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comprehensive white papers that address policy matters of Fancy Maklng and Policy lmwemmmlun

vital interest to the organization. Although policy—related 1' ‘WM, smlng

documents of this ilk are unexercised thus far, that situation “flaw. “mm

can and should change. The ASA is recognized as the worlds \€‘l7

premier acoustics society and, as such, a solid argument can ‘-T %

be made that the responsibilityto provide data-driven, objec- TW'F  V T — — — \- — —
tively prepared, and authoritatively written scientific reports Mg, M... ., .. ..,........,., REVLg,0~l 5' Fun" Enmwon

. . . mnbm-ncyumum-cr... ~c Pwcyuuyn-mbmuummu

on questions of relevance to the acoustics commumty falls  ‘xx nu
squarely in the lap of the Society. There is no doubt that the ,. _,, V  ' _ 3?’ m '

cost of conducting business at this level is high, in terms of gll’  "”“”, .
both human energy and financial resources, but the cost of (

inaction on this front may very well be even higher. \

J. Policy Aaopuon \_

The Politics of Science and Public Policy mtgagkw ‘ PM WWW“
Although not an innately political organization, the ASA 5‘ 6evuvlVI!flll9E'||='=5|'5‘W'V*
leadership understands the essential role that scientists, engi- mwgflm

neers, and scientific organizations play in the formulation , 

of public policy relating to the scientific and technologically

complex acoustics questions of the day One broad question Figure 1. Policy making is a cyclical process. It begins in the agenda-
that emerges from this understanding is both apparent and setting stage with recognition and defrnilian af a significant public
foundational: "Do all public policy questions centering on prolilem and an organized call to government action. In response.
‘acoustics’ demand input from acousticians?”Alucid,ifquar- the legislative and bureaucratic machinery of government may
relsome, reply to that question one may argue is yes. lfan formulate, adapt. and implementa strategy foraddrgsingthe problem.
issue rises to a level of societal interest such that policy con- Analysis of policy effectiveness, in turn, often reveals shortcomings in
siderations are initiated, then balanced, rigorously objective, formulation or implementation or new problems In add to the policy
scientifically validated guidance from experts in the area is agenda. Adapted from “A Diagram of the Policy Making Process,’ with
important, if not essential. permission (bitty/2[j‘/I.2Sk).

A second and equally critical question emerging from a dis-

cussion regarding the future of public policy and the ASA is The Cyclical Nature of the Policy-M aking

to what extent our Society should invest in this arena. The Process

answer to that question, one might argue, depends on the Before concluding, it may be worth reviewing the process
nature of the specific question under consideration, primar- whereby public policy is enacted. It is cyclical in nature, as sug-
ily its complexity. Teclmologically sophisticated and complex gested in the form of the flow chart shown in the Figure 1.
questions will, of necessity, demand the consumption of

greater resources than simpler ones. Furthermore, eiforts From the critical agenda-setting stage to the implementation
to prioritize policy concerns within the organization are and evaluation stages of the process, one key question that
expected to play a larger role in Panel planning as inclusivity scientific and engineering organizations like the ASA have to
goals are achieved and the magnitude of the need for policy— internalize and resolve is the extent to which participation in
driven engagement increases. Panel members welcome that each stage in the process should be formalized. To what extent
challenge and urge members of the Society, especially stu- and how, for example, should the ASA strive to take the lead
dents and more junior members, to join us in this endeavor. in setting an agenda related to relevant public policy questions
Consider contributing to the process by sharing policy within the acoustics community are essential considerations
concerns with TC Panel liaisons and by attending the open when contemplating a coherent plan of engagement It is at the
meetings of the Panel. A more inclusive Society is, without early agenda-setting stage in the process that the influence of
question, a vital, more progressive, and forward-thinking engagement can be most significant and most lasting. Solid sci-
Society. Lend your voice to this call for action and help take entific and engineering guidance based on rigorously applied
the ASA to new heights in the policy-making realm. rules of objectivity and reason, promulgated in a Eree and open

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