Page 8 - Summer 2018
P. 8

From the Editor | Arthur N. Popper
 This issue of Acoustics Today (AT) continues my intent to ensure a reasonably balanced representation of the different technical areas of the Acousti- cal Society of America (ASA).
One of the things I’ve noticed in analyzing the different technical committees is that although the ASA has many members in the area of speech, there have had relatively few articles in that area. Therefore, we have two articles in this is- sue that cover some rather interesting and intriguing aspects of the topic.
One of these speech articles is by Kenneth de Jong, who raises an issue I had certainly not thought about, the me- chanics of producing speech sounds in different languages. In his article, Ken makes note that one basis for people hav- ing accents when they speak a new language is that they are trained in the mechanics of speech in their native tongue and then have to learn a new set of mechanics for the second language.
The other speech article is by Matthew Winn. Matt shares interesting insights into how we hear sounds. He makes the point that in listening we don’t always just use the sound, but that context, including things we see, can have an impact on what we think we hear.
Gabrielle (Elle) O’Brien is a student member of the ASA, completing her doctorate at the University of Washington, Seattle. Elle is interested in scientific communication and the history of science. In this issue, Elle writes about the fascinating collaboration between the very great conductor Leopold Stokowski and one of the founders (and the first president) of the ASA, Harvey Fletcher. I was sufficiently impressed with Elle’s writing and her interest in the history of acoustics and science communication to invite her to be- come an AT intern and write a series of short essays on the history of our field. Please look for her essays starting in the next few months at
Last year, I was contacted by Cristina Tollefsen with the idea for an article on the history of Canadian naval contributions to underwater acoustics. I was intrigued by the idea, and the fascinating article is in this issue. Cristina not only came up with a great deal of interesting information, but she also
6 | Acoustics Today | Summer 2018
delved into the Canadian naval history archives to find some very wonderful old images that are worth browsing.
As we age, one of the medical issues that arises is osteoporo- sis. It turns out that there are a number of acoustic methods to help manage the disease, and these are discussed by Keith Wear, Brent Hoffmeister, and Pascal Laugier in their article. I, for one, was not aware of much about osteoporosis, and this article provides a very valuable insight that is important for many of us.
This issue also contains a number of Sound Perspectives es- says you might find interesting. One of these, by ASA editor in chief Jim Lynch, along with Elizabeth Bury, Mary Guil- lemette, and Helen Wall Murray, is longer than the usual es- says, but it provides great insight and a lot of information about ASA publications. The ASA editorial staff has been working very hard to improve the quality of ASA publica- tions not only to ensure much faster publication times but also to moving our publications ahead in many other ways. Jim and his colleagues discuss these efforts and future plans in this essay.
Also, Jim’s article has a great photo showing most of the members of the ASA publication team. The purpose of the photo is to make it easier for you to identify the members of the team at ASA meetings; they are always delighted to talk about the ASA publication program.
In other essays, we continue our “Ask an Acoustician” series with an interview of 2018 ASA Gold Medal winner William Yost. Bill, whom I am honored to call a longtime and close friend, has made many contributions to acoustics and to the ASA, and it is really interesting to get his perspective on a number of issues.
We also have an essay about the ASA Archives and History Committee written by its chair, Fredericka Bell-Berti. This is one committee I knew almost nothing about, and we learn that the members do fascinating things. In particular, they are looking for ASA members (who do not have to be mem- bers of the committee) to help interview senior acousticians for the ASA archives. If you think you can help, please do contact the group at or
The final essay continues the series about our Committee on Women in Acoustics. Through a series of wonderful vignettes, Continued on page 8

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