The founding congress
The Organizational Congress of the Polish Physical Society (PTF – Polskie Towarzystwo Fizyczne in Polish) took place in Warsaw on April 11 1920, with the participation of delegates from Warsaw, Krakow, Lviv, Vilnius and Poznan.
"I can almost see today a small laboratory room at the Warsaw University of Technology, which served us as a conference room. Our senior leader was prof. Władysław Natanson. The meeting probably counted twenty or several more people, including 18 founding members. We were all moved by the fact that we are establishing a nationwide organization, "- says 30 years later an eyewitness - prof. Stefan Pieńkowski.
In an sublime atmosphere, a welcome speech was given by the chairman prof. Władysław Natanson. The beginning of this speech was like an oath:
... "bound in this Society, we resolve earnestly and faithfully to serve our Nation. The vocation requires us to experience and contemplate the Nature; from her, from the great mother country, from the protoplast of everything that is, we want to learn, because she feeds us not only with everyday bread, she arouses impressions in us, she raises concepts, she creates all our spiritual life. We want to go together, go forward with great science of the world; we want to use all the achievements of a broad all-human mind, we want to participate jointly and actively in its unstoppable and wonderful procession. We want to learn continuously and help others to learn, to contribute to progress and, God will, to the flowering of the Nation, in order to fulfill our duty to its future generations "....
After listening the inaugural address, the statute discussed previously at the physicist meetings in individual university cities was adopted, and the Board was elected: Władysław Natanson (chairman), Stanisław Kalinowski (deputy chairman), members of the Board - Czesław Białobrzeski, Tadeusz Godlewski, Marian Grotowski, Stefan Pieńkowski, Mieczysław Pożaryski . The Treasurer of this first General Board was M. Pożaryski , secretary - M. Grotowski. According to the statute, the Board appointed chairmen of local branches to its group. Main challenges of the Society's activity in the form of scientific meetings and popular lectures, in turn, has turned over to newly created Local Branches.
The existing Physical Society in Warsaw has been transformed into the Warsaw Branch of the PTF (May 1920). The Cracow branch was established at the same time, Vilnius - still in March 1920, Lviv - the following year. The Poznan Branch was formed from the Poznan Physical Society in June 1923. It was officially admitted to the PTF at the General Assembly in 1924.
The statute of the PTF was legalized on May 19, 1920. The copy of the manuscript contains seven pages is located in the Jagiellonian University's archives. This statute, it seems, contrary to the statutes of other scientific societies, was never published.
"The Polish Physical Society aims to combine and associate in the joint and consistent work the activities of people who conduct research in Poland in the field of physics or related sciences, or devote themselves to teaching and popularization these sciences in Poland, or are finally interested in their development and progress and they want to serve it.
The Society may also seek to facilitate its members' activities in the above-mentioned scope and help in all available ways. Through physics and its related sciences, it should be understood, in the preceding sentences, both the pure, or theoretical areas of skills, as well as their application in practical life ".
In spite of later minor amendments to the statute, this paragraph for over a dozen years in the interwar period did not change substantively.
One of the following paragraphs (§ 5), entitled: The Society Activities included a framework program of work: holding scientific meetings, arranging lectures, readings, exhibitions and trips, convening congresses and conferences, entering into international physical unions, establishing laboratories and libraries , issuing reports on works, journals and other publications, awarding grants and awards for the purpose of academic work, bringing memorials to the authorities, issuing opinions and information.
Members were divided into real and honorable ones.
The General Assembly was to be held annually. The term of the General Board and the Audit Commission elected at the General Meeting lasted three years. In addition to 7 people elected at the General Assembly (chairman, vice-chairman and 5 members of the Board), the head of all local branches was included in the General Board.
Local branches may have been created provisionally on the principle of a written number of wishes of a sufficient number of members, but with authorization of the General Board (§ 13); however, it required the sanction of the next General Assembly.
As the founders, the statute lists three people: in addition to (...) Kalinowski and M. Grotowski, recalls the name of Stefan Pieńkowski. From now on, until the age of 33, until his death, he will be one of the most active members of the Society, bearing the main burden of organizational work.
Zofia Mizgier „Powstanie i rozwój Polskiego Towarzystwa Fizycznego cz. II” Postępy Fizyki 1978, z. 29, s. 67 (translated by K. Petelczyc)
Prof. Stanisław Kalinowski
Prof. Marian Grotowski
Prof. Stefan Pieńkowski
Memory plaque of the founding congress