The twentieth anniversary Celebration of the founding of the American Institute of Physics should also be a time for taking stock. The world has often been told that the Institute is an independent nonprofit organization of physicists designed to assist in the publication of the results of physical research, to maintain a cooperative bond among scientists specializing in the various fields of physics, and to improve and clarify the relations between physicists and the rest of society. The words so often used to describe the official aims of the Institute have a purposeful and praiseworthy ring, but it is important that their meaning be reviewed occasionally to make sure that this ring maintains its proper distribution of harmonics.

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