NAS Annual Meeting


THE NATIONAL ACADEMY of Sciences held its annual autumn meeting on the Caltech campus from November 2 to 4.  Over 80 members attended the meeting, which featured 50 papers on current research in astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, geology, mathematics, and physics.


The National Academy is one of the outstanding sci­entific organizations in the country, offering membership to only 500 American citizens and 50 foreign associates who have contributed major achievements to science.  Members from Caltech include 22 alumni and 27 staff members. Dr. Carl Neimann, professor of organic chemistry at Caltech, acted as general chairman at the autumn meeting.



Leaders of America


PAUL G. HOFFMAN, board chairman of the Studebaker Packard Corporation, spent four busy days on the Caltech campus last month as the first visitor in a new Leaders of America program being sponsored by the Caltech YMCA.  Under this program prominent statesmen will visit the campus for informal sessions with the students and faculty.  The visits are being financed by the YMCA from funds left in the will of the late Dr. Robert A. Millikan.


Future visitors to the campus in the Leaders of America series will be Justice William O. Douglas, author of books on civil liberties, American law, mountaineering and world travel, who will be at Caltech from January 22 to 27, and Dr. Ralph Bunche, who will he here the week of April 8.



New Trustee


RICHARD R. VON HAGEN, president of the Lloyd Corporation. Ltd., of Los Angeles. was elected last month to the Caltech Board of Trustees.  A member of the California Institute Associates since 1947, Mr. Von Hagen is president and director of the Oil Producers Agency of California, a director of the Western Oil and Gas Association, the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the United States National Bank of Portland, Oregon.


Mr. Von Hagen is a graduate of the Law School of the University of Southern California and a member of the Los Angeles Bar and the State Bar.  He worked for several years with the Los Angeles law firm of O’Melveny and Myers before joining the Lloyd Corporation.



Observatories Meeting


DR. VANNEVAR BUSH retiring president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and Dr. Caryl Haskins, president‑elect, visited Caltech and the Mount Wilson and Palomar Observatories last month, to confer with Dr. Ira S. Bowen, director of the Observatories and with other staff members.  The Observatories are operated jointly by the Carnegie Institution and Caltech,


Dr. Bush has been president of the Carnegie Institution since 1939.  He originated the plan for the wartime office of Scientific Research and Development and served as its director from 1911 to 1946.  He is now a member of the advisory committee of the National Security Resources Board.


Dr. Haskins assumes the presidency of the Carnegie Institution on January 1, 1956.  He established his own laboratories in New York to carry on biochemical, biophysical and other research, after receiving his PhD from Harvard in 1935.  While maintaining his research interests, he has held faculty appointments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Union College, Schenectady, and has served in a leading capacity as a research official and adviser to the government.



Honors and Awards


PRESIDENT L. A. DUBRIDGE has been named chairman of the Board of Trustees of the independent Air Pollution Foundation, succeeding Raymond B. Allen, chancellor of the University of California at Los Angeles.  Dr. DuBridge was one of the founders of the Air Pollution Foundation, a scientific organization de­voted to the elimination of smog.


DR. THEODORE VON KARMAN, director of the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratories, has been named chief of the planning board and a director of Gruen Precision Laboratories, Inc.  This newly formed subsidiary of the Gruen Watch Company of Cincinnati will engage in the engineering and development of precision products for national defense and industrial application.


ROBERT T. KNAPP, professor of hydraulic engineering, received the Melville Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, for the best original paper of the year (“Recent Investigations of the Mechanics of Cavitation and Cavitation Damage”) at the Society’s annual meeting in Chicago last month.  Chair­man of the Cavitation Committee of the hydraulic division of the ASME.  Dr. Knapp has been a national lecturer for the society for two years.