May 28, 1955

Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

Present: Frederick Seitz, Chairman, S. A. Goudsmit, H. S. Knowles, E. Rodgers, M. W. Zemansky

Absent: D. B. Judd, R. A. Sawyer

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

Guest: F. Wheeler Loomis

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

1. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of March 11, 1955 were approved as circulated.

2. Financial Report for 1st Quarter 1955

The Secretary distributed copies of the financial statement for the first quarter (copy attached) and commented on it. Operations at the end of the first quarter show a loss because subscriptions are always slow coming in. A check as of May 27 indicated that subscriptions and income were both about up to their expected figures for that date. In general, operations appear to be in line with the budget for 1955.

The sale of back numbers is somewhat lower than budgeted but, as explained at the budget meeting in December, income from the sale of back numbers has been unpredictable. It is likely it will continue to drop from the high levels reached immediately after the war when libraries were being restocked.

Revenue from advertising was very good for the first quarter. If it continues at the present rate, the Institute will have the best advertising year in its history. All journals have done well.

Expenses in the Editorial Mechanics Department have been high but Miss Bryans has made some changes during the last month which are expected to lower costs considerably. Briefly, the plan now is to have fewer but better trained personnel and by this means to effect savings of several thousands of dollars by the end of the year.

3. Report of the Finance Committee

The Secretary read the report of the May 16 meeting of the Finance Committee (copy attached).

There was some discussion of the report in which Mr. Knowles said he thought the Institute had followed too conservative an investment policy and had undoubtedly paid a high price for that conservatism. He pointed out that there is considerable risk inherent in the general operations of the Institute and he believed a more inspired investment policy would bring our investment risks more nearly in line with our operating risks. The Director pointed out that only within recent years has the Institute has sufficient funds so that long-term investments could be considered with safety. It was also pointed out that the Institute building has doubled in dollar value since it was purchased and furnishes a good example of what can be done with properly invested surplus funds.

To provide for the placing of temporarily unneeded funds in savings banks, the following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Treasurer be authorized to deposit any temporarily unneeded funds in a savings bank or banks of his choice provided the deposits are guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and that the Secretary be authorized to make such certification as is necessary to effect such deposits and in the particular form required by such banks.

4. Report of Committee to Study Institute Publication Programs

At its last meeting the Governing Board had requested that such a committee should be appointed. A committee consisting of F. W. Loomis, J. B. Fisk and H. S. Smyth, was subsequently appointed by Chairman Seitz.

Mr. Loomis explained that his committee had met on May 26 and had reached certain conclusions. He distributed copies of a report he had prepared (copy attached) and explained that the report had not yet been approved by members of his committee. (Report since approved by all members of committee.)

The report was discussed item by item and the following actions were taken (not necessarily in order listed):

  • Item I. It was agreed that the publication charge on JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS should be increased to $25.00 per page as soon as possible. There was considerable discussion about the other recommendations on JCP made by the committee, particularly about setting up and operating a single journal which would be satisfactory to both chemical physicists and solid state physicists.  Chairman Seitz agreed to explore this matter and to report to the Executive Committee at its next meeting. The Director pointed out that Joseph B. Mayer will again be editing JCP during Editor Hutchisson’s absence in Europe for an extended period and it was agreed that Mr. Mayer should be given recognition on the masthead in the interval.
  • Item III. It was agreed that the publication charge for the JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS AND REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS should be raised to $25.00 per page as soon as possible.
  • Item IV. The Executive Committee approved the recommendation contained in the first three paragraphs under this item, but did not agree with the suggestion in the fourth paragraph.
  • Item V. The Executive Committee generally agreed with the suggestion that most book reviews be carried in PHYSICS TODAY and it was left to the Staff to confer with the Editors involved and work out some mutually satisfactory arrangement.
  • Item VI. The Executive Committee viewed this suggestion favorably and referred it to the Institute Staff for further consideration.
  • Item VII. This item appeared elsewhere on the agenda and was left for later consideration.
  • Item VIII. It was agreed that a decision about rheology papers in JAP should be deferred until after the matter is studied by a special JAP Committee. Any negotiations then necessary with the Society of Rheology should be conducted by the Staff.
  • Item IX. It was pointed out that there was much background on this subject and that a previous attempt to change the method of assessment had failed when presented to the governing bodies of the member societies. It was suggested that another effort might be more successful and the Secretary was instructed to explore the matter with officers of the Member Societies.
  • Item X. In the discussion it was pointed out that this suggestion of the committee involves a radical departure from past procedures. It was the consensus that the Institute Staff should make some estimate of the possible savings involved and try to determine if such a method of operation would be feasible.

The Chairman thanked Mr. Loomis and his committee and suggested that it continue in existence pending further investigation of the policy to be followed in connection with JCP.


5. Request from Editor for Appointment of JAP Committee

The Secretary reported that Editor Sproull of the JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS had developed some new ideas about the future editorial policy of JAP and had suggested that a special committee be appointed by the Institute to study the editorial problems of the journal and to establish policies for his future guidance. It was moved, seconded and carried without dissenting vote that the Chairman should be empowered to appoint such a committee.

6. Increase in Page Budget for JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS

With the authorized increase in the publication charge on JCP to $25.00, the Staff presented figures indicating that the page budget for JCP might be increased for the rest of 1955 without the journal’s losing money. This estimate is based on the assumption that the higher publication charge will be honored on the same percentage of pages as at present. After brief discussion, the following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the page budget for the JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS for 1955 be increased from 2400 to 2600 pages, with the understanding that it is the sense of the Executive Committee that the contents of JCP should be directed more toward the interests of physicists.

At this point the Committee recessed for lunch from 12:45 to 2:05 p.m.

7. Committee to Recommend AIP Programs and Activities for 1956

At the budget meeting in December 1954, it was pointed out that it would be wise to have a special committee go over the current activities of the Institute each year before the budget meeting to make recommendations for new programs which appear desirable for the coming year. The Chairman appointed the following members to the Committee to Recommend AIP Programs for 1956:

  • H. S. Knowles, Chairman
  • R. A. Sawyer
  • E. Rodgers

8. Appointment of Committees


The Secretary pointed out that the Governing Board, at its last meeting, had authorized the Executive Committee to appoint such committees and representatives as are needed during 1955. Since immediate action was necessary, the Chairman had already proceeded with appointments in several cases and it was suggested that he be authorized to continue with the appointments. The following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Chairman be authorized to appoint such committees and representatives as may be necessary during the coming year.

9. Appointment of Tellers for Election of Member-at-Large

It was stated that it would be necessary to appoint tellers to count the ballots for the next election of a Member-at-Large on the Governing Board. By consent of the Executive Committee, the Director was authorized to appoint two tellers.

10. Election of Associate

By motion made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote, the Ramo-Wooldrige (Wooldridge) Corporation was elected an Associate of the Institute.

11. Approval of Student Section

The application for establishment of a Student Section at the University of California at Riverside, California was approved.

12. Greenbrier Conference on the Production of Physicists

The Secretary reported that the conference, jointly sponsored by NRC and AIP, had been held from March 30 to April 2 as planned. Advance copies of the PHYSICS TODAY report on the conference had been distributed to all members of the Executive Committee before the present meeting. The Secretary also reported that NRC and AIP had agreed to finance jointly the overprinting of 7500 copies of the June issue of PHYSICS TODAY, which carries the report of the conference, and that these would be given to the National Science Teachers Association to distribute to their members.

There was considerable discussion of the conclusions of the conference and of what the Institute could do to further its objectives. Responsibility for a number of activities has been given to AAPT and the Institute and other member societies might be called upon to help.

Attention was given to the specific job given to AIP to get suitable publishers and authors together for the production of a satisfactory secondary school textbook on physics. The Secretary called attention to the fact that Walter Michels had volunteered to work on a committee for the purpose and had suggested that this might be a joint undertaking of AIP and AAPT. Mr. Rodgers pointed out the practical difficulties of getting new school textbooks approved by state boards of education. He said that he had been working very closely with the problem of high school physics teaching in the South and he thought that the need for qualified physics teachers was greater than the need for new textbooks. It was the consensus that it should be left to the officers of the Institute to work out such plans as may appear desirable on the textbook assignment.

13. Increase in Attorney’s Fee

The Secretary reported that the Institute’s attorney, Robert E. Lawther, of Loeb, Churchill & Lawther, had been doing an increasing amount of work for the Institute and the Member Societies and that the annual fee of $600.00 which has been paid to him is no longer adequate. Mr. Lawther has indicated that he does not expect to be fully paid for his services but has suggested that the fee be increased to $1,000.00 beginning with the year 1955. The increase was approved by the Committee.

14. Russian Translation Project

The Director reported that the National Science Foundation had accepted the Institute’s proposal to start a journal and that a check for $40,000.00 to cover the anticipated operating deficit for the first year had been received. It was explained that it was now necessary to make arrangements for editing and printing the proposed journal, as covered in the proposal to NSF, and the following motion was made and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Institute Staff be authorized to make such agreements as are necessary to carry out the work proposed for the Russian Translation Project and that the Chairman be authorized to appoint such editorial boards or advisory committees as are required.

15. Report of Nominating Committee

The Secretary presented the report of the committee which had been appointed to nominate candidates for Member-at-Large of the Governing Board (copy attached). He said that the committee had made a special effort to nominate younger men, some of whom may not be widely known, and had therefore urged that biographical information about each candidate be included with the ballots. The difficulty of preparing impartial biographical information was pointed out and it was suggested that using what appears in the latest edition of AMERICAN MEN OF SCIENCE might be the most satisfactory solution. The following motion was made and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the report of the Nominating Committee be accepted, that ballots be prepared bearing the names of the proposed nominees and including biographical information about each, copied from the latest edition of AMERICAN MEN OF SCIENCE, and that the ballot be distributed by inserting it in an appropriate issue of PHYSICS TODAY as heretofore.

16. Institute Housing Problem

The Secretary reviewed the efforts of the Staff since the last meeting on the Institute’s housing problem. He emphasized the speed with which a decision may have to be made if a suitable property were found in the area under consideration, that is, east of Lexington Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. This location, near the United Nations, appears to contain the most interesting growth property in New York City at the moment and it may be possible to purchase property as advantageously in that neighborhood as was done when the present building was bought. The committee authorized the Staff to continue looking for such property and to be ready to make definite suggestions by October 1, 1955. If quick action appears desirable before that time, the Executive Committee should be polled immediately.

The Staff was instructed to sound out the opinion of the Member Societies, through their officers, as to the feeling of the membership about moving from present quarters. Meantime, the Staff was instructed to write an article for early use in PHYSICS TODAY to educate the membership to the need for more spacious quarters for growth during the next ten years.

17. Finding Man for “Information Service”

The Staff pointed out that advice and help would be needed to find a suitable man for the “Information Service” that was authorized at the last meeting. A few suggestions were made and are to be followed up but no “hot prospect” has appeared yet. It was suggested that the Staff prepare a statement of the problem and the qualifications of the job and send it to the Advisory Panel on Appointments to obtain their suggestions.

18. 25th Anniversary Meeting, AIP, January 30–February 4, 1956

The Secretary distributed copies of the report of the last meeting of the 25th Anniversary Committee (copy attached). The Chairman said he would assume responsibility for the banquet program on Wednesday, February 1, and for the program for the half-day ceremonial session on Thursday, February 2.

The Secretary asked for and received authorization for the Institute to receive all monies and to pay all bills in connection with room facilities and services, registration, exhibits, Placement Service and the banquet. The Staff was also authorized to negotiate whatever agreements are necessary in connection with meetings.

19. “Physics as a Career” Booklet

The Secretary reported that this booklet, written by George R. Harrison and first published by the Institute in 1952, is increasing rapidly in popularity and many requests are being received for it. A total of 15,000 copies have now been printed and another printing may be necessary before the end of the year. The cost of the last printing was approximately 7–1/3 cents per copy. A folder full of requests was produced for examination by the committee. After some discussion it was agreed by the Committee that the Institute should continue to distribute the booklets rather generously. It was suggested that some revisions may be necessary before the next printing and Committee members agreed to reread the booklet and send in their comments. It was also agreed that the author should be consulted about the desirability of revisions.

20. Report of Committee on Physics in Engineering Education

The Director reported that AIP had received a grant of $13,600.00 from the National Science Foundation for the work of the Committee on Physics in Engineering Education composed of Messrs. E. Hutchisson, Chairman; Lyle B. Borst, Secretary; R. Seeger, J.W. Buchta, D. Chambers, H. Dryden, H. Fletcher, W.V. Houston, J.A. Hutcheson, R.B. Lindsay, D.H. Loughridge, H.V. Neher, L.P. Smith, J.A. Stratton, W.W. Watson, M.W. White. These funds were more than sufficient to hold two conferences at Gould House and pay the expenses of teams of two committee members each to visit twenty different institutions for personal interviews with members of the Physics and Engineering Departments. The report of the committee will be presented at the ASEE-AAPT joint meeting at Penn State in June. Copies will be sent to members of the Governing Board.

21. Loan of AIP Journals to UN Committee

The Secretary reported that a few weeks ago, at the suggestion of the Chairman, Walter G. Whitman, Conference Secretary-General of the United Nations staff of the International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, borrowed the Director’s copies of the bound volumes of PHYSICAL REVIEW, REVIEW OF MODERN PHYSICS and JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS from 1947 to date. Mr. Whitman has signed a receipt for this property, valued at $1062.25, and has promised to return the books by August 1, 1955.

22. Appointment of Deputy Director

In accordance with the action taken by the Governing Board at its last meeting, the Director suggested that the Committee appoint a Deputy Director, the same as was done last year, to serve during the summer months when authorized officers may not be available for signing checks, etc. At the suggestion of the Chairman, the Committee again appointed Mark W. Zemansky as Deputy Director of the Institute with the understanding that his appointment would become official after approval by mail by a majority of the members of the Governing Board.

23. Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Executive Committee was set for Saturday September 24, 1955, at 10:00 a.m. in the Institute offices.