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Sound Admlmstratlve Committee Report:
P°""°°""°s Panel on Pu bllc Policy
Edward]. Walsh The primary mission of the Panel on Public Policy is to represent the interests
Address: of the general public on matters afpublit policy related to acoustics and the ad-
Cemer for Applied and —nanS1mDna_l vuncement of science (hitly/2TUu7wE).
Sensory Sciences
Depanmem Dfspeedr Language‘ in Iune 2001, at the Chicago meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA),
Hearing Sciences the President and Executive Council authorized the formation of an ad hoc Panel
University OfM_inmSom_ Twin cities on Public Policy. The inaugural meeting of the Panel convened at the Pittsburgh
Nfimeapufis‘ M-“meson 55455 meeting in June 2002 and was integrated into the ASA infrastructure as an Admin-
USA istrative Committee in 2007. Now, nearly 20 years later, the Panel continues its work
_ to identify and address public policy concerns related to acoustics and the advance-
Emml: ment ofscience. This is the essential purpose of the Panel and its mission aligns with
ewalsh@“mn'Ed“ but also extends the Society’s commitment “to generate, disseminate, and promote
the knowledge and practical applications of acoustics” (acousticalsocietyorg).
During its first 17 years of operation, the Panel focused on a number of questions
with relatively wide-ranging societal, cultu.ral, and global implications, However,
within this larger framework, :1 significant fraction of time and effort has been
devoted to societal concerns centering on the influence of noise on a variety of
human as well as on nonhuman animal activities. From concerns related to the
acoustic environment of the classroom to the soundscape of our national parks,
cities, and oceans, Panel members work to determine whether it is in the inter-
est of the Society and its members, and to society more generally, to prepare and
advance policy positions on questions of science and human rights that arise in the
workplace, in the halls of justice, and the corridors of government. The Panel has
considered numerous policy-related questions over its lifetime, including:

( 1) What should the ASA have to say on reverberation times and noise levels
in classrooms?

(2) What guidance can the ASA ofler policy makers on the complex question of
anthropogenic ocean noise and its impact on marine mammals and other
forms of sea life?

(3) Should the Society weigh in on the question of universal rights of persons
with disability?

These, and many other like-minded questions, occupy the attention of the Panel on

Public Policy at each ASA meeting.

Now, as the Panel emerges from its nearly two decades of operation, a new course has

been set and new challenges await its members. in addition to the implementation

of a restructuring plan designed to further enhance inclusivity (see Reorganization

and Inclusivity), two initiatives with the capacity to alter the tenor as wdl as the

structure of future meetings were considered at the ASA meeting in Victoria 2018.

One outcome of those deliberations was a consensus to place greater emphasis on

questions relating to the rights of acousticians, scientists, and engineers around the
©2019 Acoustical Society 1:] America. All rights reserved. volume 15, usuzz 1 Summer 21:19 | Aa=:uIH|:I‘1'b:lIy [ 51
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