September 24, 1955

Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

Present: Frederick Seitz – Chairman, S. A. Goudsmit, D. B. Judd, E. Rodgers, R. A. Sawyer, M. W. Zemansky

Absent: H. S. Knowles

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

Others: Dean G. B. Pegram, Robert R. Davis

Dean Pegram was present for the morning session only.

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

1. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of May 28, 1955 were approved as circulated with the following corrections:

  • Page 2 – Change the name “Meyer” to “Mayer”
  • Page 4 – Item #6 – Change “2300 to 2500” to read “2400 to 2600”

2. Financial Statement for the First Six Months 1955

The Secretary distributed copies of the financial statement for the first six months of 1955 (copy attached) and commented on it. Subscription income is lower than anticipated and will probably be lower than budget by the end of the year. Income from advertising is substantially greater than budgeted and may be even better than the projected figure by the end of the year. Other income items show some variation from budget with the result that the total income at the end of the year is expected to be about $14,000 better than budget.

Expense items also show some variation from budget with the result that the total expense at the end of the year is expected to be about $5,000 above budget. The printing and mailing expense is projected to be greater than budget because of the two hundred additional pages given to JCP after the budget was prepared. Circulation expense this year will probably be higher than budgeted. This has been caused by a number of radical changes which have been made in our circulation handling procedures and these should result in more efficient operations and lower costs in future years.

Net revenue from advertising from all of our journals is above expectations. The increased volume of advertising in PT has been particularly gratifying and promises to hold up well during the rest of the year. We have probably been somewhat conservative in projecting our advertising income through December 31.

We are concerned by the fact that circulation figures on both RSI and JAP are below anticipations. The lower RSI circulation may be to the $1.00 increase in subscription rate. The JAP subscription rate was not raised, except $1.00 on foreign non-members, but JAP circulation has not followed expectations. We are now studying circulation problems with the intention of planning circulation promotion drives.

JCP circulation is up. JCP expenses will be higher than the original budget if JCP uses the additional pages authorized after the budget was prepared. The high editorial management expense is due to the fact that the University of Chicago accumulated approximately $2,500 in charges over the last few years without notifying us.

3. Report of Meeting of Editors of RSI, JAP and PT

The Director reported that the editors of RSI, JAP and PT had met at the Institute on June 16, 1955, to discuss the question of book reviews and other matters brought up by the report of the Loomis Committee. As a result of the meeting it was agreed that RSI will start reducing the number of book reviews it carries, that JAP will continue to hold book reviews at a minimum, and that PT will increase the number of its book reviews. The number of pages devoted to book reviews in PT will be limited unless the editor is given a larger total page budget for the magazine. The three editors will try to develop some procedure which will minimize overlapping of reviews in the three journals.

The Director reported that the editors of JAP and RSI had expressed concern about the action of the Executive Committee in increasing the publication charge of both journals from $8.00 to $25.00 per page. As a result, the new page charge had not yet been put into effect. The Director recommended that action be deferred until after the newly appointed JAP Committee had time to discuss the matter and report. The following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that action be deferred on the Executive Committee decision of May 28 to increase the publication charge in JAP and RSI from $8.00 to $25.00 per page until after the December meeting of the Committee.

Then followed a discussion in which members of the Executive Committee expressed various opinions about book reviews and Editor Davis made note of these opinions for his future guidance. The Director reported that the following had accepted membership on the JAP Committee and that the Committee expected to meet some time during October:

  • F. V. Hunt, Chairman
  • Daniel Alpert
  • G. J. Dienes
  • J. C. Fisher
  • G. G. Harvey
  • J. R. Pierce
  • H. W. Leverenz
  • A. M. Weinberg

The Director reported that the Advertising Department was studying “categorized” advertising as recommended by the Loomis Committee but was not yet ready to make a report.


4. AIP Housing Problem

The Secretary stated that there has been no substantial change in the situation since the last report. Various interested buyers of our property continue to look at the building but no firm offers have been received. Real estate agents have attempted to interest us in a number of other properties and these have been examined but nothing attractive enough to deserve Executive Committee consideration has been presented. It has become apparent that if we are to build a new building or buy and remodel an old one we will need more money than we can get out of our present property and that will mean some kind of a building fund drive. It had previously been suggested that our 25th Anniversary year would be an appropriate time for such a drive and if we wish to take advantage of that opportunity we must act quickly. We should select one or more specific sites, employ an architect to draw preliminary plans and prepare a suitable prospectus which could be used by a fund-raising committee. Also the committee should be appointed promptly.

After some discussion of the above points it was the consensus of the Committee that the future housing plans of the Institute are not sufficiently well crystalized to justify a building fund drive during our 25th Anniversary year.

The Director called attention to the two articles in the latest issue of PT, one discussing the housing problems of the Institute and the other giving the latest developments in the problem of the Engineers. The Director said he had sent copies of the issues of PT to those who were concerning themselves with the Engineers’ problem and had received some interesting replies, some of which he read.

Then followed a discussion about whether the Institute should consider occupying office space in a building with engineering or other scientific societies, if the opportunity should present itself. The consensus of the Committee appeared to be that the Institute might lose its identity by such a move. The Committee favored the idea of the Institute having its own building although the building might be located in a group with other scientific and engineering societies.

Interest was again expressed in trying to locate the Institute near Columbia University. The Secretary explained that several efforts had been made in that direction but without success. It was mentioned that IBM had secured property near Columbia and it was suggested that the Institute staff should make inquiries of IBM and others in an effort to uncover new possibilities.

The Secretary said that he had presented the Institute’s housing problem to the Executive Council of the Acoustical Society at its spring meeting and had asked that body if it had any suggestions to make. As a result, the following resolution was passed: MOVED that the Governing Board of the AIP be advised that the Acoustical Society has full confidence in the Board and suggests that it use its best judgment in solving the Institute’s housing problem. The Executive Committee suggested that the governing bodies of all Member Societies be advised of the action taken by the Acoustical Society and asked for any comments which they may wish to make.

5. Election of Associates

By motion made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote, the following organizations were elected Associates of the Institute:

  • Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
  • Arthur D. Little, Inc.
  • Stanford Research Institute
  • Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Co.
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Convair
  • ACF Electronics

6. Cash Position of the Institute


The Secretary explained the various circumstances which had made the cash on hand in the Institute’s general account as of August 31, 1955, approximately $100,000 more than at the same time last year. He said that our Treasurer and staff were of the opinion that approximately $50,000 of these funds should be placed in additional savings accounts. It is understood that the action of the Executive Committee at its last meeting provides authorization for opening as many savings accounts as seem advisable and the present item was placed on the agenda to notify the Executive Committee of the intention of opening six new savings accounts of $8,000 each. The Executive Committee voiced no objection and it was suggested that the Treasurer should investigate the feasibility of placing funds in savings banks west of the Mississippi, possibly in the St. Louis area, where it is understood that more than three per cent interest is paid.

7. Report of Committee to Recommend AIP Programs for 1956

The Secretary reported that Mr. Knowles had been unable to attend the present meeting because of a meeting in Europe which he was committed to attend and that Mr. Knowles had suggested that someone else be appointed as Chairman of this Committee.  After some discussion it was agreed that Mr. Knowles should be requested to continue as Chairman of the Committee with the hope that, upon his return from Europe, he and his Committee would be able to survey the situation and submit a report before the budget meeting in December.

8. Report on 25th Anniversary Meeting

The Chairman reported on his progress in arranging for the Institute’s half-day session and the banquet. Fairly definite arrangements had been concluded for having J. Robert Oppenheimer, H. B. G. Casimir and J. A. Stratton as the three speakers for the afternoon program. The Chairman explained his ideas about banquet speakers and various suggestions were made by Committee members.

The Secretary reported that the Society of Rheology was planning to add a program so that all Member Societies would be represented in the 25th Anniversary Celebration.

9. Report on Russian Translation Project

The Director reported that the project was moving along swiftly, that all material for the first issue (July) had gone to the printer a week ago and that the issue should be ready for distribution by the end of October. This first issue will contain articles from the January, February and March 1955 issues of JETP. Although promotional activities have just started, we already have 190 paid subscriptions. Robert T. Beyer, the editor, hopes to be able to speed up translation and publication so that the time interval between the appearance of the Russian edition and our translation will be not more than four months eventually. A study of subscriptions received to date indicates that most of them are from industrial, college and government libraries, with only a very few from individuals.

10. Acta Metallurgica

The Secretary reported that, in a letter dated August 30, the Board of Governors of “Acta Metallurgica” had advised the Institute of its intention to have “Acta Metallurgica” managed and printed by others beginning with January 1956. A subsequent conference with Mr. Hollomon, Secretary of the Board, produced the information that Pergamon Press had presented a proposition which promised to save the Board approximately $6,000 per year. The Institute staff had readily expressed its willingness to cooperate in effecting the transfer of management.

A subsequent conference between the Institute staff and Mr. I. Maxwell, President of Pergamon Press, disclosed the fact that Pergamon Press looks upon this deal purely as an experiment and that they are not willing to take on any other journals on such favorable terms. Both the Secretary of the Board of Governors of “Acta Metallurgica” and Mr. Maxwell have promised to keep the Institute fully informed on this experiment. It is understood that the printing will be done by Pitman in England.

11. Report on JCP Study

The Chairman said that, following the discussion of the Loomis Committee report at the last meeting, he had started a survey of the feasibility of making JCP a journal for both solid state and chemical physics. He had found little sympathy for this idea among solid state physicists. The chemists whom he had contacted were divided: about one-third felt that since physicists were supporting the journal they should decide what they wanted to do with it, one-third objected violently as they felt it would be a loss to physical chemistry, and one-third though the idea was wonderful. In view of these replies and of conversations he had had with representatives of the American Chemical Society, the Chairman said he had concluded that JCP should be allowed to continue as it is for the present.

Then followed a discussion in which were considered ways of increasing the income of JCP so that the page budget could be increased. The Loomis Committee had found that sixty per cent of the articles published in JCP were by authors who were not members of the Institute. The Secretary reported that a recent survey showed that of 897 authors, 236 were non-subscribers. It was agreed that an effort should be made to find additional subscribers among members of the Division of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry of ACS and the Chairman agreed to make efforts in that direction. It was also pointed out that the percentage of JCP page charges honored has dropped from seventy-three per cent in 1954 to sixty-four per cent for the first half of 1955. Some large organizations are among those who do not honor and the Chairman requested a list of those organizations which habitually do not honor should be made available to members of the Executive Committee so that they can make personal contacts where indicated. It was also requested that the staff make a study to determine whether there are educational institutions in which physics departments honor page charges whereas chemistry departments do not.

12. AIP Information Service

The Director described the contacts which had been made to date in an effort to find a suitably qualified man to head the Information Service. Various candidates were discussed and it was stated that personal interviews would be arranged with them as soon as possible. The importance of finding a man in time so that he could help with the public relations activities of the 25th Anniversary Celebration was stressed. If no suitable man for this post can be found in time, it was suggested that the Institute might borrow someone on a three-months leave basis, if necessary.

13. Hughes Suggestion of Prize for Young Physicists

The Secretary read a letter from the Hughes Research and Development Laboratory indicating a desire to encourage young physicists by offering a cash prize for the best paper presented. The letter invited specific suggestions from the Institute. After considerable discussion it was agreed that the Institute should suggest to Hughes that a cash prize be presented to the author, under thirty years of age, who published the best paper in JAP in any year, the Board of Editors of JAP to select the winner.

14. Supplements to AIP-Member Society Contracts

The Secretary advised that no supplements have yet been presented for consideration of this Committee of for consideration of Member Societies. He reported that the staff is working on a time study of functions performed for the Societies, that the Member Societies have been notified of this study, and that it is hoped supplements can be submitted soon after the beginning of next year.

15. Nomination of Representative to SMC

The Secretary read a letter received from Meyerhoff regarding the expiration of Mr. Barton’s term as representative to the Scientific Manpower Commission. The following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that Henry A. Barton be nominated to succeed himself as the Institute’s representative to SMC.

16. Resignation of Treasurer

The Chairman reported that he had received a letter from Dean Pegram stating that, because of the condition of his health, he found it necessary to ask to be relieved of his responsibilities as Treasurer of the Institute. At the request of the Chairman he had agreed to continue to serve as Treasurer until the next meeting of the Governing Board. The Chairman then appointed the following Nominating Committee to nominate a new Treasurer as well as other officers which are to be elected at the next annual meeting of the Governing Board:

  • R. A. Sawyer, Chairman
  • H. D. Smyth
  • A. V. Astin
  • R. F. Bacher (alternate)

17. Representative to Editorial Board of PT


The Secretary reported that the Acoustical Society had named Cyril Harris of Columbia University as its representative, and the Optical Society had named Stanley Ballard. Editor Davis advised that Frank Verbrugge advised him orally that he was to be the AAPT’s representative, and the Secretary is to confirm this in writing with Mr. Verbrugge. The American Physical Society and the Society of Rheology are to be contacted for the names of their representatives.

18. Committee on Scientific Apparatus for Educational Institutions

The Chairman discussed a request he had received that the Institute should do something to reduce the tariff on import of scientific apparatus. The consensus was that the Institute can take no part in such activity and that any Institute members who wish to do so should present their views as individuals.

19. Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Executive Committee, which will be the annual budget meeting, was set for Saturday, December 10, 1955.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:25 p.m.