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From the Editors | Arthur N. Popper and Micheal Dent
  This “From the Editor” was written by both Arthur Popper (editor) and Micheal Dent (associate editor). We jointly wrote this piece because it arose from Micheal’s question to Art about the lack of women as first authors of articles in some issues of Acoustics Today (AT). As a consequence of this question, we decided to review the distribution of articles by women in AT along with our overall goal to, over multiple issues of AT, ensure that articles reflect the technical committee (TC) diversity of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA).1
What we realized as we started to analyze the articles is that we could do better in ensuring that we have women taking the lead in articles in AT. That is, other than in our special fall 2018 issue (see, Micheal was right in observ- ing that a number of issues of AT have had few or no women as lead authors on articles. This is of considerable concern to us because the one thing that we have tried to do is to use AT to help increase the visibility and impact of women in acoustics in general and in the ASA in particular, not only through the special issue but also by having regular “Sound Perspectives” essays from our Women in Acoustics Committee.
So, we started to ask how we can rectify this situation. We quickly realized, however, that there are two issues that stand in the way of ensuring such diversity. First, women currently make up 18.6% of ASA members. This means that the pool of female ASA members that we can draw on to write articles for AT is small. Importantly, this also highlights the issue of ASA member diversity and inclusion, with AT authorship being only a small part.
Second, the majority of women in ASA are in three TCs: Animal Bioacoustics, Psychological and Physiological Acoustics, and Speech Communication. Combined, women make up 36% of
1 We thank ASA Past President Judy Dubno and incoming ASA President Diane Kewley-Port as well as ASA Editor in Chief Jim Lynch for very helpful comments on earlier drafts of this essay. We also thank the ASA office for providing some of the data used herein.
the membership in these three TCs but average only 12.3% of the membership in all the other TCs. This means that the women we can call on to do articles is biased toward three TCs, thereby impacting a “prime directive” for AT that stipulates that we work to having a balance of articles across all TCs.
So, the question arises as to how to increase the number of women lead authors of AT articles without impinging (too much!) on our goal of having subject matter diversity. Adding to the immediate challenge is that the content of issues in AT is set 12-18 months in advance of an issue date to give authors sufficient time to fit writing articles into their already very busy schedules. And when we look at forthcoming issues, men are the preponderance of authors, so we have a lot of catching up to do.
Still, we want to address this problem by increasing the number of articles led by women as soon as we can. Therefore, with the strong support of ASA Editor in Chief Jim Lynch, we are going to increase the number of articles (assuming we can get authors) in many of the upcoming “filled” issues so that there is at least one, and better yet two, articles with women as lead authors in all issues. We have also already asked that TC chairs recommend women in their TCs who might write articles. And at the advice of several women leaders in the ASA to whom we have reached out, we will look outside the ASA membership to invite women in several technical areas to be lead authors on AT articles, with a secondary goal of introducing these women to the Society.
Finally, we are using this editorial to ask the general ASA membership for ideas on how we can increase diversity in AT authorship (and this request is not limited to gender!). In par- ticular, we would very much value suggestions from individuals from groups underrepresented as AT authors who might poten- tially write articles for AT. If you have ideas, feel free to write either of us ( or We can promise that every suggestion will receive a thoughtful response and be given substantial consideration.
Now to this issue. In our first article, Grant Dean, Oskar Glowacki, Erin Pettit, and M. Dale Stokes discuss underwa- ter sounds produced by glaciers. In this article, we learn that glacier sound provides long-range insight into changing condi- tions in polar regions. The second article, by David Dall’Osto, also deals with underwater sound propagation but for very dif- ferent purposes. In his article, Dave discusses how underwater
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