April 3, 1959

Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

Members Present: Frederick Seitz, Chairman; J. W. Beams, R. H. Bolt; J. W. Buchta; S. A. Goudsmit; W. S. Michels

Absent: W. S. Baird, R. A. Sawyer

AIP Staff Present: Elmer Hutchisson, H. A. Barton, Wallace Waterfall, Mary M. Johnson

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 9:20 a.m.

1. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of January 30, 1959, were approved as circulated.

2. Preview of Governing Board Agenda

  1. Report of Annual Meeting

    The Secretary reported that the annual corporation meeting was held on February 27, 1959, in compliance with New York State Law. Although the proxies had no real business to transact, they seemed to enjoy hearing reports of Institute activities.

  2. Report of Board to Members for 1958

    The Director explained briefly that the financial report for 1958 would be distributed to the Board on the following day and discussed it briefly. He pointed out that the Institute’s volume of business had grown 100% in five years and he added that the reports required by this increased volume and by new Government regulations required further expansion of our accounting personnel and facilities. The Treasurer said that the Institute had a net income of over $12,000 for the year 1958. In answer to a question he explained that administrative expense was budgeted lower for 1959 than 1958 because some of the people who were formerly charged to general administration have been assigned to jobs elsewhere. Total fringe benefits are 6.92% of total salaries which compares favorably with other organizations.

    The Treasurer stated that we recognize Institute charges to journals have risen substantially during the past few years. This is partly because we are now charging depreciation of our building and equipment to all operations and partly because our previous charges did not accurately reflect true costs. Another reason is that we have intentionally equipped and staffed ourselves to do a better job in our routine operations, and this is already resulting in better service and fewer complaints. During 1959 we propose to make a major effort to learn where we are inefficient and where our procedures can be made less costly.

  3. Plans for 1959 Activities

    1. The Director stated that he would have some staff members present at the meeting on the following day to tell what they have been doing. In connection with our Public Information Department, Mr. Michels asked what had been the reaction to the “Public Relations Newsletter” and said he had heard both favorable and unfavorable comments. The Director replied that he had not heard many and would be interested in receiving comments. He said that Mr. Kone is receiving much better reaction and cooperation at meetings and this be due in part to the fact that our Public Information Service is becoming better known. The “Public Relations Newsletter” goes to university department heads, corporate associates, and news agencies, among others, and the Director said he would try to determine what value it had.

    2. Concerning AIP publications, the Director pointed out that we have budgeted a deficit for JCP and that the Division of Chemical Physics of APS is going to try to help us increase the honoring of page charges. (About 72% now honor.)

      The director reported that we had been approached by the Asia Foundation to determine whether they could help us supply journals to underdeveloped countries in Asia. He suggested that they could perhaps help by underwriting page charges and said he would look into it.

      The Director recalled that the increased subscription prices for JCP would not bring much additional income until 1960 and recommended that the publication charge be increased from $25.00 to $30.00 to bring it in line with “The Physical Review.” After brief discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

      MOVED that the publication charge for JCP be increased from $25.00 to $30.00 per page, effective as soon as possible.

      The Director reported that we had received a grant for the proposed journal of mathematical physics from NSF, and the Committee to Study Publishing Problems in Physics had recommended that an ad hoc committee be formed to discuss the scope of the journal and recommend an editor and editorial board. Such a meeting was held on April 2. The Director distributed a list of suggested names for editor and editorial board which had been prepared by the committee and there followed a discussion of their qualifications. Agreement was reached on individuals who should be approached to ascertain their interest in the position of editor and it was also agreed that the editorial board should be selected in consultation with the editor chosen. The following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

      MOVED that the Director be authorized to negotiate and complete arrangements with an editor and to appoint an editorial board for the proposed journal of mathematical physics after consultation with the editor.

      There was a discussion of the proper wording of the description of the scope of this journal and it was the consensus that the suggestions of the ad hoc committee should be referred to the editor chosen.

    3. Mr. Barton recalled the discussion which took place at the last meeting concerning a joint meeting of Member Society governing bodies and presented a staff proposal of a meeting of Member Society officers with our Governing Board. He discussed the proposal in some detail (see Board minutes of April 4, 1959) and the members of the Executive Committee indicated approval.

      It was agreed that further discussion of the Governing Board agenda (see Item 13) be postponed until after the Executive Committee covered other items requiring action.

3. Percentage of Dues to be Paid by Member Societies in 1960

The Secretary reported that the percentage of dues paid by the Member Societies to the Institute has been 10% for several years and, although the contract provides that it may be as high as 15%, the staff recommended continuing at 10%. The following motion was then made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that the dues percentage to be paid by Member Societies to the Institute be set at 10% for 1960.

4. New Corporate Associates

The Secretary reported that the following organizations had requested to become Corporate Associates of the Institute and, on motion duly made and carried, they were so elected:

  • The Ohio Oil Company
  • Burroughs Corporation
  • The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
  • Page Communications Engineers, Inc.
  • American Machine & Foundry Company
  • “Scientific American”
  • Bulova Research & Development Labs., Inc.
  • Douglas Aircraft Company, Inc.
  • Lear, Inc.
  • Esso Research and Engineering Company
  • Clevite Corporation (effective January 1960)

The Secretary distributed copies of a sheet showing that the net from 1959 Corporate Associates dues already exceeded $50,000.00. The Director described the operation of our sliding scale dues procedure and said that it had been accepted by the Corporate Associates with only a few objections.


The Director called attention to a series of books which had been contributed to our Board room by McGraw-Hill, one of our Corporate Associates, and said that he had asked John Wiley & Sons to make a similar gift. The Chairman said he would ask Academic Press to do likewise.

5. Authorization for Prepayment of Mortgage

The Secretary reported that the mortgage on the Institute building (now about $114,000), which is due May 1, 1960, can be paid at any time after May 10, 1959, without penalty. He said that there was ample cash available and, since the mortgage draws 4.6% interest, he recommended that the mortgage be paid off soon after May 10. After brief discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Treasurer be authorized to prepay the mortgage of approximately $114,000 on the Institute building some time after May 10, 1959.

6. Registration Under New York State Social Welfare Law

The Secretary stated that the Institute had delayed registering with the New York State Department of Social Welfare for some time but had recently done so on the advice of our attorney. This means we will have to report annually to the State on how much we receive in contributions and what we do with the money.

7. Proposed Hall of Electricity at Smithsonian Institution

The Chairman reported that he had received a letter from the Acting Curator, Division of Electricity, Smithsonian Institution, asking for advice about exhibits in the proposed Hall of Electricity. After brief discussion it was the consensus that the Institute should cooperate and that a special physics section would be desirable. The Director was asked to contact Smithsonian officials and work out the details.

8. Travel Expenses for Committees

The Director said he believes the Institute should absorb the travel expenses of the Advisory Committee on AIP Education Program since it has been found desirable to hold meetings frequently and at times when members would not otherwise be assembled. The Secretary read the action taken at the meeting of September 30, 1958, wherein the staff was authorized to pay travel expenses of committees only if such were specifically authorized at the time of creation of the committee. After brief discussion, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the above-mentioned action be modified to permit the AIP administrative staff to use its discretion with regard to paying committee travel expenses, and, specifically, that the AIP staff be authorized to pay the travel expenses of the Advisory Committee on AIP Education Program.

9. Questions on Associate Membership of the American Crystallographic Association

The Secretary reported that certain questions have arisen in connection with the anticipated Associate Membership of ACA. The formal election is to take place on May 6, 1959, and we interpret the Bylaws to mean that their membership is to become effective that date although our Bylaws state that the director they elect will not become a member of our Governing Board until the end of the next annual meeting (February 1960). The Secretary suggested that ACA members may be added to the “Physics Today” mailing list as of July 1, 1959, at a charge of one-half the 75 cent per member rate previously fixed. Mr. Barton suggested that ACA be given the option of receiving PT beginning July 1, 1958 (1959), or January 1, 1960. The following motion was then made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED than (that) an Associate Member Society be given the option of choosing whether its membership is to receive PT on a prorated basis during the year in which the Society is elected or beginning on the following January 1.

The Chairman suggested, and the Committee agreed, that the director elected by ACA be invited to attend the fall Governing Board meeting although he will not become an official representative of ACA until the next annual meeting.

10. Arrangement with Dwight Gray on Second Edition of the “AIP Handbook”

The Secretary reported that royalties received from McGraw-Hill on the first edition of the “AIP Handbook” amounted to approximately $26,700 to date. Expenses were about $9,000 leaving a net profit of about $17,700.00.

The second edition is being planned, to be ready for distribution in the fall of 1961, and the staff has proposed an arrangement whereby the editor and section editors will share 50% of the royalties. Specifically, Mr. Gray will receive half of the 50% and the other half will be distributed equally among the section editors. Mr. Gray is paid $50 per month against the royalties he will eventually receive under this plan, and the section editors receive an advance payment of $500 each upon completion of manuscript. Mr. Gray and the section editors seem pleased with the arrangement. After brief discussion, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the arrangement whereby the editor and section editors of the second edition of the “AIP Handbook” will receive 50% of royalties, divided as proposed, be approved.

11. Policy on Publishing Conference Proceedings

The Director invited further discussion of this subject as proposed at the meeting of January 30, 1958. Discussion followed in which the only new idea presented was that AIP might publish conference proceedings as a series of monographs, possibly with Government subsidy and possibly with the cooperation of some commercial publisher. No much enthusiasm was shown for this idea and it was agreed that the subject should be referred for consideration to the Committee on Publishing Problems in Physics.

12. Status of International Conference on Physics Education

The Director recalled that the Executive Committee, at its meeting on December 6, 1958, had authorized the staff to proceed with the planning of an International Conference on Physics Education and the International Committee of IUPAP, to whom the plan was presented, has authorized it. A proposal in the amount of $2,431.40 for a planning meeting has been prepared and presented to NSF. It calls for a meeting of such a planning committee in Constance, Germany, on July 6, 1959, and, if the grant is received, we anticipate attendance by representatives from various foreign countries.

13. Preview of Governing Board Agenda (Continued)

  1. Elections and Appointments

    Mr. Beams, Chairman of the Committee to Nominate a Chairman of the Board, indicated what would be the report of his Committee to the Board on the following day.

    The Secretary called attention to a list of current Institute committees and representatives which had been distributed and explained what action was required. Various suggestions were made and noted, and the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the Chairman be authorized to appoint committees and representatives for the coming year.

    There is attached hereto a list of committees and representatives for the coming year as appointed by the Chairman.

  2. Position of AIP on Ratification of “Florence Convention on Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials

    The Director stated that this item was included on the agenda inasmuch as it has aroused some controversy among physicists. The Florence Convention specifies that any apparatus to be used for educational purposes can be imported free of duty provided it does not duplicate something manufactured within the importing country. Mr. Bolt asked how one proves duplication and Mr. Michels replied that the final decision rests with a committee of UNESCO. It was agreed that the subject is not devoid of politics. Mr. Michels reported that Mr. Eaton had urged AIP not to take action opposing ratification without hearing his arguments in favor of it. It was pointed out that the AAPT Apparatus Committee has been interested in this subject and it is the feeling of this Committee that the need for apparatus in this country is not being met adequately. It was the consensus that no action should be taken. It was suggested that AIP might merely subscribe to a statement that there is a need for good scientific equipment in this country.

14. Dannie Heineman Prize

The Director reported that a committee of APS had chosen Murray Gell-Mann as the winner of the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics, and both Messrs. Gell-Mann and Heineman will be present at the Washington meeting of APS where the award is to be made.

15. Public Information Program

The Director reported that we had cancelled the AIP consulting agreement with Burson-Marsteller until such time as our objectives become more clearly defined. (Cancellation becomes effective May 30, 1959.)

16. Future Meetings

The next meeting of the Executive Committee is scheduled for Saturday, June 6. Other meetings agreed upon were meetings of the Executive Committee and Governing Board during the period from September 30 through October 2, and a meeting of the Executive Committee on either December 3 or 4. Additional meeting may be called later.

The meeting adjourned for luncheon at 12:40 p.m. and reconvened at 2:10 p.m.

17. Preparation of High School Science Teachers

Mr. Buchta reported that a subcommittee of the AAAS Cooperative Committee had written a “Recommendation for the Preparation of High School Teachers of Science and Mathematics” which is available for distribution for comments and criticisms. He distributed several copies of the booklet. The Director commented that we should endeavor to circulate this kind of study among educationalists such as in NEA.

18. AFOSRD Contract

The Chairman said that a committee of AFOSRD would like to find an agent to hold a contract for consulting services to this committee. Would the Institute be willing to act as contractor and disbursing agent? The Secretary said he believed it could be worked out with the Air Force if the Executive Committee had no objections. None were offered and the Chairman said he would advise AFOSRD.

The meeting adjourned at 2:50 p.m.