Page 60 - Summer2019
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Panel on Public Policy
world to carry out their work in a free and open environment. of extreme weather and the attendant disruption of other-
A second initiative to concentrate more attention on envi- wise stable planetwide natural systems affect the work of ASA
ronmental concerns related to acoustics was also advanced. members studying underwater acoustics; colleagues trarlcing
Although both of these areas have been of interest from the the influence of anthropogenic noise on the health and wel-
earliest days of operation of the Panel, the decision renews fare of terrestrial and aquatic species; or efforts to monitor
the commitment of the Panel to these public policy concerns atmospheric and oceanic conditions? Attention to these and
by integrating two new subcommittees, the ASA and Human the myriad other climate change concerns will occupy the
Rights Subcommittee and the Sound and the Environment work of Panel members serving on this subcommittee as the
Subcommittee, as part of its infrastructure. work of the Panel presses on.
The Acoustical Society of America and Human Reorganization and lnclusivity
Rights Subcommittee Structural rules established early on in the life of the Panel
Although the ASA has a long record of commitment to a called for the involvement of a diversity of the many techni-
human rights agenda, that commitment was recently rein- cal areas comprising the ASA membership. This structural
vigorated by accepting an invitation to become a Member requirement was formulated to ensure that “no Technical
Organization of the American Association for the Advance- Committee or other ASA constituency hold a majority vote
ment of Science (AAAS) Science and Human Rights of the whole (billy/2TUu7wE).” Although efforts to satisfy
Coalition (SHRC; The mission of the this directive have been to a large extent successful in that
SHRC is centered on the tenets of Article 15 of the Interna- all 13 technical committees (TCs) have been represented on
tional Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (bit, the Panel at one time or another, a proposed rule change
ly/ZMOWMWA), an international covenant that is an out- will ensure that this goal is achieved on an ongoing basis.
growth of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights To ensure representation from each TC, a liaison from each
(bitJy/ lO8f0nS). There are four principal elements that form committee will have a seat on the Panel and will be tasked
the core of Article 15, and they serve as an operational frame- with the responsibility of representing the interests of the
work for the work of the ASA in the human rights arena. Panel at each TC meeting by reporting on the proceedings
(1) Recognize the right of everyone to enjoy the benefits of of each meeting and soliciting input related to public policy
scientific progress and its applications. questions and concerns from its members. By opening a
(2) Conserve, develop, and dilfuse science and culture. direct channel of communication, our goal is to achieve the
(3) Respect the freedom indispensable for scientific research. Society’s mandate and air a full and robust consideration of
(4) Recognize the benefits of international contacts and ASA-relevant public policy interests.
cooperation in the scientific and cultural fields.
Arguably, the work of the ASA in this area has been blunted Public Policy. the Acoustical Society of America.
by the lack of an operational procedure within the Society to and the Future
monitor, prepare reports, and pass action recommendations There is much more to say with regard to where the Panel
to the Executive Council regarding human rights questions on Public Policy is heading than it is about its accomplish-
and issues that relate to the mission of the ASA. Although ments, which are substantial intheir own right. Although the
that work has been, and continues to be, authoritatively publication of ASA Policy Statements (, brief
informed through our association with the SHRC, the vision declarations stating the position of the ASA on questions of
and mission of the ASA in this arena will be served more public policy, have been the mainstay of the work of the Panel
directly by ramping up our own internal attention to human thus far, as the Panel moves forward, members of the Panel
rights questions that are immediately relevant to the Society as well as of the ASA membership at large will be encour-
as the work of the Panel moves forward. aged to consider the implementation of other, more extensive,
policy-promoting instruments. In addition to issuing policy
Sound and the Environment Subcommittee statements, the founders of the Panel, former Executive
The charge of the Sound and Environment Subcommittee is Director Charles Schmid, then-President William Hartman,
to identify concerns related to the impact of climate change and the first chair of the ad hoc Panel, Edward Walsh, envi-
on the alfairs of the acoustic community. How will the impact sioned the limited publication of more detailed reports and
53 | Ana.-H=I1'br.tuy| Sumtner2D[9

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