ford Foundation for development work on the project for History and Philosophy of Physics.

The Director reported that the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Boston had agreed to make $15,000 available to finance three Joint meetings in specific areas of future historical significance in physics.

17. Pake Report

The Secretary reported that the report of the Physics Survey Committee of the National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council had been published. He said the report recommends an increase in federal support of physics to 2 ½ times its present level by 1969. He also stated that, at a meeting of the NRC Division of Physical Sciences, there was a discussion of whether the composition of divisions is proper and it was suggested that each of the APS divisions should be represented separately. The Secretary agreed to order additional copies of the Pake Report and to send one to each Board member.

The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.