April 14, 1944

Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics Incorporated met in this adjourned meeting at ten-fifteen a.m. at the office of the Institute, 57 East 55th Street, New York City, Mr. Tate, Acting Chairman, presiding. Although at the March meeting it had been voted to have this adjourned meeting on March 31, it proved impracticable to have it so soon and the Chairman, therefore, called the meeting for April 14th.

I. Present: Mr. J. T. Tate, Acting Chairman, and Governing Board members Messrs. T. D. Cope, R. B. Dow, Harvey Fletcher, R. C. Gibbs, K. S. Gibson, G. B. Pegram, Wallace Waterfall, A. G. Worthing

Members absent: Messrs. L. A. DuBridge, F. A. Firestone, P. E. Klopsteg, Hermann Mark, L. W. Taylor, N. W. Taylor

W. F. Busse Elmer Hutchisson
H. L. Dodge A. F. Pfund
O. S. Duffendack R. M. Sutton
L. H. Germer G. W. Warner
A. C. Hardy N. Wright

Administrative Staff

  • Mr. Henry A. Barton
  • Miss Madeline M. Mitchell
  • Mr. George H. Burnham


II. The Secretary presented brief and informal minutes of the March 10, 1944 session of the Board, noting that three topics left for further discussion at the meeting were,


  1. Consideration of greater unity of organization in Physics,
  2. Questions relating to a proposed Division of Spectroscopy in the American Physical Society, and
  3. Organization of the N.R.C. conference on Physics and agenda for that meeting.

III. The Board voted to approve as an Associate of the Institute

Ethyl Corporation
1600 West Eight Mile Road
Ferndale, Detroit, Michigan

(George Calingaert, Director of Chemical Research)

And to approve, if it desires to be an Associate:

Phillips Petroleum
Bartelsville, Oklahoma

(F. W. Crawford; R. C. Aldon, Research Department)

IV. The Director of the Institute, Mr. Barton, presented a memorandum on the subject of the meeting, proposing agenda as follows:

  1. Consideration of how best to encourage and coordinate groups interested in sub-fields of newly developing importance. (Certain guests have been invited partly because they have been prominently identified with such groups.)

  2. Consideration and adoption of suitable plans for National Research Council “Conference on Problems of Physics in the Post-War Period.” (Affording an opportunity for this Board to discuss current and future problems of the profession of physics as outlined in the prepared material and appraise their priority of importance.)

Mr. Barton presented also, and distributed copies of, a memorandum “Preliminary Notes Regarding N.R.C. Conference on Present and Post-war Problems Facing Physics,” and spoke appreciatively of the voluntary and valuable services of Mr. R. M. Sutton in preparing plans for the Conference. (A copy of this memorandum is attached to the official copy of these minutes.)

V. These minutes record the actions taken by vote of the Board, but since the meeting was largely for the purpose of a broad and free discussion, there is appended to each copy of these minutes a copy of notes on the discussion taken during the meeting by Mr. G. H. Burnham of the Institute staff.

VI. Mr. Worthing moved that the Governing Board “recommend to the Societies of the Institute that an annual combined meeting of the Member Societies and Associated Societies to be authorized to be arranged by the Institute.” Mr. Worthing accepted the suggestion of Mr. Gibbs that the words “and to be for all persons interested in physics and its contributions to other fields” be added to the motion.

The motion was passed by a unanimous vote. (The visitors also indicated unanimous approval.)

VII. Mr. Worthing moved the adoption of a resolution of the Governing Board to be transmitted to the Member Societies.

RESOLVED: That this Board communicate to the governing bodies of the several member societies of the Institute the suggestion that in any case of a proposal for the formation of a special division of a society the governing body of that society consider whether such action may be in conflict with the activities of another one of the member societies and whether the proposed formation of such a division will serve the best interests of organized physics as a whole; and that in case there is any prospect of a conflict full discussion by representatives of the societies involved be entered into before decision is made.

The resolution was adopted by a vote of five to four.

VIII. After an extended discussion of proposed agenda for the Philadelphia Conference to be held on May 19 and 20, 1945 and of physicists to be invited to the Conference, it was voted that the Chairman appoint a committee to arrange with Mr. Sutton the most suitable items of agenda for the proposed N. R. C. Conference.

The Chairman appointed as Committee, Messrs. Fletcher, Busse and Hutchisson

IX. The meeting had taken a recess for lunch from 12:45 to 2:20p.m. and adjourned at 4:40 p.m.