December 5, 1946

Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

Present: Messrs. Paul E. Klopsteg (Chairman), K. S. Gibson, G. B. Pegram, Wallace Waterfall.

Guests: Messrs. R. C. Gibbs and J. C. Patterson (for part of meeting).

Admin. Staff: Messrs. H. A. Barton, T. Vorburger; Miss M. S. Griffin.

In accordance with notices sent by authority of the Chairman the Committee met at 10 a.m. in the office of the Institute at 57 East 55 Street, New York, New York.

In the temporary absence of Mr. Klopsteg, Mr. Pegram was elected Chairman pro tem.

1. Election of Associate Editors and Editorial Boards:


On motion it was voted to elect the following Editorial Boards for the terms stated:

Term to 12-31-47

  • W. Fowler
  • S. A. Korff
  • F. N. D. Kurie
  • C. D. Montgomery
  • L. S. Taylor
  • H. B. Williams

Term to 12-31-48


  • W. O. Fenn
  • A. C. Helmholtz
  • D. W. Kerst
  • A. O. Nier
  • L. N. Ridenour
  • S. H. Van Voorhis

Term to 12-31-49


  • C. P. Boner
  • T. W. Bonner
  • J. P. Hervey
  • A. G. Hill
  • A. W. Lawson
  • J. D. Strong

and Associate Editors for the term January 1, 1947 to December 31, 1947:


F. K. Harris; W. A. Wildhack; D. W. Bronk; P. H. Miller, Jr.


On motion it was voted to elect the following Associate Editors for the term January 1, 1947 to December 31, 1947:

  • R. Bowling Barnes
  • Otto Beeck
  • W.F. Busse
  • Selig Hecht
  • W. James Lyons
  • Philip Morrison
  • Paul E. Sabine
  • Frederick Seitz
  • J. R. Townsend
  • John Von Neumann



On motion it was voted to elect the following Associate Editors for the term beginning January 1, 1947 and ending December 31, 1949:

  • Hertha Sponer
  • George Uhlenbeck
  • Bruno H. Zimm
  • A. L. Patterson
  • K. J. McCallum

2. Election of Associates:


The following corporations were unanimously elected Associates of the Institute:

  • Eversharp, Inc.
  • Tide Water Associated Oil Company

(After the above actions were taken, Mr. Klopsteg joined the meeting, and accepted the chair from Mr. Pegram.)


3. Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting on October 4, 1946 were read and approval voted.

4. Award for Distinguished Service to Physics:

At the request of the Director, Mr. J. C. Patterson (public relations consultant for the Institute) read a prepared statement suggesting the award by the Institute of a medal to individuals for distinguished service to physics. It was decided that the Committee was not ready to take action in the form of a recommendation to the Governing Board and referred the matter back for further development in the light of the discussion to the Director and Mr. Patterson.

5. “Careers in Physics” Poster:

Mr. Patterson submitted a dummy poster for possible distribution by the Institute to high schools on a nationwide scale for the promotion of physics careers among high school students. Considerable interest was expressed in this type of promotional material and it was the sense of the Committee that it should be referred to the American Association of Physics Teachers for consideration, Mr. Gibbs being asked to report to that Society’s Executive Committee the interest which the Institute has and the possibility of a joint appropriation being made to cover the cost of the project if it is considered worthwhile.

(Mr. Patterson left the meeting at 10:59 a.m.)

6. Recommendations of the Policy Committee:

Before stating the recommendations of the Policy Committee, Mr. Gibbs mentioned for the benefit of the Committee two items on which his Committee has reached conclusions:

  1. That there is definite evidence of an acute shortage of institutions offering graduate instruction in physics.
  2. That the Policy Committee, having considered carefully the offer made by the Institute to handle dues collections for the Acoustical Society on a trial basis, believes that such services should be offered to the other Member Societies.

At Mr. Gibbs request, Mr. Barton read an article he had written for publication in the January, 1947 issue of The Review of Scientific Instruments which announces officially the reorganization plan of the Institute and is accompanied by publication of the new Constitution of the American Institute of Physics. A suggestion was made that reprints of the above should be mailed to the entire membership of the Institute.

The Committee received the recommendations of the Policy Committee and, after discussion and amendment,

It was on motion voted

  1. To approve the recommendation of the Policy Committee that the name of the new reportorial journal of the American Institute of Physics should be “Physics.”
  2. To recommend to the Governing Board that Associate membership in the American Institute of Physics under the new Constitution be established as soon as feasible, charging a temporary annual rate of $1.00, this to be adjusted to the full rate when the new journal is started.

The Committee authorized the Institute staff to make preparations in accordance with the action taken above.

No reply other than a bare acknowledgement having been received from Atlantic Monthly, it was felt that the Institute could not delay progress on its plans any further. Mr. Gibbs stated that two items requiring attention in order for the Institute to proceed with its plans were: 1) financial support, and 2) the question of finding an editor.

The Policy Committee, by action of both the Governing Board and its Executive Committee, still recognizes that it has as one of its functions the appointment of an editor, but the matter of financing the new journal is a function of the Executive Committee. Cost estimates indicated that an amount of $54,000 to $60,000 might be required to finance the journal for a three-year period.

It was on motion voted unanimously

That the Executive Committee approves the Policy Committee’s recommendation to promote its sub-committee on financing to the status of a sub-committee of the Executive Committee, and empowers this committee to raise funds in the name of the Institute for the new journal, and to add to the committee any members it sees fit.

The personnel of the Committee so appointed is as follows:

Messrs. J. B. Fisk (Chairman), K. T. Compton, L. A. Du Bridge, P. E. Klopsteg.

Suggestions were made for the manner in which funds might be raised and, to the Policy Committee’s suggestion that one-third of the total be raised each from present Associates, from other industries, and from persons of means, it was pointed out that through the ability of some corporations being able to contribute much larger sums than others, the required amount might perhaps be raised from the present Associates only.

A motion to approve that the sum of $60,000 be sought was carried unanimously.

Mr. Gibbs reported that the personnel of the Policy Committee’s sub-committee to find an Editor is the following: Messrs. Wallace Waterfall (Chairman), G. R. Harrison, H. A. Barton, R. H. Bolt, Philip Morrison, J. B. Fisk.

It was on motion voted unanimously

That the Executive Committee votes to adopt the recommendation of the Policy Committee as to the nature of the journal to be published (AIP type plan), subject to success in raising the necessary financial support to establish it.

(The Committee adjourned for lunch at 12:30 p.m. and reconvened in executive session at 1:35 p.m., no members of the staff being present with the exception of the Director. Mr. Gibbs left the meeting at 2 p.m. The Committee reconvened in general session at 2:15 p.m.)

7. Committee on Advertising Rates and Policies:

Without making any specific recommendations at the present time, Mr. Waterfall reported on the study which is being made by the Committee on Advertising Rates and Policies of AIP journals, of which he is Chairman.  He stated that his committee is agreed that the AIP journals should only carry advertising; that the new journal should also carry advertising; that the one time full page rate on the Journal of Applied Physics and The Review of Scientific Instruments is reasonable even though the rate was set in 1937; that the combined rates on the two journals are entirely too low. The Committee also expects to recommend a more strenuous promotion of advertising.

8. Reviews and Abstracts Section – RSI:

The Committee received very favorably the idea of expanding considerably the Reviews and Abstracts section of the RSI and directed that Editor Harnwell should be requested to submit a prospectus of such a plan for consideration at its next meeting.

9. Applied Mechanics Reviews:

Mr. Barton reported that the Navy Department had called a meeting of representatives of interested organizations including this Institute to discuss the establishment of a journal to be entitled, “Applied Mechanics Reviews.” The conference recommended to the Navy that it contract with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for the publication of such a journal. Negotiations to this end apparently progressed and more recently the ASME called together an Advisory Committee which has been suggested by the original conference. This Advisory Committee would work with the ASME and assist in selection of, and subsequent consultation with, the editor. The Institute may later be asked to contribute to a reserve fund to protect the continuity of the journal although it is anticipated that Navy funds will be available to support it for three years, after which time it is hoped it will be self sustaining.

In response to the ASME’s request that the Institute nominate three nominees for a delegate on the Advisory Board, the Committee named Messrs. F. V. Hunt, R. C. Gibbs, and F. A. Firestone.

10. Proposed Journals of “Experimental Biophysics” and “Nucleonics.”

The Director read a letter from Dr. Seymour Katcoff proposing the establishment of a new journal to be named “Nucleonics.” After discussion it was the sense of the Committee that it does not see the need for this kind of publication since the reaction of the Advisor on Publications and Editor Mayer was that such papers are now presented in The Physical Review.

Mr. Barton reported a conversation he had had with Dr. Leopold Rovner, of the Medical School of the State University of Iowa, about the possibility of the Institute sponsoring a journal on “Experimental Biophysics.” The discussion which followed indicated that the Committee felt this matter worthy of more consideration and requested the Director to explore further the size of membership which could be expected if a society on this subject were formed and published its own journal; whether such a journal could be published by AIP; and to report further at the next meeting of the Committee.

11. Suitable Observance by AIP of death of former Board Member:

The Committee agreed that a suitable biographical sketch should be prepared for presentation at the annual meeting of the Governing Board upon the death during the preceding year of any former Board Member, and that the Board be asked to adopt a resolution including some such wording as the following. “The Board takes this occasion to express its appreciation of the services to the Institute rendered by Mr. ——— when he was a member of the Board.”

12. Baruch Committee Suggestion:

The request of the Baruch Committee on Physical Medicine regarding the place of medical physics in the medical curriculum and the place of biophysics in the physics curriculum was referred to President Gibbs of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

13. Tentative Budget for 1947:

There was considerable discussion over a tentative Budget for 1947, a copy of which is attached to these minutes. On motion of Mr. Pegram it was voted unanimously

To consider the budget attached to these minutes as a tentative one for further discussion at the next meeting of the Committee.

The suggestion that the Editors of the three Institute-owned journals be invited to the next meeting was approved.

14. Special Rates on RSI and JAP:

It was disclosed at the meeting that special rates of $3.00 instead of the $5.00 subscription charge for the RSI and $5.00 instead of $7.00 for the JAP were being granted to any member of any scientific organization. The Committee felt that such an arrangement is too liberal and on motion of Mr. Waterfall

It was voted unanimously

That effective as soon as feasible the special rates on the RSI and JAP apply only to members of the Institute.

15. Date of Next Meeting:

The date of the next meeting of the Committee was set for Friday, February 7th.

16. Adjournment:

The meeting adjourned at 4:50 p.m.