March 25, 1947

Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

1. The Governing Board met at the Institute Building, 57 East 55 Street, New York at 10:10 a.m.

Present: Paul E. Klopsteg (Chairman), G. R. Harrison, G. B. Pegram, A. J. Dempster, K. S. Gibson, A. G. Worthing, W. Waterfall, H. Fletcher, W. F. Fair, Jr., R. C. Gibbs, Marsh W. White

Absent: E. U. Condon, F. A. Firestone, A. H. Pfund, J. T. Tate.

Guests Present:

Affiliated Societies of AIP

  • Elizabeth Armstrong, Representing the American Society for X-ray and Electron Diffraction
  • John Turkevich, Representing the Electron Microscope Society of America.
  • (The Physics Club of Chicago was represented by Dr. Paul E. Klopsteg.)



  • G. P. Harnwell, Editor, The Review of Scientific Instruments
  • Elmer Hutchisson, Editor, Journal of Applied Physics
  • J. E. Mayer, Editor, Journal of Chemical Physics

AIP Administrative Staff


  • Henry A. Barton, Director
  • Margaret Dunbar, Publications Manager
  • T. Vorburger, Assistant Treasurer

2. Report of Annual Meeting of the Corporation:


The Secretary reported the elections to membership of the Governing Board at the Annual Meeting of the Corporation on February 28, 1947 as follows:

On nomination of
American Physical Society J. T. Tate to succeed himself – term to 1950
E. U. Condon for new directorship – term to 1950
A. J. Dempster for new directorship – term to 1949
G. R. Harrison to replace L. A. DuBridge (resigned) – term to 1948
Optical Society of America A. G. Worthing to succeed himself – term to 1950
Acoustical Society of America Harvey Fletcher to succeed himself – term to 1950
Society of Rheology W. F. Fair, Jr. – term to 1948
American Association of Physics Teachers M. W. White to succeed L. W. Taylor – term to 1950

The full membership of the Governing Board until the 1948 Annual Meeting of the Corporation is:

Nominated by   Term Expires
American Physical Society G. R. Harrison 1948
A. J. Dempster 1949
G. B. Pegram 1949
J. T. Tate 1950
E. U. Condon 1950
Optical Society of America K. S. Gibson 1948
A. H. Pfund 1949
A. G. Worthing 1950
Acoustical Society of America F. A. Firestone 1948
Wallace Waterfall 1949
Harvey Fletcher 1950
Society of Rheology W. F. Fair, Jr. 1948
American Association of Physics Teachers P. E. Klopsteg 1948
R. C. Gibbs 1949
M. W. White 1950

The Secretary also reported that the proposed amendment to the Constitution of March 1, 1946 had been voted upon favorably by every one of the Member Societies and that the amendment (Appendix A) became effective on November 1, 1946, the date of the certification of the last of the societies to act; and that the Member Societies, through their proxies at the annual meeting had also voted a resolution to amend the Certificate of Incorporation to change the number of directors of the corporation from 15 to not less than 3 nor more than 35.

3. Minutes:

On motion of Mr. Pegram, the minutes of the Governing Board meeting on March 1, 1946 were approved as distributed.

4. Report of the Chairman:

The Chairman presented the following report:

“It has been my custom at prior annual meetings of this board to save time in an all-too-crowded agenda by refraining from making a formal chairman’s report. It has always seemed adequate in the matter of information to be conveyed to the board to let the chairman’s report develop in the course of the meeting through the reports of the director, the publications manager, the editors, and others. Today I am departing from that custom for the first and only time during my incumbency of the chairmanship. I am taking advantage of my prerogative, not to give you information that would be duplicated by the reports that are to follow, but rather to make an address of valedictory.

“Today marks the close of a seven-year period during which it was my privilege to serve as chairman of the Governing Board. I had hoped a year ago to be relieved of the responsibilities of the office, for I had numerous other demanding duties. Moreover, I had already served longer than either of my distinguished predecessors. Persuasive salesmanship prevailed to the extent that I agreed to carry on for another but definitely final year. No further encores would be played. That year has now passed.

“Most of you probably recall Ring Lardner, who was one of America’s gifted humorists. He was once reported to have said, “When I first began writing for the Saturday Evening Post, its circulation was a half million. Now it is two million.” A similar remark might facetiously be made in relation to my tenure of chairmanship in the American Institute of Physics; but if it were, the implication as to cause and effect would be just about as relevant as it was in the Lardner anecdote.

“On the other hand, I should be lacking in forthrightness if, in reviewing the past seven years of Institute history – a period covering more than 40 percent of its total existence – I were to say that I did not derive from it great satisfaction at the progress that has been made. But in all sincerity I hasten to say also that my direct contributions to accomplishments have been small indeed. It was easy to continue building on the substantial foundation that had been laid. My satisfaction comes from seeing a hope and an ambition fulfilled, not from the part I played in bringing about that fulfillment.

“We cannot help rejoicing when we compare the great headaches and perplexities of Governing Board meetings in the nineteen-thirties with the relatively minor ones of today. In those earlier days when the very existence of the Institute depended on its finances and when the operations for the year usually required the use of red ink, nearly the entire time of every meeting was used in the analysis and discussion of financial problems, leaving too little time for constructive deliberations about plans and policies. It is gratifying that in our agenda today financial questions can be confined principally to a review of last year’s statement of successful operations and to a planning of next year’s budget.

“It is gratifying also to see this magnificent headquarters representing in its beauty and dignity a distinctive and worthy monument to physics, bought and paid for out of contributions of individual physicists and friends of physics. Our acquisition of the building in August, 1943, was more timely than we could then know; for the importance and the stature that physics has gained during these past five or six years could not have been properly symbolized by a small suite of rooms in an office building. Our decision to purchase was made at the very time when real estate values in New York began their rise. Although we could today sell the building for double its cost to us, such action would be quite unwise. It would be difficult to find – indeed to imagine – more suitable headquarters than we now enjoy

“It is gratifying also that there is in effect today the new constitution and by-laws of the Institute, developed through the long and arduous work of the Policy Committee and ratified by the councils of the member societies. This new instrument conceived three years ago at the Philadelphia conference of physicists, held under the auspices of the National Research Council, will in my estimation be as important to the furture of physics in America as was the establishment of the Institute itself. It is a magnificent working document that proclaims the unity of physics and that provides the foundation for as grand a structure as we may dare to imagine and build.

“It is gratifying to see the remarkably substantial body of publications for which the Institute and the member societies are responsible. The editors of both the society and the Institute journals are deserving of much praise and gratitude from physicists everywhere. They have played and continue to play a large part in building American physics into the great and sound structure that it has become. Deserving of special mention in the program of publication are Madeline Mitchell Tate and Margaret Griffin Dunbar. We pay them high tribute for their contributions to its success. How fortunate the Institute has been to have had their deep interest and loyalty and creative imagination!

“It is gratifying to me most of all to look back on the privilege that was accorded me during these seven years of working with this Board and with Dr. Barton and his staff. Keeping step with the growing activities of the Institute, the staff has grown from thirteen to thirty members in this time. It has been the able and energetic cooperation of all who had obligations to the Institute that was responsible for the progress. Never have I seen more willing and harmonious pulling together to reach specified objectives. Never have members of committees taken their responsibilities more seriously or been more conscientious in putting their best efforts into them.

“At the moment we are free from concern about financial matters. This happy situation by no means suggests a resting on the oars. The Policy Committee, so ably headed by Dr. Gibbs during the past several years, has plenty of problems on its docket. Should you ever have the impression that little remains to be done, you may quickly assure yourself that this is an illusion. Look at the Policy Committee’s list. Our immediate problem is the launching of the new journal “Physics”, which requires nothing more than “finding” another $35,000 and a really competent editor. Beyond that, there again loom the larger assignments of defining the terms physicist and professional physicist; of giving thought, as the engineering societies have been doing, to professional relations between physicists and those whom they serve, so that the Institute may be prepared to give wise counsel in such matters; of defining standards of instruction and training in physics, so that those who may meet such standards shall be worthy representatives of the profession. I think it in order to suggest that an occasional all-day meeting of the Governing Board for the special purpose of reviewing recommendations of the Policy Committee may be fruitful of results and therefore of value to the Institute.

“As we view the jobs ahead, would we venture to say with any assurance that the least important is to help develop in our body of individual members an increasing sense of responsibility as good citizens towards social and political problems? According to one of our distinguished elder statesmen, it was ‘up to the physicist to save the world’ during the war. Is it not also ‘up to the physicist’ to help save the world while there is a relatively peaceful interlude?

“For the important part that this Board, the editors, the Policy Committee, the director, and his staff have played in bringing about the gratifying things I have enumerated, I express my sincere thanks and appreciation.”

It was moved and unanimously voted that the Chairman’s report be included in the minutes and published in one of the Institute journals.

5. Report of the Secretary:

The Secretary reported actions by Mail Ballots on resolutions as follows:

  1. October 9, 1946:

    1. That the Governing Board approves the plan presented by the committee on a Retirement Plan for the Employees of the Institute and orders its adoption as of November 1, 1946. Fourteen favorable ballots were received; none opposed; one non-voting.

    2. That the Chairman of the Governing Board be empowered to appoint trustees and any necessary committees in connection with the Retirement Plan for the Employees of the Institute. Fourteen favorable ballots were received; none opposed; one non-voting.

  2. March 7, 1947:

    1. That Associate Memberships in the American Institute of Physics under the new Constitution be established immediately, waiving all but $1.00 of the regular dues for the year 1947 in the case of those applying before the first issue of the journal Physics is mailed, and

    2. That the Chairman be empowered to appoint immediately the Committee called for by Rule IX, Section 1 to approve the election of Associate Members.

On motion of Mr. Pegram it was voted

That the resolutions quoted from the Mail Ballots as above be confirmed as actions of the board.

6. Report of the Treasurer:

  1. At the request of the Treasurer, the Assistant Treasurer presented the Auditor’s Report for the year ended December 31, 1946 by Pasley and Conroy and stated that this report had been presented for examination at the Annual Meeting of the Corporation on February 28, 1947 and that a copy had been mailed to the Secretary of each Member Society.

  2. The Treasurer reported changes in investments recommended by the Finance Committee as follows:


    $35,000 U.S. Savings Bonds, Series G 2 ½% due November 1, 1958


    $25,000 U.S. Treasury Bonds 1-3/4% due June 15, 1948

Items of the report were discussed and explained and on motion it was voted

To approve the Treasurer’s report as presented.

The Board recommended that the Executive Committee should consider the advisability of putting an amount annually into the Building Reserve to supplement the amount already allocated.

7. Report of the Director:

Since the Director’s report for 1946 (Appendix B attached to the official minutes) had already been circulated to the Board Members, Mr. Barton did not discuss it at length but reviewed briefly its salient points.

Mrs. Margaret Griffin Dunbar summarized her report as Publications Manager (attached to and made a part of the Director’s report) and called attention to the fact that during 1946 the number of pages covered reached an all-time high; personnel and paper problems had proved very difficult; the department had published several bulletins for the societies in addition to the publication of the journals; and that a style manual for the journals published by and through the Institute is in course of preparation.

Mr. Barton read statistics of the AIP Placement Service held at recent meetings of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America and mentioned that the Institute had received many congratulatory comments from the registrants and from industrial corporations on the success of the Service.

The Director called attention to the list (Appendix C) of additional items which were currently receiving attention by the Executive Committee and the staff. A number of these items were discussed briefly but no actions were taken pending further study by the Policy Committee and Executive Committee.

8. Report of the Executive Committee:

  1. Budget for 1947: After explanation by Mr. Vorburger it was moved by Mr. Pegram, seconded and carried unanimously

    That the report of the Executive Committee with regard to the budget (Appendix D to the official minutes) be approved.

  2. The Secretary reported the conclusions of the Report of the Committee on Advertising Rates and Policies which had been submitted to and adopted by the Executive Committee. (Appendix E to the official minutes.)

  3. Mr. Barton reported that at the suggestion of the Editorial Committee, subsequently made a recommendation of the Executive Committee, all of the Member Societies had agreed to an increase from $3.00 to $4.00 in the pre-page publication charge of the journals published for the Societies.

  4. The Secretary reported that due to the rising printing and other costs an increase in the member and non-member subscription prices of the Review of Scientific Instruments and the Journal of Applied Physics of $1.00 had been voted effective July 1, 1947.

  5. The Secretary reported that the minutes of the Executive Committee will henceforth be circulated to all board members in order that they may be apprised of actions taken by the Committee.

  6. The Secretary read the minutes of the Executive Committee of March 25th, 1947 which included a motion to set the percentage of supporting contributions from the Member Societies for 1948 at 15%

9. Recommendations of the Executive Committee:

  1. Death of Former board member: The resolution which follows was moved, seconded and carried unanimously

    RESOLVED that the board received with regret the report of the death on October 30, 1946 of a former board member, Mr. Wilbur B. Rayton. Mr. Rayton was one of the original delegates from the Optical Society of America who joined in the development of the American Institute of Physics. He was president of the Optical Society in 1934 and a member of the Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics on nomination of the Optical Society from February, 1936 to February, 1942. At the time of his death he was director of the scientific bureau of the Bausch and Lomb Optical Company.

    The board takes this occasion to express its appreciation of the services to the Institute rendered by Mr. Wilbur B. Rayton when he was a member of the Board.

  2. Continuation of the Review of Scientific Instruments:

    Mr. Barton reviewed the reasons why it was felt desirable to continue the Review of Scientific Instruments and after discussion it was voted unanimously

    That contrary to the understanding at the time of the March 1, 1946 meeting, the board approves the recommendation of the Executive Committee that the Review of Scientific Instruments be continued.

(The meeting adjourned for lunch at 12:30 p.m. and reconvened at 1:40 p.m.)

10. Report of Editors of Institute Journals:

  1. The Review of Scientific Instruments: Mr. Harnwell outlined the future plans for the RSI and further stated that a large number of contributed manuscripts had been received which are now being considered and edited much more stringently than during the war years. The Current Literature section in the journal may be discontinued having fulfilled its emergency purposes during the war. Some articles appearing in the journal would be transferred to the new journal “Physics” when it is established and The Review would revert to its original purpose to be an instrument journal.

  2. Journal of Applied Physics: Mr. Hutchisson reviewed rather briefly the progress of the JAP for ten years. He presented a chart showing that the field which JAP should cover was an intermediate field lying between pure physics and the engineering sciences. He intends to cover this field with JAP except in the cases where Member Societies of the Institute have journals which cover particular branches of applied physics.

  3. Journal of Chemical Physics: Mr. Mayer discussed the flow of manuscripts being submitted for the Journal of Chemical Physics and noted a slight variation in the fields covered. He estimated that while the number of manuscripts received so far this year was not great the journal would nevertheless require approximately 1,000 pages in 1947. He indicated that he would welcome articles in the field of Nuclear Chemistry as being appropriate to the journal.

11. Report of AAPT representatives on American Council on Education:

Mr. Gibbs outlined briefly the activities of the Council and a written report will be attached when received.

12. Co-operative Committee on Science Teaching:

Mr. Barton quoted extensively from a letter submitted by Mr. L. W. Taylor, the Institute’s representative on the Co-operative Committee on Science Teaching, reviewing the work of the Committee in 1946 and the general progress made in the study of the problem of science teaching, and he recommended the continuation of the Institute’s participation in this activity.

13. Approval of Rules as Printed:

The Secretary recalled that at the time the Governing Board approved the amended Constitution for submission to the Societies, approval was also given to the Rules essentially as they have subsequently been printed and are attached herewith. However, this approval was given with the understanding that minor editorial changes could be made. At least one such change has been made and it is advisable to obtain at this time the approval of the Rules exactly as printed. Since, however, an amendment of the Rules requires the affirmative vote at a meeting of three-fourths of the full membership of the board, to wit, twelve votes, and there were actually present only eleven members of the board, it was impossible to take action. It was assumed that the Rules stand approved but they will be re-presented at the next meeting of the board together with possible further changes. Several suggestions were made in connection with the contemplated further revision of the Rules. It was decided that the Executive Committee should study this matter and submit a proposal to the board.

14. Jurisdictional Disputes Between Member Societies:

Mr. Barton read a letter from the Acoustical Society of America calling attention to the following resolution adopted by the Executive Council:

“MOVED that the Executive Council recommend that power be vested in the Governing Board of the Institute to settle jurisdictional questions between member societies and that the Secretary be instructed to transmit this recommendation to the appropriate officers of the Institute.”

After some explanatory remarks by Mr. Waterfall and further discussion it was decided that the matter should be allowed to stand pending developments which might make necessary its reconsideration.

15. Election of Affiliated Society:

The Director presented and discussed an application from the Cleveland Physics Society for affiliation with the American Institute of Physics.

On motion of Mr. Fletcher it was seconded and unanimously voted

That the Cleveland Physics Society be elected an Affiliated Society of the American Institute of Physics.

16. Report of the Nominating Committee:

Mr. Gibbs, a member of the nominating committee, of which the other members were Messrs. J. T. Tate, Chairman, and F. A. Firestone, reported the following nominations of officers for 1947:

Chairman George R. Harrison
Secretary Wallace Waterfall
Treasurer George B. Pegram
Assistant Treasurer Theodore Vorburger
Adviser on Publications John T. Tate

It was voted and carried unanimously that the Director be asked to cast a single ballot for the election of these nominees to the offices indicated.

The Director reported that the ballot had been so cast.

On motion it was voted

That the terms of office of the Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer and Adviser on Publications be for one year, i.e., until adjournment of the corresponding meeting of the Governing Board in 1948.

17. Appointment of Committees:

It was voted and carried unanimously

That the Chairman be authorized to appoint the following Committees.

  1. Executive Committee
  2. Policy Committee
  3. Publications Board
  4. Finance Committee
  5. Committee to Nominate Directors-at-large
  6. Committee for the Election of Associate Members.

18. Appreciation of Retiring Chairman’s Services:

It was on motion voted that the incoming Chairman appoint a committee to draft a suitable resolution in appreciation of the services rendered by the retiring Chairman. (To be attached when drafted.)

19. Suggestions for Committee to Nominate Directors-at-large:

Mr. Barton presented an outline of the suggestions prepared for the guidance of the Committee to Nominate Members-at-Large of the Governing Board. These suggestions received favorable comment.

20. The Board adjourned at 3:55 p.m.