March 9, 1945

Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

I. The Governing Board met in the board room at the Institute Building, 57 East 55th Street, New York at 10:10 a.m.

Present: Mr. Klopsteg, Chairman, and Board Members, Messrs. T. D. Cope, R. B. Dow, F. A. Firestone, Harvey Fletcher, R. C. Gibbs, G. B. Pegram, J. T. Tate, L. W. Taylor, W. Waterfall, A. G. Worthing.

Absent: Messrs. L. A. DuBridge, K. S. Gibson, H. Mark, and N. W. Taylor.

Guests present:

  • Mr. Duane Roller, Editor, American Journal of Physics
  • Mr. Elmer Hutchisson, Editor, Journal of Applied Physics
  • Mr. Joseph E. Mayer, Editor, Journal of Chemical Physics

Associated Societies of AIP

  • Mr. Lester H. Germer, Representing American Society for X-Ray and Electron Diffraction (Morning Session only)
  • Mr. James Hillier, President, Electron Microscope Society of America
  • Mr. Sidney Siegel, President, Physical Society of Pittsburgh (Morning Session only)

The Physics Club of Philadelphia was represented by Mr. T. D. Cope, who is also a member of the Board. The Physics Club of Chicago did not expect to have anyone in the east at this time and had to forego “the pleasure of sending a representative.”

AIP Administrative Staff

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

II. The Secretary reported that at the Annual Meeting of the Corporation on February 28, 1945 Messrs. DuBridge, Gibson, Firestone, and Klopsteg, whose terms were to expire in 1945, were elected to succeed themselves respectively, and that the constitution of the Governing Board until the 1946 Annual Meeting of the Corporation is:


Membership of Governing Board, 1945
Nominated by   Term Expires
American Physical Society George B. Pegram 1946
John T. Tate 1947
Lee A. DuBridge 1948
Optical Society of America R. C. Gibbs 1946
A. G. Worthing 1947
K. S. Gibson 1948
Acoustical Society of America Wallace Waterfall 1946
Harvey Fletcher 1947
Floyd A. Firestone 1948
Society of Rheology Hermann Mark 1946
N. W. Taylor 1946
R. B. Dow 1946
American Association of Physics Teachers T. D. Cope 1946
L. W. Taylor 1947
Paul E. Klopsteg 1948

III. The minutes of the meetings of March 10, 1944 and April 14, 1944 were presented and on motion it was voted to approve them as presented.

IV. Report of the Chairman.

The Chairman offered no report.

V. Report of the Secretary.

  1. The Secretary reported, concerning a Mail Ballot on the question of authorizing the Institute to transmit to the Secretaries of the Founder Societies, for circulation among their officers and council members, a Preliminary Report of the Policy Committee on the Reorganization of Physics, dated January 3, 1945, that 13 ballots were favorable; none opposed.

  2. The Secretary reported that by Mail Ballot of August, 1945, fixing 15% as the fraction of dues collected by each member society in 1944 which will constitute that society’s contribution to the Institute in 1945, 12 favorable ballots were received; none opposed.

  3. The Secretary reported that official notice had been received from each member society that the governing board of that society had adopted the three resolutions necessary to put into effect the new plan of supporting contributions by the member societies to the Institute and that the societies each understands that the new plan is in effect as of January 1, 1945 rendering ineffective any clause or reference in a publication contract between a member society and the Institute.

For the record the three resolutions adopted by the Member Societies to set up the new plan are here recorded.


  1. That, subject to similar and concurrent action by the governing board of each of the other Founder Socieites the (name of Society) agrees to contribute annually to the support of the American Institute of Physics Incorporated in proportion to this Society’s income received in the preceding year as dues of individual members, of all classes, of the Society, provided

    1. that each Society shall contribute the same fraction of its similar income,

    2. that the said fraction shall not exceed 15%, and

    3. that the fraction to be paid each year be set by the Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics Incorporated and that notice of the fraction for the following year be sent to the secretaries of the Founder Societies prior to September 1 of each year;

  2. That this agreement as to contributions to the American Institute of Physics Incorporated shall be effective from the beginning of the calendar year following the receipt by the Secretary of this Society of official notice of

    1. similar and concurrent action by each of the other Founder Societies, and

    2. action by the American Institute of Physics Incorporated to release each of the Founder Societies from the 15% service charge provided in publication contracts with the Institute.

  3. That this agreement as to contributions to the American Institute of Physics Incorporated shall not be terminated by any of the Member Societies without at least a full year’s notice to each of the other Member Societies and to the Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics Incorporated.

Resolutions I and II were proposed by the Board to the Societies, Resolution III was added by the Societies.

On motion it was voted:

  1. That the Board ratifies the mail ballots as stated in V (a) and V (b) preceding and

  2. That the Board ratifies on its part the arrangements as stated in V (c) preceding for putting into operation this new plan of contributions from the societies in support of the Institute in substitution for the former plan of providing in publication contracts for a 15% fee for the support of the Institute.

VI. Report of the Treasurer.

  1. The Assistant Treasurer, Mr. Barton, presented the Auditor’s Report, for year ended December 31, 1944 by Pasley and Conroy, Certified Public Accountants, and stated that copies of this Auditor’s Report had been on hand for examination at the annual meeting of the Corporation and had been transmitted to the Member Societies. Items of the Auditor’s Report were discussed and explained in connection with VII below.

  2. The Treasurer reported the purchase or exchange of short term government bonds as follows:

    1. July 3, 1944, $25,000 U.S. Treasury, rate 1-3/4%. Maturity June 15, 1948.

    2. November 23, 1944, $15,000 U.S. Treasury Certificates 7/8%, maturing December, 1944 (Purchased December 1, 1943) exchanged for $15,000 U.S. Treasury Notes “C”, 0.90%, due January 1, 1946.

    On motion the actions of the Treasurer with respect to these investments were approved.

VII. Report of the Director.

Mr. Barton commented on a report on the activities of the Institute, including a summary of financial operations, copies of which were distributed to the members of the Board. A copy is attached to the official copy of these minutes.

Three topics were especially discussed but without formal action:

  1. The financing of the Institute Building
  2. Postwar personnel problems in Physics
  3. Need of better publicity at Society meetings.

VIII. Report of Editors of Institute Journals.

  1. Review of Scientific Instruments.

    Mr. Barton reported for Mr. Harnwell that the question of cooperation with a national instruments society in relation to the RSI might soon come up; that numerous local organizations interested in plant control instruments, rather than in scientific instruments, seem on the point of coalescing into a national organization. Mr. Harnwell had also raised the question of whether editorials by the editor should be published without previous sanction by the Board.

  2. Journal of Applied Physics.

    Mr. Hutchisson reported more good papers, by half, than this journal can publish with the restricted paper supply.

  3. Journal of Chemical Physics.

    Mr. Mayer claimed that this journal had shown an “indecent” profit this year, that there were hardly enough papers on hand to fill out the 1944 issues but that the diversion of a number of articles on high polymers, as presented at meetings of the High Polymer Division of the A.P.S., had helped in 1945.

IX. Report of A.A.P.T. Representatives on American Council on Education.

Mr. Gibbs presented a Report of which a copy is attached to the official copy of these minutes.

It was voted that the report be accepted and that the Director be asked to write to the secretaries of the organizations referred to in the last paragraph of the report urging the desirability of these organizations becoming constituent members of the American Council on Education.

On motion of Mr. Gibbs it was voted that the question of physics in relation to national security, with special reference to proposed universal military training, be referred to the Policy Committee for study and report to the Board.

Mr. Cope also called the attention of the Board members to a recent article by Dr. A. W. Hull on the proper training of physicists and to a Bulletin No. 10 sent out for High School Bulletin Boards by the Pennsylvania Conference of College Physics Teachers. This bulletin is headed “Physics is one of the most important subjects taught in high school.”

Recess for lunch was taken at 1:15 p.m. and the session resumed at 2:30 p.m.

X. New Business:

  1. Appointment of a Finance Committee.

    The Treasurer proposed the appointment of a Finance Committee, of not more than three members, preferably located in New York City, which committee should be available to officers of the Institute for consultation and advice on any matters of Institute finances, particularly investments, any question of accounting, and questions relating to business dealings.

    On motion it was voted to authorize the Chairman to appoint such a committee for 1945.

  2. Mr. Barton expressed the opinion that advertising rates on the Journals of the Institute may need upward revision soon.

    After some discussion, it was voted to refer the subject to the Executive Committee.

  3. The Director read a letter from Dr. Marsh White, transmitting a gift of a $500.00 Series F War Savings Bond to the Building Fund from Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics Honor Society). Dr. White expressed the hope that in the organization of the Institute there might be provision for student membership and student chapters.

  4. Support of Cooperative Committee on Science Teaching (Dr. Lark-Horovitz)

    It was voted that Mr. L. W. Taylor be asked to represent the Institute on the Cooperative Committee on Science Teaching for 1945, and that Mr. Taylor’s travel expenses to two meetings in the year, presumably in Chicago, be paid by the Institute.

  5. Appointment of Counsel.

    Mr. Barton explained that the member of the firm of Robinson & Henson who had actually been doing the legal work for the Institute since the appointment of that firm as counsel, namely Mr. Robert E. Lawther, had transferred from the firm of Robinson & Henson to the firm of Bate, Loeb, Klein & Churchill; that it seemed desirable for the Institute to continue to have the services of Mr. Lawther since he was most closely in touch with the City Tax Commission in connection with the question of tax exemption of the Institute; that correspondence with the firm of Robinson & Henson indicated that the Institute would be expected to pay Robinson & Henson the sum of $400.00 on account of work already done by that firm in connection with our tax case.

    On motion it was voted:

    That the Board authorize the settlement of claims of Robinson & Henson and the appointment of the firm of Bate, Loeb, Klein & Churchill as counsel for the Institute for the year beginning March 1, 1945 provided that a reasonable retainer can be arranged with the new firm.

XI. Report of the Executive Committee:

The Secretary reported the actions taken by the Executive Committee at its meetings of June 14, 1944 and January 19, 1945 and in several mail ballots.

On motion the Board voted approval of these actions as recorded in the minutes of the Executive Committee.

The Secretary reported that a resolution adopted by the Executive Committee on March 8 would more properly be reported following consideration of the report of the Policy Committee.

XII. Budget for 1945.

Mr. Barton presented a proposed budget for 1945 as authorized and recommended by the Executive Committee.

On motion it was voted to adopt this budget for 1945. Copy of this budget schedule is attached to the official mintues.

XIII. Report of Nominating Committee and Election of Officers.

Mr. Gibbs, for the Nominating Committee, of which the other members were Messrs. G. B. Pegram, F. A. Firestone, and L. W. Taylor, reported the following nominations of officers for 1945:

Chairman P. E. Klopsteg
Secretary Wallace Waterfall
Treasurer G. B. Pegram
Assistant Treasurer H. A. Barton
Assistant Treasurer for Payroll Account Madeline M. Mitchell
Adviser on Publications J. T. Tate

On motion it was voted without objection to ask the Secretary to cast one ballot for the nominees as stated. The Secretary reported the ballot cast. Mr. Gibbs, acting as momentary chairman by request, declared the nominees elected to their several offices to serve until the close of the next annual meeting of the Board.

Mr. Klopsteg resumed the chair.

On motion of Mr. Gibbs, the Board adopted the following resolution:

That the Board express grateful appreciation to Dean Pegram for his long and faithful service, and stimulating influence and guidance in the growth and maintenance of the Institute’s business in his capacity as secretary, and record our genuine satisfaction that with him as treasurer we shall continue to benefit from his penetrating insight into understanding of the manifold problems with which the Institute is concerned.

XIV. Appointment of Committees.

It was voted that the Chairman should appoint the following committees for 1945:

  1. Executive Committee
  2. Policy Committee
  3. Editorial Committee
  4. Physics Monographs Committee
  5. Physics Building Fund Committee
  6. Council on Applied Physics
  7. Finance Committee (see X above)

XV. Miss Mitchell and Mr. Tate were most respectfully asked to absent themselves temporarily. The remarks that were then made about the great part that each of them had taken in the successful development of the Institute, especially the unique part that Miss Mitchell has played, might have put a severe strain on their modesty had they remained present.

It was voted unanimously that although Miss Mitchell has arranged to leave at the end of June, her employment shall be continued to the end of August, with vacation from the end of June, in addition to any vacation she may otherwise be entitled to.

It was also voted that an amount of approximately $200.00 be expended on an appropriate wedding gift, preferably silver, for Miss Mitchell.

XVI. Report of the Policy Committee.

This “Preliminary Report of the Policy Committee on the Reorganization of Physics”, copy of which is attached to the official copy of the minutes, was taken up for discussion by the Board. Mr. Tate, Chairman of the Policy Committee, spoke briefly of the objectives of the Report and stressed the fact that it was to be considered as a preliminary report which the Policy Committee hoped would draw out vigorous discussion.

It was stated to the Board by Mr. Barton that copies of this Report had been sent to the secretary of each Member Society for distribution to the governing council of that society.

In the discussion of general features of the Report the question was raised as to whether the proposals of the Report are framed, as some of them may appear to be, in the belief that a reorganization of physicists should be directed toward attaining one strongly centralized organization, something like the American Chemical Society, with the present societies becoming subsidiary.

After general discussion the recommendations in Part II of the Report (pp. 2 and 3) were discussed one by one and an informal vote as to approval or disapproval was taken on some items.

    1. On an informal vote received 7 favorable and 3 unfavorable votes.

    2. It was agreed that the words “are not already performed by the Member Societies” could to advantage be replaced by “it can best be performed by an overall agency”.

      1. All seemed to approve.

      2. Agreed that it could be well clarified in wording

      3. 4. 5. and 6. Approval voted.

      1. 2. and 3. No vote on approval but no change proposed except on II. c, 3, it was agreed that the first line could better be worded “Establish the Institute as mediator in proposals of alternative methods of organizing activity in newly developing fields of physics to determine which shall be adopted.”

The second paragraph of III. a. which proposed the setting up of an office of President of the Institute was discussed and informally voted upon. No votes favored the President proposal, 3 were opposed.

There was extended discussion of the suggestions in III b. as to content of the proposed “General Journal”. It seemed to be agreed that only an editor plus experience with the journal can predict in detail what topics a journal should cover to be of general interest to physicists.

Recommendation of the Executive Committee.

At the conclusion of the discussion of the Report the Secretary was called on to present a resolution with recommendation to the Board which had been adopted by the Executive Committee at a joint meeting with the Policy Committee on the preceding day, March 8th.

In accordance with the recommendation of the resolution of the Executive Committee the Board voted to adopt the following resolution:

RESOLVED that the Board records agreement in principle with the objectives stated in the Preliminary Report of the Policy Committee, and that in accored with Section IV of the Report the Board authorizes the Policy Committee to appoint committees as therein suggested, also to call such conferences of physicists as may be desirable for consultation on any revisions or developments of the Preliminary Report; and that the Board requests the Policy Committee to report the results of its further work to the Board through the Executive Committee.

XVII. The Board adjourned at 5 p.m.