Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics
Minutes of Meeting
The Friday afternoon and evening sessions of the Governing Board meeting were held in the Promenade Suite of The Roosevelt Hotel, 45 Street and Madison Avenue, New York, N. Y. The Saturday sessions were held in the offices of the Institute, 335 East 45 Street, New York, N. Y.
Members Present During All or Part of the Meeting: H. Richard Crane – Chairman, Robert T. Beyer, John V. Bouyoucos, Kenneth E. Davis, Frank K. Edmondson, James L. Flanagan, Laurence W. Fredrick, James B. Gerhart, J. E. Goldman, Martin Greenspan, Janet B. Guernsey, W. W. Havens, Jr., Sherwood K. Haynes, Gerald Holton, H. William Koch, John S. Laughlin, J. R. MacDonald, A. I. Mahan, Sidney Millman, Philip M. Morse, E. R. Piore, Arthur H. Rosenfeld, F. Dow Smith, A. A. Strassenburg, R. A. Young
Absent: Reuben E. Alley, Jr., W. A. Fowler, F. N. Frenkiel, J. A. Krumhansl, Jarus W. Quinn, R. S. Rivlin, Boris P. Stoicheff
Non-Voting Participants: J. R. Knox (SOR), Colin G. Orton (AAPM), Larry D. Simpson (AAPM)
Guests Present at Various Times During the Meeting: W. A. Blanpied (American Assoc. for the Advancement of Science), E. Leonard Jossem (AAPT), Bruce Strasser (Chairman, AIP Advisory Com. on Public Relations), Walter Sullivan (Science News Editor, The New York Times), Earl Ubell (Director of Television News, WNBC-TV)
AIP Staff: H. William Koch, Director; Sidney Millman, Secretary; G. F. Gilbert, Treasurer; Lewis Slack, Associate Director for General Activities; Robert H. Marks, Associate Director for Publishing; Dorothy M. Lasky, Assistant to the Director; Mary M. Johnson, Assistant to the Secretary; Harold L. Davis, Editor – Physics Today; Denis Grady, Assistant Editor – Physics Today; Audrey Likely, Director – Public Relations; Gerald Present. Senior Science Writer – Public Relations; Joan Warnow, Associate Director – Physics History
Preceding the meeting there was a showing of the TV film "Life and the Structure of Hemoglobin" sponsored by AIP and produced under a grant from the National Science Foundation.
Chairman Crane formally called the meeting to order at 4:05 p. m. and introduced the new Board members and guests present.
Upon motion made and passed, the minutes of the October 3-4, 1974, Governing Board meeting, mailed to Board members last December, were approved.
2. Report of Annual Corporation Meeting
Millman stated that this meeting is required by New York State law, that it was held earlier in the afternoon on March 21, and that all Member Societies were represented by proxy. At the conclusion of this corporation meeting, new members of the Governing Board elected by the Member Societies take office. He reported that the Treasurer gave a brief financial report and that the Director presented a brief summary of the AIP Annual Report for 1974. Both of these items will be presented to the Board in fuller form the next day.
3. Report of Nominating Committee and Election
Crane appointed Robert Beyer chairman pro tem of the meeting for the handling of his report and conducting of the election. Crane and Millman left the room and did not return until action on this agenda item was completed.
Beyer reported that the Nominating Committee, which consisted of K. W. Ford, G. A. Jeffrey, and himself as chairman, made the following nominations:
Chairman of the Board: Philip M. Morse
Secretary: Sidney Millman
Members of Executive Committee: W. W. Havens, Jr., W. A. Fowler, Jarus W. Quinn, Robert T. Beyer, A. A. Strassenburg, Laurence W. Fredrick
Director-at-Large for a 3-year Term: Edward L. Brady
A motion to accept the report of the Nominating Committee and declare the above slate elected was passed without dissent.
Crane suggested that the Board extend congratulations to Philip Morse. Piore followed this by suggesting that the Board also record its deep gratitude and affection to the outgoing Chairman and express appreciation for the great service he has done for the physics community during his years as Chairman. Both sentiments were unanimously and enthusiastically endorsed.
4. Report by Board Chairman
Crane made some comments about the present state of the Institute. He noted that one of the things that stands out in the last year is the wind-up of the Long-Range Planning Committee report. Although it was issued at an inappropriate time for long-range planning, it did bring a number of issues out onto the table which are beginning to take root and bear fruit. The problems of services and of the information program have been squarely faced. One of the things it forced us to examine is the matter of balance between the two types of functions of the Institute, (1) the direct services, which are reimbursed by the Societies at cost, and (2) the services which are not reimbursed, such as the Physics History program. There has been a tendency by some to look upon the Iatter as activities which would be expendable if we got into real trouble. He thought this is the wrong view. The Institute has a large job to do in the direct service area and this supports a big staff. This makes it possible for it to do a lot of other services for the physics community. The idea that the Institute could survive if it did nothing but the direct services is wrong. Both kinds of activities have to go on if it is to be a healthy organization. Very recently the situation got close enough to instability so that it would have become unstable if we had had only the service activities. He could see four definite responsibilities to the physics community in addition to the direct services to the Societies. The first three are the familiar manpower and placement, history, and public understanding. In the latter area we have been running recently a minimum program. Perhaps after this evening the yellow signal that was put on it will get a little green cast. Our efforts are miniscule compared to the resources of the nation. The total national effort to provide scientific material for the public is very large. In order for us to make a dent in the problem we have to look very carefully toward applying our efforts to a section of the public where there is an impedance match. The other thing is, we have to be sure that as far as possible we do things where there is an amplifying factor. The real hard problem is the public acceptance of scientific material. It is not so much a matter of putting out more material but of getting people to be receptive to it.
The fourth responsibility is to do a certain amount of research and development. There has been a lot of valuable fallout from our secondary information program. If we had not done a lot of R&D we would not have been able to beat inflation and lower our costs in the performance of our principal function of publications.
Returning to the direct services, Crane noted that the subscription fulfillment problem is vastly improved. We are in the process of acquiring more versatile computer facilities. The information program has been severely pruned. From being a program that aimed to provide general coverage of secondary information to the world community, it now has been reduced to where it is essentially an in-house program. We are financially solvent. Quoted prices, which we worked on in 1974, were a big success according to Society officers. They have enabled Societies to budget more accurately and have enabled the AIP staff to make excellent estimates.
We have also set up a Committee on Committees which will probably recommend much needed changes in our committee structure. Th. Executive Committee has changed its mode of operation and has met almost every month. It has instituted the custom of inviting non-voting participants from Societies not represented thereon. He expressed the hope that this added sense of representation and the more frequent meetings will not have the result of the Executive Committee running the Institute and leaving little for the Board to do. There have been some complaints that the Board does not have enough real meat to chew on. The Executive Committees should see to it that it is not doing everything and making the Board into spectators.
We are getting along with both the British and the Soviets. As a result of the Brady-Hookway report, we are exchanging correspondence with J. H. H. Merriman, President of The Institution of Electrical Engineers in London, and some meetings will take place in which arrangements between the two groups with respect to producing abstracts will be worked out. This is becoming less urgent, however, since the scope of our information program has been reduced substantially. One of our prime objectives is to make some arrangement such that our abstracts will be reproduced in "Physics Abstracts" and the British tapes as written by the authors, and not reworded to avoid copyright problems. Such modification has been done routinely, and is to be deplored. We have made good arrangements with the Soviets to exchange privileges to reproduce journals and have received money from them in US dollars for 1973 and 1974, although the flow of royalty money is likely to go in the other direction in 1975.
What lies ahead? The cost of the AIP activities that are not reimbursed or supported by the Societies is one-half million dollars. The source of funds for these activities is precarious; particularly since half of it comes from one AIP-owned journal, The Journal of Chemical Physics. Other significant sources of income are: translations of Soviet journals; sale of British Institute of Physics journals, and dues from Corporate Associates. The income from each of these sources fluctuates and is uncertain. We ought to, therefore, begin looking for more secure sources of income.
We have cut back on the information program but we ought to look once more at what things our own constituents would like us to do for them. Review articles are a neglected aspect with us these days. The sale of conference proceedings has gone up steadily in the last few years. We probably do not pay enough attention to our industrial and Government laboratory friends. There ought to be ways we could have as good relations with industrial and Government laboratories as we do with academic physics departments.
Piore commented that the commercial presses publish a lot of review books. Koch added that the commercial publisher has had the book market pretty much to himself and the Institute has avoided it. He raised the question as to how much our Societies should be in the business of producing monographs. Our current physics reprint program is becoming more and more popular. The Journal of Physical and Chemical Reference Data has more gross income from the sale of individual reprints than from subscriptions. The Journal of the Acoustical Society had the greatest number of requests for reprints of individual articles. Sales are principally to nonmembers. Of the three groups we looked at, the subscription prices per page of the IOP journals we market are about 1-1.5¢ per page, Physical Review about 0.8¢ per page. For reprints we charge 25¢ per page. Koch mentioned also the highly computerized data base at Lockheed and Systems Development Corporation. Eugene Garfield of the Institute for Scientific Information in Philadelphia, has an arrangement to sell journal articles reprints to users of these data bases, although he does not have our permission or that of our Societies. We sell him two complete sets of all our journals. We suspect he is making Xerox copies of some of those articles. The important thing is to understand the nature of those services and the financial impact, and try to accommodate to it. As you know, in the case of the Soviets, we did not say "You cannot photocopy our pages." We said "Sure you can, but let us make an arrangement that is mutually beneficial," and on this basis copyright arrangements were made.
5. Comments on the Film "Life and the Structure of Hemoglobin" Viewed Before the Meeting
Slack responded to questions about this film. He noted that plans are to release it initially through the Public Broadcasting System network; then it will be for sale and rental by Time-Life. A teaching guide to go with the film will be provided. He did not think it will have as many reruns as the astronomy film produced two years ago but will have more sales and rentals for educational purposes. The rental cost is $40 and the sale price is $340. The total grant from NSF for both films was about $120,000. The net income goes back to NSF for three years after termination of the grant. Koch stated that AIP will welcome suggestions from the Board for future films. He added that one of the comments we will hear this evening is that the best way to achieve an impedance match with the public is to provide information in small chunks. He also pointed out that there would be on display some tech physics project material. This was a program also supported by NSF. Although it was designed primarily for the 2-year colleges, he heard that the high schools are thinking in terms of picking up this material because it is of low enough level that they can give it to their students. Holton asked whether AIP is now in a high enough state of morale to go ahead with making more movies. Koch replied that he would prefer to have more indications of enthusiasm from the Board about the direction in which AIP should go; but suspected that something along the lines of the short news film clips about which we will hear tonight is where we could make more impact.
The Friday afternoon session was adjourned at 5:25 p.m. Following a reception and dinner, the evening session was convened at 7:40 p.m.
6. Role of AIP and Societies in Furthering Public Understanding of Science
Crane noted that our Committee on Public Relations had not been very active over the last few years, and introduced the new chairman of this Committee, Bruce Strasser, Executive Director of Information and Publication of Bell Laboratories, who was also appointed chairman of the two sessions – that of this evening and the first part of the next morning, scheduled for discussion of this topic.
Strasser opened his introductory comments by stating that his concept of public relations is quite different from mere publicity or propaganda, or even educating the public. The main job of any P.R. operation, as he sees it, is to help its parent organization fulfill its mission, and P.R. people do what is necessary to effect this goal. What he would like to do is get a discussion going regarding the short term and long term objectives of AIP and the Member Societies. What problems or obstacles are standing in the way of realizing their goals, and how they see the role of the AIP's Public Relations Division in helping solve these problems. The latter may or may not involve improving the public understanding of science.
While it is true that AIP membership organizations exist to provide a service to their members, they can endure in the long run only if the public feels that by and large they are beneficial to the public interest. The management of these Societies should be ready cheerfully to tell their members and the interested public what their policies are, what they’re doing, what they plan to do, and why. Then the public relations job is to convince the public that the scientific community represented by these Societies deserves public confidence and support. He sees no significant conflict between the public interest and the interests of the Member Societies of AIP. He supports the view that "public relations is 90% doing and 10% talking about it." Of course, the 10% is very important and should be done by professionals who have the experience and skills necessary for a difficult job. He believes the AIP Public Relations Division has the professional expertise. The question is how should it be used?
With respect to one of the goals of AIP, that of improving public understanding of science, Strasser raised the question why members of the Governing Board feel this is a worthwhile and necessary activity for AIP, rather than for the educational system or AAAS. In any case, recent surveys have indicated that public confidence in science is improving. While the public may not appreciate science and scientists as much as we would like, it is not taking the view that everything science and scientists do is useless. Perhaps the role for the technical community is to disseminate to the public truthful analyses and assessments about science.
Strasser then introduced the two invited guests from the television and press media, Earl Ubell and Walter Sullivan, and asked them to tell the Board about their respective experiences relevant to the advancement of public understanding of science.
Opportunities for 2-Minute Spot News Films for TV
Ubell spoke briefly on the subject of short television news films. He noted that, on a readership basis, science is more interesting to men than sports and more interesting to women than society news. He thought that the television medium has a good scheme for getting science reports into the news. They have one foundation which is quite interested in it. He advised AIP not to go down the old road of producing relatively long, high-level science films. They appeal to a very small percentage of the television viewers. He said what we need is an on-going way of getting scientific programming into the news programs, many short films on a regular basis which can be part of news programs.
Strasser noted that Bell Laboratories produces two to four 1-minute television clips a year dealing with communications. These go to the news programs around the country. They are picked up by 200 to 250 stations around the country but not in the big cities.
Ubell stated that the cost is of the order of $250,000 for 300 minutes of programming. Morse noted that the resources of the American Physical Society are not financial but technical, and asked what APS can do in making available to the news media people who are experts in this field. Are experts needed? Ubell reported plans to establish a science news operation. If there is a story in physics that they wished to cover, they would call AIP and ask them to identify knowledgeable people in the relevant field. That is the easiest part. What is hard is producing the material for a popular audience to understand. There is a rise in the average length of news programs. There is a growing number of news feature syndicates and they are proposing another news feature syndicate on science, and selling it. It would do them good to have AIP and the American Chemical Society give their blessing and a small amount of cash. Haynes asked whether a group of physics teachers could do the same thing the news media are doing. Ubell replied that he has seen people try to do it but the likelihood of failing is very great. One can often do a news film based on a physics film which has been produced for teaching. Fredrick wondered whether a worthy objective might be to get a public appreciation for science rather than emphasizing the deep understanding of a scientific topic. Strasser also wondered whether a news clip should highlight the benefits to the public.
Experiences in Reporting Physics News in Printed Media
Strasser next introduced Walter Sullivan. Sullivan reminded the audience of the very valuable AIP-sponsored seminars for science writers. In addition to contributing to the science education of many writers, they produced the glossaries of scientific terms, a very useful byproduct in the absence of a scientific dictionary. He suggested they might all be put into one volume. Those seminars were good, but they had run their course. Press releases derived from the journal articles published by the Societies have also been enormously useful. Sullivan was highly complimentary about the AIP public relations machinery and about the role played by Physics Today.
Part of a science reporter's problem is to decide what to cover and what not to cover. One can fritter away the reader's attention by covering a whole lot of things in a superficial way. News items that are being spoon-fed to you can be mostly ignored, since the wire services will cover them anyway. Sullivan also noted that it is easier to teach a good reporter to cover science than the other way around.
Strasser wondered whether we should revive the seminars for science writers. Young endorsed the idea since there is a new crop of science writers coming along all the time.
Review of Society Activities in Furthering Public Understanding of Science
Strasser called on representatives of some of the AIP Member Societies to report on the activities in their respective organizations in this area.
Fredrick, speaking for the American Astronomical Society, reported that a significant portion of their financial base goes into the public understanding of science. Their philosophy is that the key to public understanding and acceptance of information is to have lecturers appear in person 'n front of the audience. He outlined six different projects in ascending order, from the least to the most effective. They have found that (1) A traveling exhibit was a disaster. (2) They prepared two half-hour movies to sell bright young kinds on becoming astronomers. This attracted too small an audience. (3) They have also had a program of cooperating with corporations and their exhibits, one with IBM, on women in science. (4) Another project was to have a Public Information Officer who is in tune with the media. It turned out that a lot of his information was misused. (5) A highly successful program is that of visiting professors, now going into its 15th year. NSF support was discontinued four years ago. They do not go to a single great name college or university, but rather to underprivileged colleges. The most successful part is the requirement that the visiting professor give a public address in the evening. Every layman has a burning question and he wants to ask it of a professional. (6) The most recent successful project was the National Parks Program. They sent 12 astronomers to 12 national parks. The astronomers spent almost two weeks indoctrinating the summer guides in astronomy, giving them a set of slides identifying constellations. Its great success was due to the fact that there is nothing to do at night, so people showed up en masse at the lectures. AAS still gets letters commenting on the "young astronomer" who answered their burning questions. AAS spends about 10% of their budget on the whole program, $15,000 to $16,000.
Millman, reporting on some of the APS involvement in this area, pointed to a two-year old joint APS-AAPT Committee on Science Education for the General Public. This is an outgrowth of the establishment by APS in 1973 of a Committee on Education. The principal concern of the Committee on Education is with graduate education and it has sponsored the Visiting Physicists Program, which is aimed at increasing interaction between physicists in industry and academic physics departments. But it is also interested in public understanding of science and has therefore joined forces with AAPT in this Committee on Science Education for the General Public. The first meeting of this Committee was held in AAPT headquarters at Stony Brook, N. Y., and as part of the program, the Committee met at A. A. Strassenburg's home with leaders in the community. Committee members were surprised at the wide gap which existed between the Committee and its guests, who showed no enthusiasm for physics or physicists. The APS Deputy Executive Secretary, Mary Shoaf, was Chairperson of this Committee for a year during which period the Committee initiated a store-front physics project. This included a contest and award winners were invited to present papers at the annual APS-AAPT meeting in Anaheim.
Haynes, representing AAPT, described in some detail the highly successful store-front physics project. There were 12 entries in the contest and three winners. One of the winning exhibits on "Seeing Your Retina" was shown in a corridor of an educational institution. Another dealt with voltage and electric field and was placed in a shopping center. The third used a bathroom scale in an elevator to show the difference between mass and weight. There is hope that further contests will get a larger number of entries and even higher quality exhibits. We may also duplicate the winning entries in some areas.
Haynes reported further that the joint APS-AAPT Committee plans for the coming year fall into four categories: (1) Continuation of the store-front physics exhibits; (2) a workshop on short TV films at the forthcoming Boulder summer meeting of AAPT; (3) an investigation of the feasibility of Chautauqua-type workshops in this area.
On a related item, Haynes reported that some consideration is being given to continuing education, looking for non-traditional formats. He thought one can do a good deal in the high schools. Physics in the high schools has had a reputation of being unduly esoteric and intellectually too demanding, and he thought that the program of tech physics will tend to combat this elitism. Strassenburg added that AAPT is cooperating with NASA in producing some 3 1/2-4 minute films. They purchased film taken in "Skylab" and are making educational films out of that.
Strasser raised the question as to why the various Societies feel that it is their function to be engaged in public understanding activities. Haynes felt that one reason is to develop a modest literacy in science on the part of the public. Another is to generate some sense of appreciation for its role in society. Havens remarked that it is the purpose of APS to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics. There are so many misconceptions about physics. There is no physics industry such as the chemical industry. The general public is not aware of how much of their technology originated with physics and it is not sufficiently appreciated in our society. Young added that much of our science has to be supported by a community with a large interest and no private funds can support all of it. We depend on the general public for our support. We do not want to operate in a climate that is hostile to us and we also want to attract young scientists. Strasser observed that to reach the general public is difficult and costly; you will spend a lot of your time doing it. Looking back, one could not say that the scientific community has made much progress. Fredrick stated that the AAS program started as a result of "Sputnik." Strasser stated that, in order for a public relations person to be effective he needs narrow and specific goals. Havens thought that it is probably not our job now to convince more people to go into physics. Our selfish motive is that the general public has to appreciate physics before the Congress will appreciate physics and appropriate the money we need to help us do the things we love to do.
The session was concluded at 9:35 p.m. The Governing Board meeting reconvened on the following day, Saturday, March 22, at 9:00 a.m.
Strasser continued as Chairman during the part of the session devoted to Public Understanding of Science.
Flanagan, reporting for the Acoustical Society of America, activities in this area, noted that opportunities and challenges might exist in several places. One of our assets is an ability to be objective about the situations that we consider. One thing scientists have going for them is credibility. The ASA interfaces with society, Government, industry, and other scientific societies. Pointing to a chart which he showed, he noted that, under the heading "Society" four things have high visibility: Environmental acoustics (quality of life), noise control, hearing risk criteria, and building acoustics. Areas where Government has to depend on science for the right answers are in ordinances, codes, and defense postures. In industry, consumer products, communication facilities, housing, buildings, and architecture represent any opportunities for making some impact. He illustrated the uses to which one can put new science and technology by demonstrating a device which seemingly generates Just noise but is actually an artificial voice box for those who have had larynx surgery.
ASA could certainly contribute within the AIP framework. They have an inter-societal committee on the environment and have conducted at least two major workshop meetings. Flanagan concluded by stating that he thought there are some good opportunities in these areas to show a good face to the world. Students deserve to get the best information we can give them about where the action is.
Smith reported on the Optical Society of America activities in this area. Probably the major area OSA has been active in is what they call education of the public by recruitment in optics. They once had a full-time paid Education Officer. They have 20 local sections around the country and these sections have more nonmembers than members of OSA. The Society supports these sections with a traveling lecturer program. The OSA now runs a general interest session at its meetings. Public involvement in decision-making at the national level is going to be with us. He thought that AIP could be more aggressive in this field. He would like to see this Committee on Public Relations begin to think about what would we like to do and what is it possible for AIP to do.
Morse reported on another activity recently instituted by APS, supplementing Millman's report of the night before. Since the late 1960's there has been a loss of support for physics and a reduction in the placing in the federal administration of science advice. There has been a feeling that something needs to be done by APS to get our contribution to the important decisions that are being made. APS is reacting. One of the early reactions was the establishment of the Forum on Physics and Society. They have also set up a Committee on Professional Concerns, which includes manpower problems; a Committee on Education, and a Committee on the Application of Physics. APS contributed to the support of a number of Congressional Fellows. Last year, due to pressures from the membership, it was decided to organize and sponsor summer studies on a number of problems where physics played a major role – reactor safety, efficient utilization of energy, and a study of radiation damage. APS established a Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) as the result of a determination that all of these things ought to be put together and looked at in a unified way by some standing committee of the Society.
This panel, POPA, is a standing committee of the Society responsible to Council for public affairs activities of the Society. Its charge includes, for example, evaluation of recommendations for new studies by the Society, serving as an information transfer point for the Congressional Scientist Fellows Program, evaluation of requests for responses to Government inquiries, development of plans for additional public service areas in which the APS can be effective, monitoring of Government actions relevant to APS affairs, coordination of APS public policy involvement with that of other societies and the Divisions and the Forum of the Society, and keeping the membership informed on physics/public affairs activities. Its budget was $25,000 for the first year. (The APS Council, at its first meeting on April 27, 1975, increased this budget to $50.000.)
The panel held a 2-day meeting devoted first to problems which arose before the panel was formed that are going to have an impact on the public and particularly on Washington, and to a discussion of activities the panel should undertake. It looks as though POPA is slanted in the direction of Government. This involves very technical work for which APS has the expertise. The panel set up two subcommittees: one to make contact with the various divisions of APS so they would be aware of what is going on and help us find appropriate people when needed. The second is to concern itself with methods of feeding back POPA's problems and needs to the membership at large. Morse was sure they are going to need Physics Today to help. He thought there is something to be said for broadening its base to involve other AIP Societies. If we talk to the Government, we should have feedback to the other AIP Societies in addition to members of APS. He would welcome a chance to talk with officers of other Societies and councils. POPA's job will be to keep in touch with our Congressional Fellows. One can see a half dozen major problems Congress will face this year that will have a strong physics output. He was sure the other AIP Societies will have a part to play.
Koch raised the question whether the AIP Public Relations Committee should only concern itself about AIP activities or also with what is going on in the Societies. Should it worry more broadly about the public understanding issues which have been mentioned here? Havens remarked that if AIP had a committee reporting to the Board, the Board could consider the recommended program and perhaps suggest that the Societies pick it up cooperatively. Holton observed that, in order not to appear to be self-serving, the Societies could be more effective if proposals were to come from AIP rather than from the separate Societies. One of the groups in dire need of some help are the science teachers in this country. If the Societies, through AIP, could channel some teaching material into their hands it could have a very large amplifying effect.
Strasser thought that it is important not to confuse public relations with publicity and press relations. One of the things a good scientific group needs to do is not concern itself with techniques. Leave that to the professional public relations people. Concern yourselves with the goals and objectives of your Member Societies. What problems are facing you for the next three years? What do you want to accomplish? You want to convince the public that science is good for them. For example, his job at Bell Laboratories is to convince people they will get better communications in the future if the Bell System is not broken up. It is a very specific, self-serving thing and it does not conflict with the public interest. The message Strasser was trying to convey is that science is a vital part of Bell Laboratories which serves the technical needs of the whole Bell System.
Jossem remarked that he would like to see AIP concerned with attitudes and long-range effects, and we should ask ourselves how do we best have an effective program in that connection. Morse observed that before World War II, the extent of success was often measured by the size of financial contributions a project received from various sources. On that basis, astronomy stood near the top. If you try to emphasize the practical side of things you may get into trouble. He thought one does have to bring out the feeling that to increase knowledge is good and exciting. Fredrick added that it is our job to convince people to get their information from science and not from such sources as palmistry and astrology.
Audrey Likely pointed out that one needs a different message and different method for different groups such as students, other scientists, and the general public.
Strasser stated that this Board must decide what public relations functions should be done and can be done effectively by AIP, and which activities should best be left to the Individual Societies. AIP will contact the Member Societies soon to solicit their views, get a compilation, and feed it back to the Board for comments and suggestions. Holton expressed concern that the members-at-large may not be properly represented in these decisions. He wondered whether the Board should give a more audible mandate now. He asked whether AIP is ready to do certain things now. Koch replied that, on specific things, AIP is not prepared. We want to work first with the Advisory Committee and come back afterward to the Board with specific proposals. However, if there is a strong feeling here, it ought to be expressed now. Fredrick thought that it would be nice if the goals of the respective Societies could be conveyed to Morse as Chairman of POPA and of this Board. Morse stated that after a couple of meetings more with the panel, he may be able to make a recommendation that in certain fields, particularly industry and society, AIP can probably accomplish more and do it more efficiently than any of the Member Societies individually. Knox added that the Society of Rheology would be very interested in guidance and advice from AIP on how to go about handling problems that it can do better on its own.
Strasser concluded the discussion on public understanding of science by stating that he thought the AIP Public Relations Division ought to take what was learned at this meeting and put together a program, then bring it back to the Board.
7. Financial Matters
Financial Report for 1974
Gilbert referred to the financial report, previously mailed, containing estimated figures for 1974. He noted that, although these figures are pretty accurate, they are subject to audit. He highlighted the latest estimated net income for 1974 of $157,000. This compares with a previous estimate of $122,000. The net income is due in part to interest on short-term investments in bank-guaranteed obligations. It was helped greatly in 1974 by long delays in the publication of Soviet journals and the large prevailing interest rates. This net income wiped out the AIP accumulated deficit and results in an accumulated income of about $9,000 as of December 31, 1974. He also noted that the phasing out of the Information Program affected grant and contract overhead. The AIP annual budget for the year was about $7,000,000. If one includes activities carried on for member organizations, the relevant gross figure was $14,500,000.
Havens observed that AIP took $152,000 out of the Abstracts Fund in 1974 and asked whether it would be better to transfer this back into the Abstracts Fund or create another one. Gilbert replied that this sum was merely held in abeyance and this is a way of getting rid of it and applying it to the purposes for which it was collected. We would not have incurred the expense we did in connection with the Information Program if we had not had this fund and did not expect to use it in this way. In replying to further questions, Gilbert explained the difference between accumulated income and the net worth of the Institute. An accumulated income is only one item of AIP's net worth. which is around 1.8 million dollars. It includes such things as our land and building. This figure is actually understated as it is based on book values.
Young asked about the magnitude of grant activities, the current AIP staff involvement, and whether there are problems in termination and reassignment. Gilbert replied that in 1973 we had grants of over one million dollars which were mostly in the Information area. These were phased out in 1974. We now have five small grants from NSF with overhead totaling only about $16,000 and all of them will terminate this year. The bulk of them represent subcontracts which are being performed out-of-house. AIP staff will therefore not be affected by their termination.
Financial Handling Charge for 1976
Gilbert noted that the AIP By-laws state that Member Societies shall pay to AIP a financial handling charge not to exceed one percent, to be fixed annually by the Governing Board. This charge has been 5/8 of 1% for several years. The staff recommended that it be the same for 1976 and the Executive Committee, at its meeting on March 21, voted to recommend to the Board that it be set at that rate again for 1976. The following motion was then passed:
MOVED that the financial handling charge for 1976 be set at five-eighths of one percent (0.625%).
8. Discussion and Request for Approval of New Computer Facilities
Koch began his presentation by observing that one is considering the acquisition of computer facilities involving expenditure, over a period of five years, of about $400,000. This would undoubtedly appear as a rental charge which will be not more and perhaps somewhat less than the total current relevant charges. The presentation followed the same form as was given the previous morning to the Executive Committee and is reported on Pages 2 and 3 of the minutes of the March 21 meeting. He noted that the Management Committee and a task group consisting of Michael Martino, John Auliano, and himself has had frequent discussions with vendors over the past several months. They particularly concerned themselves with the cost implications of hardware and software and the reduction in staffing possibilities that could result. Another item of interest was conversion, to insure that the staff is not going to risk another conversion problem such as it had in the past. It is therefore planned to run a parallel operation with our present UNIVAC 9300 system. Martino also answered several additional technical questions and Koch replied to a question on financial arrangements. The following motion was then passed:
MOVED that the AIP staff be authorized to sign a lease with UNIVAC to acquire the 90/30 computer system as recommended by the Executive Committee at its meeting on March 21, 1975.
9. Annual Report for 1974 – Authorization to Publish in PHYSICS TODAY
Koch stated that Board members had been mailed a draft of the Annual Report for 1974. Touching on some of the highlights, he observed that during 1974 substantive improvement in services to Member Societies had been achieved and that AIP was involved in a number of negotiations. The Societies' principal roles, until five years ago, were to publish journals and hold meetings. In the future, one is going to have to produce a whole variety of publication formats such as microfilms, computer tapes, etc. If we do not supply these, somebody else will. He reported on the latest status of negotiations with the Soviets, including, the royalty check received from them. He also referred to current correspondence between Chairman Crane and the President of IEE resulting from earlier discussions between Edward L. Brady and Harry Hookway.
After some comments by Smith on the introductory pages of the Annual Report and the observation by Crane that minor changes can be transmitted after the meeting, the following two motions were approved:
MOVED that the Annual Report of the Director be adopted as the report of the Board to members for 1974.
MOVED that AIP is authorized to publish the Annual Report for 1974 in Physics Today.
The Saturday morning session was adjourned at 12:20 p.m for photograph and luncheon. During luncheon, Chairman Crane was presented with a souvenir album and the following resolution was unanimously adopted by the Board:
WHEREAS H. Richard Crane, throughout his career as a physicist, has himself personified the successful pursuit of the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of physics and of its applications to human welfare; and
WHEREAS he has given unstintingly of his time and talents in the service to the institutions of the physics community; and
WHEREAS during the past four years of often difficult growth and change throughout the physics community, he has, as Chairman of this Board, provided wise counsel and a firm hand of imaginative leadership to the Board and staff of the Institute; be it therefore
RESOLVED that the Governing Board record this acknowledgment by the Institute of its appreciation and of its indebtedness to H. R. Crane for his dedicated service to the entire physics community and order a copy of this minute suitably inscribed and delivered to him.
The Saturday afternoon session of the Governing Board meeting was convened at 1:45 p.m.
10. Manpower Surveys
Slack referred to the last Board meeting at which he presentsd an AIP six-year manpower plan. This plan was reviewed by the AIP Advisory Committee on Manpower, taking into account the discussions by the Board. The 1975 budget is based on the recommendation of this committee. It provides for Placement activities at eseentially the same level as before. The Doctoral Employment Information Service will be phased out during the current year, a step which has the concurrence of the APS Committee on Manpower. Statistical activities of the physicist supply pipeline, based on data supplied by chairmen of physics departments, will continue. The Advisory Committee did not urge continuation of the broad spectrum of the Register activities but favored retaining the analysis work on existing data. Accordingly, work in 1975 in preparation for an employment and salary survey on physicists leading to a new Register in 1976 was postponed, with the hope that this activity would be picked up again by NSF. Holton agreed that, if it is necessary to stop surveying the pre-doctoral level, it becomes more imperative to urge others such as NSF to do it. He could see that AIP may not be the best place to do it. It is important to be on the lookout for an early warning system on employment trends. Crane added that, in the present situation, the knowledge of how many of our PhD's are forced to find jobs in other areas is almost as important as how many PhD's are turned out. Slack noted that AIP will continue to get data on how many degrees are awarded. For PhD's we have very good data on their first employment but after that we lose track of them, but we are trying to follow people when they leave their post-doctoral positions.
11. Report by Chairman of Committee on Society Services
Strassenburg referred to "A Preliminary Report from the New Committee on Society Services" dated March 19, 1975, which he distributed (copy attached as Exhibit A). He pointed to the history of the Committee's formation enlarging the scope of responsibility of the Subscription Fulfillment Committee to monitor AIP performance in the service area more broadly. A list of services is appended to that report. He called attention to the enlarged membership.
At the meeting on January the Committee tried to identify some problems which warranted its attention and began a survey of the services available at AIP. The Committee covered subscription fulfillment, computer hardware, accounting reports, and communications between AIP and the Societies. There had been specific complaints from some Society officers who had difficulty in understanding AIP financial reports. Some preference was expressed for financial reporting on a project basis, and Gilbert will be provided with desirable models.
The Committee agreed that many problems of the past resulted from poor communications, but felt confident that these are improving. AIP is preparing a handbook for Society officers which should be very useful particularly to new officers. Another meeting of the Committee was scheduled for May 1 in Washington. Strassenburg concluded by inviting Board members to submit to him any questions or problems they may have.
12. Report by Chairman of Committee on Committees
Crane called on F. Dow Smith to report on the current status of the activities of this Committee and noted that he had suggested that Smith not come in with a report for the Board to accept or reject, but for interaction of the Board which would eventually result in a new committee structure.
Smith referred to a preliminary draft of a report of the AIP Committee on Committees which was included in the packets distributed at the meeting (copy attached as Exhibit B). He noted that Havens had replaced Burton for some of the discussions. There are a number of areas where the Committee felt it needed input from the Board. He noted also that the Committee began with the notion that committees ought to have a purpose and ought to have assignments. The structure should be flexible and they should function in response to needs. The Chairman of the Board should be encouraged to appoint committees as needs arise.
There are three kinds of committees identified in the AIP pamphlet "Information for Advisory Committees and Representatives." Operating Committees are a group that are really part of the AIP internal management. Those are important committees and their structure and assignments should be up to the Director of AIP. They might very well be left out of this kind of discussion.
There is another group described as "Advisory to AIP Management." The Committee thinks that most committees in this group should feel their major responsibility to the Governing Board rather than to the Director of AIP, particularly where they are concerned with the development of policy and its implementation. This is not to say that the activities of these committees have not been reported to the Board in the past.
Among the third group, committees which report to the Board, there are two committees that are required by our statutes. One is the Executive Committee, the structure of which is spelled out in the AIP Constitution. The other is the Publication Board. It consists of the editor of each of the AIP and Society journals and their responsibility is defined in the contract between AIP and the Societies. It seems to be involved primarily in editorial matters rather than fiscal or publishing policy matters. There is a Committee on Publishing Policy and we think these two bodies can work successfully together. Another committee that reports to the Board is the Committee of Society Secretaries and Treasurers. It has not been very active recently and might just as well be dropped. The very important Committee on Society Services should probably continue to function in its present form. As to the Committee on Public Relations, it is felt that the Board ought to have a committee which would deal with questions of interactions of AIP with the public and develop recommendations which could be of value. The Public Relations staff can function effectively when they are given goals and direction. It was felt that the Board had a need for an input from such an advisory Committee.
The Nominating Committee came in for some discussion. Crane had raised the question whether procedures for selecting its membership should be evaluated and codified in some way. Crane added that many organizations have some kind of election procedure for members of the Nominating Committee. Ours is spelled out in the Rules which can be changed by the Board. Strassenburg agreed and noted that the Nominating Committee has a great deal of power just because it has time to think about its choices, whereas the Board does not. Holton suggested that a slate of five candidates could be proposed for the Nominating Committee from which three would be elected by the Board.
Young asked whether the Committee on Physics Today should report to the Board. Smith stated that this committee develops recommendations of an editorial nature. The members prepare a report to the Director which is passed on to the Editor. The Director and Editor prepare a response which goes back to the committee. Koch added that it started out being called an Editorial Advisory Board. It does not reject manuscripts but primarily advices the Editor and the Management Committee on editorial content. Crane stated that it serves a very useful function but its charter is not very well defined. We establish some rules, but then try to make sure that the Editor has sufficient editorial freedom. Havens observed that the committee is not only a critic of Physics Today but an asset to PT for getting manuscripts. He thought that this committee should not report to the Board. It is an advisory committee to PT.
Crane, referring to the proposed new committee structure, asked whether there should be provision for the ex officio membership of the appropriate director or associate director on the committees. Smith thought that the director should be intimately involved in working with these committees but only in a staff advisory role. The proper input will take care of itself. Koch thought that it is advisable to provide for the Director to be an ex officio member of many committees. Holton liked the concept that Board members should receive brief written summaries of all committee activities. He hoped they would come from the chairmen of the committees. He raised the question whether these committees will report to the Executive Committee or directly to the Governing Board. Smith thought they should be responsible to the Board but did not think that all committees should report to the Board all the time. It would be up to the Chairman, the Executive Committee, and the Director to decide on the reporting mechanism. Havens noted that all minutes of the Executive Committee meetings are sent to the Board and all actions of the Executive Committee are reported to the Board.
13. Secretary's Status as to Membership on the Board and on the Executive Committee
Beyer opened the discussion by stating that the Nominating Committee, of which he was Chairman, noted the anomaly in the AIP Constitution that the Secretary is required to attend the meetings of the Governing Board and of the Executive Committee without being a member. In recent years Wallace Waterfall, the former Secretary, was a member of the Governing Board representing the Acoustical Society of America. Havens thought that an appropriate amendment to the Constitution should be initiated and he made a motion to that effect. Crane raised the question whether it would be wise to go ahead with this one change or see whether there are any other changes in the Constitution that we might want to make. The sentiment, however, was that the proposed change is relatively straightforward and would probably not arouse any controversy. Accordingly, the following motion was passed:
MOVED that the AIP Constitution be amended as follows: Article VII, Section 1 – The business and activities of the corporation shall be managed by its board of directors which shall be called, collectively, the Governing Board. The Governing Board shall comprise the Chairman, the principal executive officer and the Secretary of the Institute, and the total number of directors as determined in Section 2 of this Article. (underscoring supplied) Article XIV, Section 1 – At the first meeting of the Governing Board following the annual meeting of the corporation, the Board shall appoint an Executive Committee comprised of the Chairman and six other current members of the Board of whom at least four shall be Board members elected by Member Societies. The principal executive officer and the Secretary of the Institute shall be (an) additional members of the Executive Committee without vote. (underscoring supplied)
This amendment, if ratified, will put the Secretary on the same basis as the Director with respect to membership on the Governing Board and Executive Committee.
14. Appointment of Committees
Crane noted that a list of proposed committees and representatives was sent to Board members in advance of the meeting (copy attached as Exhibit C) and, following past practice, the Board was asked to pass on this slate at this meeting. The following motion was passed:
MOVED that the committees and representatives be approved as recommended, and that the Chairman and Director be authorized to make any necessary appointments in the interim between meetings of the Governing Board.
15. Plans for Fall Assembly, Governing Board, Corporate Associates Meetings
Koch reported that plans for the fall meetings were discussed with the Executive Committee on the preceding day. W. A. Fowler will be chairman of the Assembly. The meetings will last three days and will be held in Washington, D. C., early in October on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday. (Subsequent to the meeting, the dates of October 2, 3, and 4 were chosen.)
16. NSF 25th Anniversary
Koch informed the Board that AIP will recommend that this anniversary be noted by an appropriate editorial in Physics Today by a former physicist member of the National Science Board of NSF, such as W. A. Fowler.
17. Bicentennial Observance
In answer to a question whether AIP intended to take part on the country's Bicentennial, Koch replied that it was more appropriate for the Member Societies to observe the Bicentennial, each in its own way, rather than have AIP observe it for all its constituent Societies.
18. Anticipated Resignation of S. Millman as Member-at-Large of the Governing Board and Election of Replacement
Beyer suggested that, in view of the proposed Constitutional change with respect to the Secretary, our "esteemed" Secretary might be prevailed upon to resign his directorship-at-large of the Board. If so, the Board might take action on what would have been the recommendation of the Nominating Committee, i.e., to nominate Herbert L. Anderson of the Enrico Fermi Institute to Millman's unexpired term. The following motion was then passed:
MOVED that Herbert L. Anderson be elected to fill the unexpired term of Sidney Millman as member-at-large of the Governing Board when Millman resigns.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:35 p.m.