The Organizational Congress of the Polish Physical Society was held in Warsaw on April 11, 1920, with the participation of delegates from Warsaw, Krakow, Lviv, Vilnius and Poznań. 30 years later, an eyewitness prof. Stefan Pieńkowski will say:
I can almost see a small laboratory room at the Warsaw University of Technology, which we used as a conference room. Our senior prof. Wladyslaw Natanson. The meeting probably had twenty or so people, including 18 founding members. We were all touched by the fact that we were just setting up a nationwide organization
In a solemn mood, the welcome speech, delivered by the chairman of the meeting, prof. Wladyslaw Natanson. The beginning of this speech sounded like a vow:
... bound in this Society, we resolve to serve our Nation zealously and faithfully. Our vocation makes us know and ponder Nature; from her, from the primeval mother, from the prototype of all that is, we want to learn, because she feeds us not only with daily bread, she gives us impressions, she awakens concepts, she produces our whole spiritual life We want to go together, go forward with great learning world; we want to take advantage of all the achievements of the broad universal thought, we want to participate cooperatively and actively in its unstoppable and magnificent procession. We want to learn continuously and help others to learn in order to contribute to the progress and, God willing, to the prosperity of the Nation, to fulfill our duty to its future generations....
After listening to the inauguration speech, the statute, previously discussed at meetings of physicists in individual university cities, was adopted and the Board composed of: Władysław Natanson (chairman), Stanisław Kalinowski (deputy chairman), members of the Board - Czesław Białobrzeski, Tadeusz Godlewski, Marian Grotowski, Stefan Pienkowski, Mieczyslaw Pożaryski. The treasurer of this first Main Board was M. Pożaryski, and the secretary - M. Grotowski. Pursuant to the statute, the Management Board appointed the chairmen of the local branches to its members. The focus of the Society's work2 in the form of scientific meetings and popular lectures shifted to the newly created local branches.
The former Physical Society in Warsaw was transformed into the Warsaw Branch of PPS (May 1920). The Kraków branch was established at the same time, the Vilnius branch - in March 1920, and the Lviv branch - the following year. The Poznań Branch was established from the Poznań Physical Society in June 1923. It was officially admitted to PPS at the General Assembly in 1924.
The Statute of PPS was legalized on May 19, 1920. A copy of it, covering 7 pages of typescript, is kept in the Archives of the Jagiellonian University. This statute, apparently, unlike the statutes of other scientific societies, has never been published.
The Polish Physical Society aims to combine and associate in joint and harmonious work the activities of people who deal with research in the field of physics or related sciences in Poland, or who devote themselves to teaching and disseminating these sciences in Poland, or who are finally interested in their development and progress and wish to help it.
The Society may also try to facilitate its members' activities in the above-mentioned scope and assist the Society in all available ways. Physics and its related sciences should be understood in the preceding sentences as both pure, i.e. theoretical, branches of the skills in question, as well as their application in practical life.
Despite later minor amendments to the statute, this paragraph did not undergo substantive changes for several years in the interwar period.
One of the further paragraphs (§ 5), entitled: The activities of the Society, contained a framework program of work: holding scientific meetings, organizing lectures, readings, exhibitions and trips, convening conventions and conferences, joining international physical associations (unions), establishing laboratories and libraries, publishing reports on works, journals and other publications, granting grants and prizes for the sake of scientific work, submitting memorials to the authorities, issuing opinions and information.
Members were divided into real and honorary.
The General Assembly was supposed to be held on an annual basis. The term of office of the Management Board and Audit Committee elected at the General Meeting lasted 3 years. The Main Board, apart from 7 persons elected at the General Meeting (chairman, vice-chairman and 5 members of the Board), included the chairmen of all local Branches.
Local branches could be established provisionally on the basis of a written wish of a sufficient number of members, provided that they were authorized by the Main Board (§ 13); however, this required the sanction of the next General Meeting.
As the founders are listed in the statutes of 3 people: in addition to the already mentioned St. Kalinowski and M. Grotowski, the name of Stefan Pieńkowski appears here, who from then on, for 33 years, until his death, will be one of the most active members of the Society, bearing the main burden of organizational work.
Zofia Mizgier "Establishment and development of the Polish Physical Society part. II” Postępy Fizyki 1978, issue 29, p. 67
Prof. Stanisław Kalinowski
Prof. Marian Grotowski
Prof. Stefan Pienkowski
Commemorative plaque of the founding congress