Page 8 - Fall2019
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From the Editor | Arthur N. Popper
In the last issue of Acoustics Today (AT), I wrote that we were using a new produc- tion group. In this issue, I am pleased to announce two
other changes for AT. First, we have added a digital object identifier (DOI) to each arti- cle. It is on the bottom of the
title page and should be used in citing the article to help easier access. I thank Dan Farrell, webmaster of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), for setting up the DOIs. Over time, Dan will assign DOIs to earlier issues of AT so that the articles can be accessed more easily.
I also want to thank Dan for his very creative revision of the AT website ( The look of the site has been refreshed and we now have a much more effec- tive approach in navigating to past issues. And “behind the scenes,” Dan has improved access to the PDFs of all past issues of the magazine.
The second addition is that ASA member Dr. Alexandra Tol- stoy is now the AT “artist in residence.” When doing the fall 2018 AT issue featuring women in acoustics, we “discovered” that Alex is a truly outstanding watercolorist. So we have invited her to provide paintings with acoustic themes that will appear in some issues. Most will be within the magazine as in the summer 2019 issue. However, Alex recently sent me a painting that captured the theme of several articles in this issue. It is the cover of this issue.
Now for this issue. I generally don’t have themes for issues or try to coordinate articles. Instead, I try to have a variety of articles that will appeal to the broad ASA membership. However, from time to time, we wind up with articles on related broad themes. This is one of those issues where envi- ronmental noise happens to be the feature of three of the six articles, even though the papers themselves are very different in the materials they address.
The first of these articles, by former ASA president Ilene Busch-Vishniac and Erica Ryherd, is about noise in hospitals and its impact on patients and health care providers. Ilene and Erica not only describe the myriad sources of noise, but they also provoke thinking about how to mitigate the sounds for the good of the patients and hospital staff. The second article, by Robert Dooling, David Buehler, Marjorie Leek, and
myself, is also about noise but from the perspective of birds rather than humans. We point out that the issues and ques- tions regarding birds and anthropogenic sound are not very different from those for humans.
The third article, by Timothy Duda, Julien Bonnel, Emanuel Coelho, and Kevin Heaney, is somewhat related to noise in that it considers modeling underwater sound propagation, includ- ing sounds produced by anthropogenic (man-made) sources. The authors provide a fascinating glimpse into the kinds of models being used today and share some insights into compu- tational modeling, the area of a new interest group in the ASA.
The fourth article (and the third featuring the effects of noise) is by Daniel Fink. Dan considers the important issue of noise and human health and considers the regulatory environment, a theme that also has a role in the articles on hospital noise and the effects of noise on birds. Many of the ideas that Dan brings together in this article were also the themes of inter- views he has given recently to many publications including
The Washington Post and New Yorker.
The fifth article, by Lawrence Rosenblum, discusses the fas- cinating issue of how different sensory modalities interact in the comprehension of speech. Larry discusses the impor- tant idea that the understanding of speech may be strongly influenced by other senses such as vision and touch. Our last article, by Oleg Sapozhnikov, Vera Khokhlova, Robin Cleve- land, Philippe Blanc-Benon, and former ASA president Mark Hamilton, is on nonlinear acoustics. The authors make the case that the world around us is more nonlinear than linear, and they bring together a fascinating set of arguments to support their point. As someone who is not familiar with nonlinearity, I personally found this very approachable article a wonderful education.
Our “Sound Perspectives” essays are equally diverse. As usual, we start with our running column “Ask an Acoustician,” this time featuring a young colleague who studies effects of anthropogenic sound on marine mammals (harping back to the noise theme), Dr. Sarah Marley. This is followed by an essay by Kelly Benoit-Bird in which she discusses her experiences working with the staff of New York’s American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) as they put together a new exhibit that features her research. As an aside, when Kelly first told me about her being featured in the exhibit,
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