May 23, 1954

Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

Present: Frederick Seitz, Chairmanm Karl K. Darrow, Deane B. Judd, Hugh S. Knowles, George B. Pegram, Ralph A. Sawyer, Mark W. Zemansky

AIP Staff Present: Henry A. Barton, Wallace Waterfall, Mary Ann Lee

Chairman Seitz called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m.

1. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of March 14, 1954 were approved as distributed.

2. First Quarter Financial Statement

The Secretary reviewed the statement of income and expense for the first quarter of 1954 (copy attached). He pointed out that the statement is prepared in a little different manner than usual in that a direct comparison is shown between the first quarter of 1954 and the corresponding quarter of 1953. It is customary for the first quarter to show a loss and the overall performance for the first quarter of 1954 is about the same as for 1953. Generally speaking the performance for the first quarter is in line with expectations and the budget for the year.

3. Report on RSI Editor

The Director reviewed the work of the RSI Committee. Because of other commitments and impending changes in the RSI staff at the University of Pennsylvania, Park Miller, Acting Editor, has resigned and asked that a new editor be selected within a month. Dr. Miller has been very cooperative in helping the Institute during the interim period and so every effort should be made to relieve him immediately.

The Director explained that he and the Secretary had reviewed the names being considered by the RSI Committee and had interviewed some of the candidates. Dr. J. B. H. Kuper of the Brookhaven National Laboratory was one of those interviewed and appeared to be a likely prospect. The Director said he had discussed the suggestion with Dr. Haworth of Brookhaven and also with Dr. Gaylord Harnwell and both expressed approval of Dr. Kuper. His candidacy was also discussed with Dr. O’Brien, Chairman of the RSI Committee and, although the Committee has not officially recommended Dr. Kuper, it is believe that the Committee would agree.

Because of the need for prompt action, it was suggested the staff should enter into negotiations with both Kuper and Brookhaven and the following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Director be empowered to appoint J. B. H. Kuper as editor of the REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS if satisfactory arrangements can be made.

4. Report on JAP Editor

The Director reported that, following the unanimous recommendation of Dr. Hunt’s Committee, the editorship of the JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS had been offered to Robert L. Sproull of Cornell University who has accepted the appointment and will take over the work beginning July 1. Arrangements have been made with Cornell to release a sufficient amount of Dr. Sproull’s time for the job. Cornell will employ a full-time secretary to work on JAP and will bill the Institute periodically for salaries, equipment and miscellaneous charges. Cornell will furnish space and part of the equipment without charge.

In answer to a question from the Chairman about the status of THE JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, the Director reviewed recent conversations with the American Physical Society and the American Chemical Society but indicated that there was nothing new to report. It is planned to continued operating the journal on a “break even” basis and the number of pages printed will be restricted to that end.

5. Policy on Oppenheimer Case

The Chairman reported that there had been an unofficial meeting of Executive Committee members with other interested persons at the time of the APS meeting in Washington. After that meeting the Chairman had sent a letter to members of the Governing Board explaining the situation and requesting their comments. (letter attached to official minutes) The Chairman reviewed the comments he had received, and also distributed copies of a preliminary draft of a statement prepared by a committee of the American Physical Society and intended to be released when the Loyalty Review Board of the Atomic Energy Commission issues its statement on Oppenheimer.

After lengthy discussion it was decided that the Institute should, at the appropriate time, issue an independent statement and that this statement should be impersonal and should emphasize the principles involved. The following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Chairman appoint a committee to draft an Institute statement to be released soon after the decision on the Oppenheimer case is made public; that this committee consult with members of the Executive Committee during preparation of the statement, and that the statement be released, only after it has been approved by a two-thirds majority of the Executive Committee.

For the purposes of the above motion, the Chairman appointed the following committee and, to assist the committee, offered to prepare the first rough draft of a statement: Mark W. Zemansky, Chairman, and Deane B. Judd, George B. Pegram, Ralph A. Sawyer.

6. Public Relations of Physics and Physicists

The previous item led to a discussion of improving the public relations of physics and physicists. The staff discussed the importance of better liaison with the press and the desirability of doing something to overcome the public impression that physicists may be untrustworthy and concerned mostly with terrifying instruments of destruction. The Director suggested and the consensus favored a study of the situation with the aim of submitting some sort of concrete proposal at the next meeting of the committee.

7. New Contract with Member Societies

The Secretary reported that Dr. Ballard and he had finally completed a draft of a new contract which had been presented to and accepted in principle by the Board of Directors of the Optical Society of America. He presented copies of the proposed contract, indicating that a number of minor editorial changes suggested by Dr. Ballard and others still need to be made. The contract was gone over in detail and a number of questions were asked and answered. The following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Executive Committee approve in principle the proposed new contract between the Institute and Member Societies, allowance being made for editorial and other minor changes; that the staff be authorized to submit the new contract to the Member Societies for action, and that the appropriate officers of the Institute be authorized to sign the contracts if they are accepted by the Member Societies.

(copy of subsequently edited contract attached)

It is understood that, if negotiations with Member Societies indicate major changes are necessary in the contract, it will be resubmitted to the Executive Committee for further consideration. The staff also requested members of the Executive Committee and the Board to review the contract and submit any suggestions they may have. It is proposed that the contract will go into effect at the beginning of the first quarter following acceptance of the contract by all Member Societies.

8. Progress Report on Editorial Department Changes

As a partial result of the Self-Investigation Program mentioned at the last meeting, the Secretary explained that a new method was being adopted for allocating costs of the Editorial Department to the various journals. He reviewed the methods which had been used previously and said it had been concluded that these were not strictly equitable because of the quality of material received for different journals and the amount of work necessary in the Editorial Department. It had been decided to keep a record of time spent on different journals by people in the Editorial Department and to allocate charges based on this time record. The records are now being kept and charges for the second quarter of 1954 will be allocated on the new basis. This new arrangement had been explained to the editors of the various journals at the meeting of the Publication Board on May 21.

In line with this new arrangement, the Secretary explained that Dr. Goudsmit had decided to do a greater percentage of the editorial work on THE PHYSICAL REVIEW at its office in Brookhaven. His experience with that journal has been that much technical editing is required and, while that is being done, his assistants can just as well do the complete marking for the printer. This will make practically no work necessary on the manuscripts in the AIP office but the Institute will continue to handle the editorial work on illustrations and to handle proofs and all negotiations with the printer.

The Secretary pointed out that the new arrangement in the Editorial Department provides for greater flexibility but emphasized that economical operation in the Institute demands that Member Societies should not make sudden changes in their requirements.

9. Meeting with Industrial Physicists

The Director described in some detail the suggested plans for the previously approved meeting of the Executive Committee with a few of the more prominent industrial physicists for an interchange of ideas about the responsibilities and proper activities of the Institute in the development of physics in America. A statistical report on the distribution of physicists by industry and type of occupation will be prepared this summer from the questionnaires returned to the Institute for the National Science Foundation’s Physics Register. This and other material, including an outline of the current work of the Institute will be sent to the guests before the meeting so that they may have a basis for making some thoughtful suggestions at the meeting. It is hoped that a formal report can be made of the meeting at least some of which will be suitable for publication in PHYSICS TODAY.

The Committee approved the appointment of J. B. Fisk as consultant for this meeting and expressed enthusiasm for the plans to date. It was agreed that the meeting should take place in October.

10. Subscription Rates for RSI, JCP and JAP

The staff called attention to the fact that an action taken on subscription rates at the last meeting left an unbalanced rate structure. A table was presented showing current rates and suggested rates for THE REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS, THE JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, and JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS. It was pointed out that the suggested rates should result in an increase in revenue of approximately $12,000 per year, based on current circulations. After some discussion the following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the following rates and back number prices be put into effect beginning with 1955:

  Member Non-Member  
  Domestic Foreign Domestic Foreign Back Numbers
RSI 7.00 $8.00 $9.00 $11.00 $12.00 – 1.25 ea.
JCP 12.00 13.00 15.00 17.00 18.00 – 1.75 ea.
JAP 10.00 11.00 12.00 14.00 15.00 – 1.50 ea.

11. Joint Bill Form for APS, AAPT, S of R, AIP Associate Members

The Secretary said the staff is often asked by physicists why a single annual bill cannot be sent out covering all membership dues and journal subscriptions. Many physicists are members of several Member Societies and subscribe to a number of Institute journals, some of which they get at special rates because of their membership. When separate bills are sent at different times the individual becomes confused, frequently subscribes to the same journal twice or omits some journal he wants.

The Institute cannot resolve this difficulty completely because it does not collect dues for all of the Member Societies but a joint bill can be worked out for APS, AAPT and the Society of Rheology and AIP Associate Members. The draft of such a bill form has been prepared and was distributed to those present for examination. The consensus was that this was a step in the right direction and that it would be even better if all Member Societies were included. The following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the proposed joint bill form for American Physical Society, American Association of Physics Teachers, Society of Rheology and American Institute of Physics Associate Members be approved in principle and submitted for approval to the Societies involved.

12. Appointment of Deputy Director for Summer

Implementing the authorization granted to the Executive Committee by the Governing Board at its last meeting, the following motion was made, seconded and carried unanimously:

MOVED that Mark W. Zemansky be appointed Deputy Director of the Institute until the next meeting of the Executive Committee.

13. Resolution to Authorize Alternate Signatures on Checks

The Secretary explained that the Institute’s regular checking account at Bankers Trust Company now requires signatures of any two of the following officers on each check:

  • Treasurer
  • Assistant Treasurer
  • Director
  • Secretary
  • Advertising Manager

To make sure that an adequate number of persons are available for signing checks it was recommended that the Deputy Director be added to the list and the Treasurer made the following motion which was seconded and unanimously carried:


MOVED that the resolution required by Bankers Trust Company to authorize the acceptance of signatures of any two of the following officers on the regular checking account be adopted: Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Director, Secretary, Advertising Manager, Deputy Director

(Copy of resolution attached to official minutes.)

It was also explained that the Institute’s Custodian Account at Bankers Trust Company now requires the signatures of the Treasurer and either the Director or the Assistant Treasurer. It was recommended that the signature requirements of the Custodian Account be changed to provide that any two of the following officers would be adequate: Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Director, Secretary, Deputy Director. The Treasurer made the following motion which was seconded and unanimously carried:

MOVED that the resolution required by Bankers Trust Company to authorize the acceptance of signatures of any two of the following officers on the Custodian Account be adopted: Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Director, Secretary, Deputy Director.

14. Authorization to Sell Normany Farms Stock

The Director explained that several years ago a gift of twelve shares of Normany Farms stock was made to the Institute and these have been carried on the books at $1.00 value. This is not a listed stock and the auditors and our bank have questioned the appropriateness of our carrying it in our investment portfolio. Recent information indicates that a market is being developed for the stock and the Institute has received an offer of about $100 per share. The Director recommended that the stock be sold and the following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Director be authorized to sell the twelve (12) shares of Normany Farm stock at the best price obtainable.

15. Grant from National Science Foundation for Russian Translation Project

The Director reported that, as authorized at the last meeting, the Institute had applied to the National Science Foundation for a grant for an exploratory study. The grant of $3300 had been received and Dr. Elmer Hutchisson had been engaged to start work on the study. It is expected that a report on Dr. Hutchisson’s study will be available at the next meeting of the Committee.

16. Conference on Photoconductivity

The Secretary said that the Institute had been approached by the University of Pennsylvania to undertake the publication of the Proceedings of a Conference on Photoconductivity which is to be held at Atlantic City, in October, sponsored jointly by the Office of Naval Research, the Radio Corporation of America, and the University of Pennsylvania. It had been originally intended to have the Proceedings published by the University of Pennsylvania but recent arrangements have made that impractical. The Secretary said it had been found that several publishers are willing to publish the Proceedings on a basis which will involve no cost to the Institute and will allow the Institute to receive royalties from sales. This arrangement is understood to be satisfactory to the sponsors of the symposium. The following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Institute staff be authorized to negotiate and sign a contract with a commercial publisher for the publication of the Proceedings of the Conference on Photoconductivity.

17. Resolution for George R. Harrison

At the last Board meeting a committee was authorized to draft a suitable resolution expressing the appreciation of the Institute for the services of Dr. George R. Harrison as Chairman. A resolution had been prepared and copies were distributed for examination and unanimously approved (copy attached). The Secretary explained that the resolution is being hand-lettered and will be sent to the former Chairman in an attractive blue leather folder as soon as it is received.

18. Application for Affiliation

The Director reported that the Philosophical Society of Washington had applied for affiliation with the Institute and he gave some information about the history of the Society and its members. Since acceptance of an Affiliate requires action of the Governing Board, the following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote; with the understanding that a mail ballot of the Board would be taken:

MOVED that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that the Philosophical Society of Washington be accepted as an Affiliated Society of the Institute.

19. Appointment of Members to Authorized Committees

At the last meeting of the Governing Board the Executive Committee was authorized to appoint an “Advisory Panel on Appointments” and the Executive Committee at its subsequent meeting passed on this authorization to the Chairman. The Chairman and Director said that they needed suggestions about who the Panel members should be. A number of suggestions were made and the Director was authorized to finalize the appointment of this Panel.

As authorized at the last meeting of the Executive Committee, the Chairman reported that the following Nominating Committee for Member-at-Large had been appointed:

  • Serge A. Korff, Chairman
  • Richard K. Cook
  • Park H. Miller, Jr.
  • R. S. Mulliken
  • Walter M. Nielsen
  • Robert L. Sproull

20. National Research Council Suggestion Concerning AIP Board Membership


The Director said that, according to current rules of the National Research Council, the Chairman and Director of the Institute are ex-officio members of the Division of Physical Science of NRC. It has been suggested that it might be appropriate to make the Chairman of the Division of Physical Science an ex-officio member of the Governing Board of the Institute. There was some discussion of this suggestion in which it was noted that the By-laws and the organizational structure of the Institute do not make the suggestion feasible and no action was taken.

21. Report of Nominating Committee for Member-at-Large

The Director reported that the Nominating Committee had met and had agreed upon the following five candidates (one to be elected) with alternates in case any of these declined to run:

  • Samuel K. Allison
  • John C. Slater
  • Allen V. Astin
  • Sidney Millman
  • Lloyd V. Berkner

Ballots will be prepared and included in PHYSICS TODAY as previously authorized.


22. Associate Memberships on a Calendar Year Basis

In order to adopt the previously discussed common dues bill for AIP Associate Members and certain Member Societies, the Secretary explained that it would be necessary to place Associate Memberships on a calendar year basis. It was suggested that this be done and that new members be accepted on a half-year basis for the first year with appropriate proration of dues. The Executive Committee concurred.

23. American Institute of Chemical Engineers Meeting

The Secretary reported that the Nuclear Engineering Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers had requested the Institute to appoint a representative to attend a meeting of their Executive Committee in Ann Arbor on June 21. It was not quite clear what is expected of the Institute or this representative but it was agreed that such a representative should be appointed and the Chairman appointed Dr. Ralph A. Sawyer.

24. Next Meeting

Several dates for the next meeting were discussed and it was agreed that it should be held in October before the thirteenth or after the twenty-fifth. (The date has subsequently been fixed as October 8).