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example, multimedia is easily integrated within all the expandable panel sections of a poster. Interaction with the authors is available during sessions and, at the authors’ preference, outside of sessions as chats and individually by appointment. Narration by authors could be recorded for the whole poster or for individual panels. The poster platform enabled a smaller number of posters to be grouped by topic into shorter sessions. Feedback will help determine how well this poster format succeeded in supporting the culture of the ASA for poster presentations.
On behalf of the Society, I express enormous gratitude and accolades to our staff at ASA headquarters for planning and executing all aspects of AVE. Scheduling our diverse events is always quite challenging because some events have unusual requirements (e.g., miniconcerts, workshops, keynote addresses). Adding to this in AVE was new technology that required time- consuming research, demonstrations, and decisions.
Thank you very much ASA staff!
We are also very grateful to Andy Piacsek who chairs the Virtual Technology Task Force (VTTF). VTTF suggested virtual platforms based on screen loads of reports about recent meetings. They also evaluated visits to other online meetings. Then, a subcommittee led by James Lynch turned to social interactions. It had fun and serious discussions about replacing typical socials but still including informal hallway discussions. Two students joined the subcommittee, both for their technical expertise and to plan student socials. Options for making AVE an enjoyable as well as a productive meeting were implemented. Again, this first effort is a test bed for ASA virtual socials that will be revised and expanded at future meetings. Your feedback is needed!
How the Executive Council Manages the Acoustical Society of America in 2020 Along with the challenges that everyone has faced in 2020,
boards of scientific societies have been forced to move at a breath-taking pace. Fortunately for our Executive Council (EC) board, last year, Past President Victor Sparrow instituted monthly EC teleconferences on a trial basis. Beyond the improved communication, the EC soon found that teleconferences worked more effectively because they addressed problems as they arose rather than waiting for infrequent in-person meetings. Now, monthly online meetings have become essential and are already the accepted means to
conduct EC business. For example, in March 2020, the ASA leadership hastened to change planned meetings in face of the pandemic. More recently, in June, antiracism protests arose in response to killing of Blacks by police. The ASA rapidly took a stand that condemned racial injustice (see the statement online at and then turned inward to examine systemic racism in STEM. Two committees have helped the EC tackle important issues related to racism.
Acoustical Society of America Committee to Improve Racial Diversity and Inclusivity
Under the leadership of EC member Tyrone Porter, the ASA is moving forward with specific actions and programs to address why few Blacks and other peoples of color participate in our Society. Porter describes how and why the new ad hoc CIRDI was established (see his “Sound Perspectives” essay on page 75). CIRDI is largely made up of current and former ASA leaders. Guided by Porter, we are reexamining the role of systemic racism and how it affects the ASA and science more generally. In particular, we have read and discussed in depth several resources that are now available on the ASA new diversity initiatives website (see Particularly informative on this website are recent reports from the American Institute of Physics (AIP) entitled the
“TEAM-UP Task Force Report” and its “Appendix 9.” I encourage all members of ASA to read these.
Together, we believe that the ASA can make progress in attracting more Blacks into acoustics and acoustic- related fields by targeting specific problems that can be accomplished. One step in this process was to write goals for the CIRDI in a mission statement.
This mission statement (see enabled two important outcomes. First, it was presented to the EC and thoroughly discussed, and then the CIRDI was approved as an ad hoc ASA committee. This step widened the group of ASA members scrutinizing systemic racism and how the ASA proposes to move forward. Next, the CIRDI broadcast these intentions more widely by publishing the mission statement on the diversity initiatives website.
Second, the CIRDI is empowered to seek funds to underwrite projects that we envision. For example, the
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