September 8, 1975

Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

Members Present: Philip M. Morse – Chairman, William A. Fowler, W. W. Havens, Jr., H. William Koch, Jarus W. Quinn, A. A. Strassenburg

Absent: Robert T. Beyer, Laurence W. Fredrick

Nonvoting Participants: H. M. Gurin (AAS), R. S. Rivlin (SOR), R. D. Burbank (ACA), J. E. Goldman (MaL), John S. Laughlin (AAPM)

AIP Staff Present: H. William Koch, Director; Sidney Millman, Secretary; G. F. Gilbert, Treasurer; Lewis Slack, Assoc. Director for General Activities; Dorothy M. Lasky, Assistant to the Director; Mary M. Johnson, Assistant to the Secretary

Chairman Morse called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m.

1. Minutes

Upon motion made and passed without dissent, the minutes of the Executive Committee meeting of June 12, 1975, were approved.

2. UNIVAC Computer Schedule

Koch reported that the computer conversion program from the present UNIVAC 9300 to the use of the forthcoming UNIVAC 90/30 facility is approximately 5 weeks behind schedule and that AIP management has reviewed the effect of this delay on the 1976 subscription fulfillment activities and recommends that acquisition of the new computer be officially postponed from February 1976, as previously reported, to April or May. There is no accompanying financial loss to AIP since, according to the original agreement with UNIVAC, AIP will not be billed for rental of the new computer until after it has operated satisfactorily for two months. The current plan is to move the present 9300 equipment from the basement to the first floor early next year and use it for the APS spring 1976 billing. After Koch answered a few questions on the logistics of the move, the following motion was passed without dissent:

MOVED that the AIP schedule for installation of the UNIVAC 90/30 computer be reset to provide for completion of the move of the present UNIVAC 9300 from the basement location to the first floor either prior to February 15, 1976, or not until after the APS billing has been completed, and for installation of the UNIVAC 90/30 about May 1, 1976.

3. AIP Occupancy Space Plans

Gilbert distributed copies of a memo on this subject, which had been prepared by Marks, listing the three rental locations in which operations of the Publishing Branch are carried out. These are the 16th floor of the building at 304 East 45 Street occupying 7,200 square feet and providing space for Physics Today and most of the Manpower Division; the 5th floor at 800 Second Avenue, near 43rd Street, with an area of 14,500 square feet, and basement area of 3,400 1square feet in the old physics building at S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook, Long Island, for the Metaxas group which does the composition of Physical Review–A, B, C, and D. There is sufficient space at the Stony Brook location to handle the composition of 50,000 pages annually, which is more than double their 1974 output: The lease on the space at 800 Second Avenue expires in October of 1976, while the one on East 45 Street runs to June 30, 1978. Our current thinking is to extend the Second Avenue lease also until June 30, 1978, and this will give us sufficient time to explore the possibilities for future consolidation of all Publishing Branch operations, or possibly even the entire AIP.

4. SOR Decision to Continue Publication of their Transactions by Wiley

Koch reminded the Executive Committee that, at the April 30 meeting, he had raised a question as to the appropriateness of AIP’s collecting page charges for Transactions of the Society of Rheology inasmuch as it was being published commercially by John Wiley & Sons. Preliminary discussions with officers of SOR had indicated that our proposal to take over publication would be approved, but we have now learned that the final decision of SOR was to remain with Wiley. Beginning in 1976, page charges will be collected directly by SOR.

5. AAPM Headquarters Status

Slack stated that, for some years, AIP has performed a variety of services for the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, including publication of their journal, dues billing and collection, and has provided assistance through the assignment of Ethel Snider for AAPM administrative affairs two days per week. The society now feels it requires more varied services, particularly help in negotiating with hotels in connection with their meetings. As a result, AAPM has accepted a proposal from Smith & Bucklin, a firm with offices in Washington and Chicago, which handles business affairs for some 60 small organizations. Under this arrangement, as we understand it, Smith & Bucklin would handle dues collection and subscription fulfillment for AAPM, as well as other tasks. There is to be a meeting at the Institute later in September of some of the AAPM officers with AIP management to compare services and costs, and to examine a number of potential difficulties AIP foresees if dues and subscription fulfillment services are transferred out of its jurisdiction.

6. Status of AIP Handbook for Society Officers

Millman distributed a document containing a two-page summary of the contents and some sample pages of the "Handbook for Society Officers,” first draft of which is expected to become available for inspection by Society officers on October 2. The "Handbook" is expected to comprise 80 to 85 pages, half of which will have to be revised each year. It is planned to produce about 100 copies of the final version in some loose-leaf form.

7. Changes in Committee Membership

Millman announced the following changes in AIP committee membership:

  1. For the Committee on Society Services

    Strassenburg has asked to be relieved of his duties as chairman and as a member. L. W. Fredrick has agreed to serve as Chairman and Melba Phillips will replace Strassenburg as a member. The other members of the Committee are Betty H. Goodfriend, Jarus W. Quinn, Mary L. Shoaf, and Sidney Millman – Secretary. Mary Shoaf will probably also be replaced sometime soon by another APS representative.

  2. For the Fiscal Policy Committee

    Melba Phillips will replace Strassenburg and, because of changes in officers in AAS and AAPM, William E. Howard III will replace F. K. Edmondson, and Alice L. McCrea will replace Ann E. Wright. The other members of this Committee are Joseph A. Burton – Chairman, R. T. Beyer, C. N. Caughlan, E. A. Collins, A. I. Mahan, and G. F. Gilbert – ex officio.

8. Report on the Publishing Policy Committee Meeting of July 21

Quinn reported that at its June 21 meeting the Committee favored a proposal for improved coupling between the APS Committee on Applications of Physics and the Editorial Board of the Journal of Applied Physics and Applied Physics Letters. It also discussed, but did not favor, a proposal to have AIP share joint sponsorship of an international conference of scientific editors. The Committee was informed that ONR has verbally agreed to the AIP request for funds to support translation of two Soviet books on acoustics (mentioned in the minutes of the June 12, 1975, Executive Committee meeting, Item No. 3e); that a lower cost contract with Plenum Publishing Corporation has been negotiated for the translation of Soviet journals for a six-year term, and that a request for a proposal was received from ERDA for the extension of the existing contract under which AIP provides computer tape and camera-ready copy of selected abstracts for Nuclear Science Abstracts. AIP plans to negotiate a similar contract with Engineering Index. Discussion of the Seybold report on computerized publishing of journal text took up a major part of the Committee’s attention, but it was felt that there is no immediate urgency with respect to a decision concerning computerized publishing since it will involve a large investment in equipment and since it does not appear that there is yet an assured potential saving in composition costs.

9. Correspondence with A. M. Clogston, Chairman of the APS Committee on Applications of Physics, on Appointments to Editorial Board of JAP & APL

Koch reported an exchange of correspondence with A. M. Clogston in which Clogston proposed that the mastheads of the Journal of Applied Physics and Applied Physics Letters state that they are published "with the cooperation of the American Physical Society." The rationale for this is that there is a uniqueness of these journals with APS that does not apply to the other Societies and it would encourage APS members to regard them as their own applied journals. Quinn pointed out that, as far as APL is concerned; the other Member Societies—which are essentially societies of applied physics—have no letters journals of their own and look to it for news of developments in their respective fields as APS does in Physical Review Letters. He therefore suggested that we consider the Clogston proposal for the two journals separately. Accordingly, the following motion was passed first without dissent:

MOVED that the following sentence be added to the masthead of JAP: "The Journal of Applied Physics is published monthly by the American Institute of Physics with the cooperation of The American Physical Society."

Following this action, a second motion was also passed without dissent:

MOVED that the following sentence be added to the masthead of APL: "Applied Physics Letters is published semi-monthly by the American Institute of Physics with the cooperation of The American Physical Society."

10. Preliminary Discussion on Reprint Policy

Koch reported receipt of a letter from the chairman of the 21st Annual Conference on Magnetism and Magnetic Materials asking whether the Institute would be willing to waive the reprint fee for those who pay page charges or provide camera-ready copy of their papers. There were no objections.

11. Translation Journal Subscription Prices for 1976

Gilbert distributed a memo which had been prepared by Marks indicating that no increase is being recommended for 1976 because (1) the new AIP contract with Plenum Publishing provides for a reduction in the cost of the production of the translated journals, (2) AIP is introducing 4 new translation journals which will put a strain on already tight library budgets, and (3) there were already substantial increases in 1974 and 1975 subscription prices. Attached as Exhibit A is a list of translation journals and subscription prices for 1974 and 1975, and those proposed for 1976. No Executive Committee action was required.

12. Calendar Year for all Nonmember Subscriptions

Gilbert distributed and read his memo recommending that the subscription period of all nonmember journals be put on a calendar year basis. This would affect all of the translation journals except the two AIP publishes for the Optical Society which are already on a calendar year subscription basis, as well as a small number of nonmember subscriptions to other AIP and Society primary journals which we have heretofore accepted on a midyear basis. In the case of the Soviet journals, we believe they can be produced faster than the allowed six months and, furthermore, such a change would eliminate the confusion caused by having two publication dates—the date of the Soviet original and that of the English translation.

There was some discussion on possible confusion that might result in the transition period with two different issues bearing the same date. Havens suggested a different labeling for the new series. It was felt that the Publishing Branch will manage to take care of potential problems that might arise. The following motion was passed:

MOVED that, effective January 1, 1976, all nonmember subscriptions for AIP and Society journals be accepted on a calendar year basis only.

13. New 3-Year Contract on JPCRD

Gilbert reported that our contract with the National Bureau of Standards and the American Chemical Society for the publication of the Journal of Physical and Chemical Reference Data has been amended to extend the expiration date from December 31, 1975, to December 31, 1978. This journal had a net income of approximately $7,600 in 1974 which was shared equally by AIP and ACS. A net income of approximately $8,700 is budgeted for 1975.

14. Page Charge Studies

Koch stated that the Institute collects approximately 3.6 million dollars in page charges annually and we are becoming concerned about the possibility of a change in Government policy regarding payment of such charges. He reported that NSF has requested proposals from organizations which would be interested in studying the subject, and has contracts with Fritz Machlup and Capital Systems. We expect to have an interview with Capital Systems on September 12.

15. Report of Ad Hoc Committee to Consider Guidelines for Admission to Membership in AIP

In the absence of R. T. Beyer, Chairman of this Committee, appointed at the June 12 meeting of the Executive Committee, the report was presented for discussion by Havens. It was distributed to all members of the Executive Committee on September 2 and a copy is attached as Exhibit B. The report consists of two parts:

  1. Application of AVS to become a Full Member

    The Committee recommended that the American Vacuum Society be nominated for election as a full Member Society of the Institute. Havens noted that the Committee was concerned about the fact that AIP would lose some income as a result of the loss of the 15% overhead for AIP services to an Affiliated Society and the fact that Physics Today will be sent free of charge to all members. Accordingly, it recommended that PT advertising rates be increased as its circulation goes up and this would partially offset the loss incurred. The motion that was introduced and passed did not include any recommendation on advertising rates. The following motion was made by Havens and passed without dissent:

    MOVED that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board the nomination of the American Vacuum Society as a full Member Society of the Institute.

  2. Guidelines for Admission to Membership in AIP

    Havens stated that the Committee recommended some changes in the AIP Constitution, namely the elimination of Associate Member Society representation on the Governing Board, and an increase in the minimum size of Member and Associate Member Societies from 400 to 1,000 members. The Committee also recommended several changes in the document entitled "Classes of Membership" (prepared by the AIP staff and approved by the Governing Board on September 27, 1968) which sets forth criteria for various classes of membership in the Institute. The following motion was passed without dissent:

    MOVED that the Executive Committee recommend that the AIP Constitution be amended by eliminating the following sentence in Article VII: "Each Associate Member Society shall be entitled to elect one member of the Governing Board."

    Burbank suggested that an Associate Member Society could be invited to send a nonvoting participant to Board meetings.

    Concerning the minimum size of Member and Associate Member Societies, Fowler expressed concern that the proposed new figure of 1,000 was larger than the membership of two of the present Member Societies, i.e. SOR and AAPM. After some discussion, it was agreed to change this number to 800. Accordingly, the following motion was passed without dissent:

    MOVED that the Executive Committee recommend that the AIP Constitution be amended by changing the minimum size of Member and Associate Member Societies from 400 to 800 in Article V, Sections 1 and 2.

    Strassenburg observed that, since each of our present Member Societies currently has at least 800 members, the first line of the definition of a Member Society at the bottom of Page 1 in the "Classes of Membership" document should be changed to define a Member Society as one which was a member on January 1, 1975 (instead of January 1, 1946).

    There followed a discussion on the proposed changes in the document entitled “Classes of Membership.” It was agreed to change the proposed time required for an Associate Member Society to have been an Affiliated Society from five to three years and provide a similar change to three years as the waiting time for an Associate Member Society before it can become a Member Society. Havens suggested that the Beyer Ad Hoc Committee should now prepare a revised set of criteria containing the recommendations in its report, as amended in the discussion reported above. The following motion was passed without dissent:

    MOVED that the Executive Committee approve the proposed changes in criteria for various classes of membership in AIP discussed so far and encourage the Ad Hoc Committee to prepare revised criteria for presentation to the Governing Board at its scheduled October 4, 1975, meeting.

The meeting was adjourned for luncheon at 12:40 and reconvened at 1:30 p.m.

16. Press Release on the Monopole

Koch opened the discussion on the way AIP handled the August 14, 1975, press release on the latest scientific event, the possible observation of a magnetic monopole, reported in the August 25, 1975, issue of Physical Review Letters. He referred to his most recent monthly newsletter and the newspaper and magazine reports that were distributed prior to and during the meeting. He admitted that the statement on our release letterhead “Issued jointly by the American Institute of Physics and the University of California at Berkeley” was, in his present view, a mistake because of the press' increasing concern about “sourcing.” Therefore, although joint releases may have been appropriate in the past (e.g. a 1962 joint release with Bell Laboratories on a new superconducting element), we should now consider their possible elimination. The fact that the release was joint evidently caused some confusion for the press because the "source" of the research results was implied to be both AIP and Berkeley. Since we are not a research facility, as is Berkeley, AIP’s involvement was confused by the reference to joint issuance. Koch also explained AIP’s eagerness in counteracting the scoop of the “San Francisco Chronicle” advance release of the story. This was accomplished by assisting Berkeley in the dissemination of the Berkeley release on the East Coast. Thus, we complied with Goudsmit’s admonition in a 1960 PRL editorial, "Scientific discoveries are not the proper subject for newspaper scoops and all media of mass communication should have equal opportunity for simultaneous access to the information." However, we retained the speculative wording of the Berkeley release that should have been clearly attributed to the authors.

Rivlin stated that the problem was in not attributing the claims of possible applications to medicine and technology to the people who made them. AIP certainly has access to expertise and could have checked with them. Koch then asked for opinions on devising a possible disclaimer statement which would state clearly AIP’s role in issuing any press releases. He stated also that he would like to eliminate joint releases, if possible. He would like to establish and have more careful management control over the output of the Public Relations Division. He would like to request special assistance from journal editors and Society officers to assure reliable and accurate accounts of news stories.

Havens referred to the letter he received from J. A. Burton dated September 5 and distributed at the meeting (copy attached as Exhibit C). He stated that the paper on the monopole was submitted to PRL and was reviewed by two individuals who expressed skepticism but could find nothing wrong with it and recommended publication. It turns out there was an error in the paper but there is no way a reviewer could have picked it up; however, no claim for reliability was made. The editor serves a different purpose than the press release—he is supposed to get controversial papers into the journal. He thought that a disclaimer statement should essentially say, "We are putting this story out because it is interesting but we do not attest to its reliability."

Rivlin thought that one has no control no matter how the disclaimer is worded. A layman would not have the same interpretation as a physicist and no amount of disclaiming is going to do that. Perhaps one should go further and put in the statement something quite explicit, directed to the man who is going to write the article. He thought credibility is very important to maintain.

Goldman observed that it has taken us many years to cultivate people like Walter Sullivan of "The New York Times" and we have an obligation to see that they are not scooped. Fowler stated that AIP has a duty to see that other newspaper people get the newsworthy discoveries, but we do not want to put our approval on them by making them joint. The press releases are proper only in that they contain material in the published article which, in this case, did not contain speculation on the application to medicine and technology.

Koch concluded the rather lengthy discussion of the subject by stating that he will take this up with the AIP Public Relations Advisory Committee and see if we can develop some ground rules for future press releases.

17. Correspondence with APS re AIP Staff Attendance at Selected APS Committee Meetings

Koch reported that, as a result of conversations and correspondence he had had with officers of the American Physical Society, APS has invited AIP staff members to attend APS committee meetings as observers when appropriate and, accordingly, Koch has designated the following possible AIP staff people as attendees:

  • G. F. Gilbert – APS Finance Committee
  • H. W. Koch – APS Committee on Applications of Physics
  • R. H. Marks – APS Publications Committee
  • Beverly Porter – APS Committee on Women in Physics
  • Lewis Slack – APS Committee on Professional Concerns

18. Proposal to NSF for a Grant on the “Documentation of the Revolution in Astrophysics”


A. A. Strassenburg did not participate in discussion of this grant proposal to NSF.

Slack reported that a proposal to NSF has been prepared for a 3-year project to document the developments in astrophysics during the 20th century, particularly the postwar era. This project will be under the direction of Spencer Weart, Director of the History Division, and the amount requested, $94,000, will include the cost of 7 additional people who will spend various lengths of part-time on the work. Slack stated that the entire 20th century will be covered with emphasis on post-World War II developments, with close attention to the scientific revolution currently in progress.

Slack added that there is another proposal in preparation at the present time on a study of the documentation of postwar non-academic science.

19. AIP Membership in American National Standards Institute

Copies of a letter dated July 22, 1975, from the Secretary of ANSI’s Graphic Standards Management Board had been distributed to Executive Committee members prior to the meeting. This letter outlines ANSI’s new policy regarding eligibility, and invites AIP to become a voting member at $1,000 per year, or an information member at $100. Koch noted that AIP currently has 9 representatives on different committees or boards of ANSI. After brief discussion, the following motion was made and passed without dissent:

MOVED that AIP apply to become an Information Member of the American National Standards Institute.

Rivlin suggested that, after a couple of years, our experience could be evaluated to determine whether it would be worthwhile becoming a Voting Member.

20. Appointment to Advisory Board of NRC Physical Sciences

Koch announced that he had been invited to become a member of the Advisory Board to the Office of Physical Sciences of the National Research Council. He stated that he intends to accept the invitation and that he would report his experiences as a member to this Executive Committee.

21. Possible Visit to UK for Discussions with IEE

Morse reported that J. H. H. Merriman of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in London will not be coming to Canada this fall, as previously stated. There appears to be little reason, at this time, to visit Merriman in London as no new proposals have been offered for discussion. As soon as we receive some new proposal from IEE, hopefully by next spring, we will consider a face-to-face meeting.

22. Approval by Soviets of Amended Agreement

Koch stated that, on June 27, 1975, he notified the Soviets of our agreement with Plenum Publishing, and sent to them an amended agreement covering four new journals. They signed the amended agreement and returned it to us.

23. Salary Administration

Koch said that he and Millman have undertaken a study of our salary structure to ascertain whether it is reasonable and competitive in light of the inflation of the past several years. An appointment has been made to visit the appropriate people at AT&T for discussion on the subject and, if it seems advisable, other organizations will be contacted. Any change in our present salary scale would affect our 1976 budget and it was felt that Executive Committee members ought to be alerted to the possibility. This might also be a subject for the Administrative Review Committee to consider, if such a committee is established.

24. Report on the Mailing of AIP Financial Statement for 1974

Prior to the meeting, copies of an analysis of 1974 income and expense, including pie charts, had been distributed to the Executive Committee (copy attached as Exhibit D) and Gilbert stated that the financial statement for 1974 had been sent to all Governing Board members, together with his covering letter, in July. (Copies of the 1974 financial statement and covering letter are attached to the minutes for others who should have them, and a copy of each is attached to the official minutes.)

25. Plans for Fall Meetings

Koch announced the following schedule for the series of meetings to be held in Washington on October 1 through 4:

October 1 6:00 p.m. Executive Committee (dinner) Sheraton Park Hotel
October 2 9:00 a.m. Assembly of Society Officers Nat. Acad. of Sciences
October 2 4:00 p.m. Corporate Associates Nat. Acad. of Sciences
October 3 9:00 a.m. Corporate Associates Nat. Acad. of Sciences
October 4 8:30 a.m. Governing Board Shoreham Hotel

Koch said that one of the major items to be taken up at the Governing Board meeting will be discussion of the report of the Committee on Committees. If the report is accepted, it will be necessary to make sure that the Committee's recommendations are implemented and, presumably, there should be some liaison between the various committees and AIP management. It will also be necessary to appoint a Nominating Committee. Prior to the October 4 meeting of the Governing Board, the Committee on Committees should prepare a more detailed recommendation about the composition and function of the Nominating Committee.

Koch said he planned, at the Governing Board meeting, to take up the subject of activities within the Manpower and Public Relations Divisions.

26. Report on POPA Activities

Morse reported that the APS Panel on Public Affairs has held a number of meetings with Congressional Fellows, and there has been a number of study projects tentatively approved by the APS Executive Committee. The study on plutonium cycle and the related field of waste disposal has been started and a proposal is being written. Two other studies are being considered. The first is a study on manpower with an attempt to look ahead 5 or 10 years at what physicists could do to estimate manpower needs and what output is required to meet those needs. This is a subject in which the other Societies may be interested and Morse said he would welcome suggestions from them as to someone from each Society who might be asked to correspond with the group or attend the organizational meeting. The second study is on the safety of breeder reactors. A recent issue of the APS Bulletin carried news of POPA activities, and the Committee is considering issuing a newsletter.

27. Election of Corporate Associate

Lasky reported that an application and check for $2,000 had been received from Sperry Rand Corporation. This amount is appropriate for the number of physicists they employ, and they were for many years a Corporate Associate until 1970 when they dropped out. Upon motion made and passed, Sperry Rand Corporation was elected a Corporate Associate of the Institute.

28. New SPS Constitution

Millman noted that the Executive Committee members had been sent a copy of the current and proposed new Society of Physics Students Constitutions for study prior to the meeting. SPS bylaws require that any change in their Constitution must be approved by the AIP Governing Board, and the Board had previously delegated this responsibility to the Executive Committee. Strassenburg said he was involved with the group which formulated the changes being proposed, and he recommended approval. Upon motion made and passed, the proposed new Constitution for SPS was approved (copy attached to official minutes).

The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.