April 15, 1933

Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

I. The Board of Governors met in response to call of the Chairman at nine-twenty a.m. April 15, 1933, in New York City at the office of the American Institute of Physics Incorporated, 11 East 38th Street, New York, N. Y.

Present: Chairman K. T. Compton, Messrs., Arnold, Bingham, Davey, Fletcher, Klopsteg, Miller, Palmer, Pegram, Richtmyer, and Director Barton, and Treasurer Buffum.

Absent: Messrs. Dodge, Foote, Hunter, and Tate.

II. Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting of November 19, 1932 was voted.


The Chairman stated that he had no new matters to report but that he wished at the close of his term of chairman to express deep appreciation of the support and cooperation which the officers had received from the members of the Board and which the Institute had enjoyed from many directions.



The Treasurer submitted to the Board a report of the auditors covering the period to December 31, 1932 which audit constituted the financial part of the Report of the Board made to the annual meeting of the corporation on February 24th. He stated that this first report or audit was purposely made in great detail to furnish information on which the most satisfactory accounting system for the Institute can be developed.

The Treasurer also submitted a tentative report of operations for the first quarter of 1933 showing certain credits in red because the ‘per page charge’ for the journals has not yet been actually paid to the Institute. Copy of this tentative report is attached to Secretary’s copy of the Minutes.

The Treasurer stated that the American Physical Society had now paid in full all indebtedness to the Institute up to January 1,1933.


Mr. Barton read his report as Director referring to the successful operation of the Institute in carrying through the change of publishers and getting out the journals under the new format; to the good reception that the new Journal of Chemical Physics has received from subscribers and authors; to the merging of the Journal of Rheology with the journal Physics; to the publication of the first issue of the American Physics Teacher; to the fact that subscriptions have fallen off not twenty percent as was feared but by less than ten percent. He stated that the organization was working well but is too dependent upon one person, namely Miss Mitchell, and proposed a method of trying out without additional cost to the Institute of a young woman who may be able to become a first assistant to Miss Mitchell. Copy of his report is attached to the Secretary’s copy of the Minutes.

On motion of Mr. Richtmyer it was voted:

to approve the leave of absence without salary for two months in the coming summer requested by Director Barton and to approve the use of the money thus realized from the Director’s salary for trying out an assistant to Miss Mitchell.


  1. The Secretary reported that at the first annual meeting of the corporation held on February 24, 1933 the individual members of the corporation namely, the signers of the Certificate of Incorporation, had all resigned from membership leaving as members of this membership corporation only the following:

    • The American Physical Society
    • The Optical Society of America
    • The Acoustical Society of America
    • The Society of Rheology
    • The American Association of Physics Teachers
  2. The Secretary reported further that at this meeting of the Directors, or Governing Board, all fifteen members of the Board of Directors, or Governing Board, as nominated by the several Founder Societies, were elected for terms as follows:

      Term to end at annual meeting
    George B. Pegram February 1934
    John T. Tate February 1935
    Karl T. Compton February 1936
    Loyd A. Jones February 1934
    F.K. Richtmyer February 1935
    Paul D. Foote February 1936
    Dayton C. Miller February 1934
    Harvey Fletcher February 1935
    H.D. Arnold February 1936
    E.C. Bingham February 1934
    Wheeler P. Davey February 1934
    A. Stuart Hunter February 1934
    Frederic Palmer February 1934
    Paul E. Klopsteg February 1935
    Homer L. Dodge February 1936


It was voted that the Chairman should appoint a committee of three to make nominations for the office of Chairman and Secretary and to report later in the day. The Chairman appointed as a nominating committee Messrs. Fletcher, chairman, Palmer and Richtmyer.


  1. Executive Committee: none.
  2. Committee on an Abstracts Journal: Mr. Pegram, chairman, reported that he and Mr. Arnold of the committee, and Director Barton, had a talk with Professor R.H. Fowler in January which would probably be helpful in bringing about further understanding among American and British physicists as to Science Abstracts “A”. It was reported further that Science Abstracts “A” has speeded up the publication of abstracts until nearly all of the papers which were abstracted in the March issue of Science Abstracts “A” were papers of December 1932.
  3. Committee on Journal of Chemical Physics: none.
  4. Committee on Financial Arrangements with Societies: The results of the Committee’s work is included in the Director’s report on arrangements with societies.
  5. Editor’s Committee on Uniform Format, Etc.: none.
  6. Committee on Printing Contracts: none.
  7. Committee on Policy: The work of the committee is included in report of Director on proposed negotiations with societies.


The Director in this report reviewed several actions of the Board with respect to financial arrangements between the Institute and the Societies, and the action of the Committee on Policy which met on January 16, 1933 and continued its consideration thereafter by correspondence. He summarized the plan which is now proposed for consideration by the Board. In brief this plan is that the Societies be charged on a cost-plus basis for the work on publication done for them by the Institute; that under this arrangement each Society will be responsible for the whole cost of its journal or journals plus a percentage handling charge, an amount to be determined but not less than fifteen percent, the receipts from this handling charge to be used by the Institute for the publication of the Review of Scientific Instruments and toward the general expenses of the Institute not chargeable directly to publication.

In response to question of Mr. Arnold the Director stated that a form of contract had been drawn up to be made out with each Society for each journal published for it; that the members of the Committee on Policy, the Committee on Financial Arrangements with the Societies and the officers of the Governing Board seemed to be in entire agreement as to the principles of the contract, leaving only the amount of the handling charge as a subject for discussion and settlement by the Board.

In response to question of Mr. Davey the Director stated that it was not clear that a contract between the Institute and the Society of Rheology would be needed but that the Society of Rheology might make its financial arrangements as to publication in the journal Physics through the Managing Editor of the American Physical Society.

On motion of Mr. Richtmyer it was voted:

to appoint a committee consisting of the Director as chairman, the Adviser on Publications and the Treasurer to represent the Institute in so far as may be necessary in connection with arrangements of the Society of Rheology for its publication.

On motion of Mr. Arnold it was voted:

to approve the basis of form of uniform contract with the Societies for the publication of journals as outlined by the Director and to authorize a committee to negotiate written contracts of this form for each journal not later than July 1, 1933, leaving power to the committee to make minor adjustments within the general lines of the contract as outlined.

The Chairman appointed as a Committee on Contracts for Publications Mr. Barton, chairman, Mr. Buffum and Mr. Pegram.

Copy of the Director’s report of estimated 1933 costs summary and a synopsis of standard contract form are attached to the official copy of these Minutes. It was agreed that the question of the amount of the handling charge to be stated in the contracts should be left for further discussion later in the day.


  1. The Director stated that he had been much concerned with the increasing cost, on account of increasing size, of the Review of Scientific Instruments and suggested that a considerable saving might be made by omitting or cutting down to much smaller volume the abstracts of articles on instruments. After discussion it was on motion of Mr. Klopsteg voted:

    that for a trial period the section of abstracts in the Review of Scientific Instruments be limited to an average of four pages an issue.

At this point, twelve-forty p.m., adjournment was taken for luncheon and the Board reassembled at two p.m.


Mr. Fletcher for the Committee on Nominations reported that the Committee unanimously nominated for reelection the present Chairman, Mr. Compton, and the Secretary, Mr. Pegram.

On motion it was voted:

that the nominations be declared closed.

On motion it was voted:

that the Secretary be instructed to cast a single ballot of the Board for the nominees.

The Secretary stated that he had cast the ballot as directed and the Chairman declared the officers reelected namely, Karl T. Compton, chairman, and George B. Pegram, secretary.

XIII. NEW BUSINESS – continued

  1. continued

    On motion of Mr. Klopsteg it was voted:

    to reconsider the motion previously passed as to the limiting of abstracts in the Review of Scientific Instruments.

    On motion of Mr. Richtmyer it was voted:

    that the abstracts section in the Review of Scientific Instruments be reduced in size and therefore in expense.

    On motion of Mr. Richtmyer it was voted:

    that the subscription rate for the Review of Scientific Instruments be set at $2.00.

    The Director stated that a well known company making apparatus was over one hundred dollars in arrears in its advertising account and asked if members of the Board had any suggestions as to procedure. It was agreed that Mr. Richtmyer should take up the matter with the company.

  2. New Advertising for Review of Scientific Instruments:

    The Chairman asked his assistant, Mr. C.L. Wilson, to outline a study he had made of possible sources of advertising for the Review of Scientific Instruments. Mr.Wilson stated that from the whole list of eighty-one scientific journals in the general field of physics taken by the library of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he had made  a list of advertisers of all kinds showing the name, address, advertising space, nature of products, journal in which appearing, that this list was made with the thought that new advertising might be obtained for the Review of Scientific Instruments through correspondence with each of the advertisers making a strong point of the large circulation of the journal, and showing the geographical distribution of the subscribers. He further suggested that it might be advantageous to the Institute to employ a part time service of a technical advertiser such as the man who handles the advertising for the Technology Review. He had advised with this man and found that he was in a position to undertake additional work of this kind. After further discussion it was on motion voted:

    that arrangements for soliciting of advertising be referred to the officers of the Institute.


The Board returned to the subject of the proper handling charge to be included in the contract of the Societies for publications. In discussing this question the Director laid before the Board all present information by which a percentage handling charge could be estimated that would give proper support to the Institute and at the same time show some definite saving to the Societies on their publications, as was implied should be done under the action of November 19th of this Board voting that each Society should pay the Institute for the publications of its journal or journals an amount not to exceed that established by the rate effective in 1931 prior to cooperation with the Institute. Mr. Buffum stated that the Chemical Foundation would certainly hope to assist the Institute financially this year but in accordance with general principles could not do so if such assistance should mean that the several Societies were thereby being relieved of their normal support of publications.

On motion of Mr. Fletcher it was voted:

that the contracts for 1933 for publishing journals for the Societies provide for a handling charge to the Institute of fifteen percent of the total cost of publication.


On motion of Mr. Richtmyer Mr. Rudolf Kingslake was nominated to be Associate Editor of the Review of Scientific Instruments (for appointment by the Optical Society) in place of Mr. I.C. Gardner who declined appointment.


On motion it was voted:

that the board ratify the interim action of the Chairman in nominating Mr. Barton to be representative of the American Institute of Physics Incorporated on the Executive Committee of the National Research Council.


The Director submitted a memorandum proposing the application of uniform principles to govern the price of back numbers, namely:

  1. Complete sets to be sold at a price per volume equal to the current non-member subscription rate.
  2. Complete volume to be sold at a rate per volume ten percent higher than the current non-member subscription rate.
  3. Single copies to be sold at a price twenty percent higher than the current non-member subscription rate.

On motion of Mr. Fletcher it was voted:

to approve the proposed rate and also as to back numbers.

On motion it was voted:

that the agency discount to be allowed by the Institute on subscriptions should be taken up for negotiations with the editors on the basis of ten percent up to not more than one dollar per subscription.

The Director further suggested in this report that subscribers be given the privilege of paying subscriptions half-yearly. No action was taken on this recommendation. From the discussion it appeared that the Board thought this a matter to be handled by the staff of the Institute.


The question of how often and when to have meetings of the Board was informally discussed. Suggestions were made that the Board ought to have one meeting quite independent of all other meetings and that a second meeting might without incurring expense to the Institute for transportation, be held in connection with some scientific meeting at which the majority of the Board would be present, but no action was taken.


Mr. Palmer asked the informal advice of members of the Board as to the probable attitude of the Institute and of the Founder Societies with respect to the possibility of opening the American Association of Physics Teachers to the teachers of physics in high schools. The discussion indicated that it was clearly the opinion of the Board that the interests of high school teachers of physics are of concern to the Institute but that the Institute should not undertake to influence the action or attitude of the American Association of Physics Teachers. In discussion on the general subject of scope of the Institute Mr. Buffum suggested that there is need of a popular book on physics to do for physics what the well known books “Creative Chemistry” and “Chemistry and Industry” have done for chemistry. It was agreed that it would be highly desirable for the Institute to sponsor the publication of a book of this type if one can be written.


On motion it was voted:

that the Chairman appoint the Executive Committee and the other committees to be continued, namely the Committee on an Abstracts Journal, and the Committee on Printing Contracts.

On motion it was voted:

that the Executive Committee be authorized to act with power for this Board in any matters that require action before the next meeting of the Governing Board.

The Chairman made committee appointments as follows:

  1. Executive Committee: Messrs. Compton, chairman, Davey, Fletcher, Palmer, Pegram, and Richtmyer.
  2. Committee on an Abstracts Journal: Messrs. Pegram, chairman, Arnold and Tate.
  3. Committee on Printing Contracts: Chairman (of the Board), Secretary, Treasurer, Adviser on Publications and the Director as Chairman.

XXI. The Board adjourned at four-forty p.m.