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within the ASA. In 2017, Ernesto Accolti published a series of Acoustics Today interviews with accomplished Latin American acousticians (see Also, in 2020, several Acoustics Today articles were translated and published in the Spanish-language science magazine Ingenierías as part of the International Year of Sound (see Both of these endeavors have increased access to the ASA for the Spanish-speaking
community and have given the spotlight to commend- able Latin American acousticians from a variety of technical areas. We are hopeful our chapter’s endeavors will continue this trend of increased ASA involvement from Hispanic acousticians, increase awareness of chal- lenges experienced by professionals in Latin America, and foster regional development.
The SSA Chapter expects to see increased ASA member- ship and participation from our current members and greater representation of other technical areas in the coming months. We have several upcoming events and collaborations with the Committee to Improve Racial Diversity and Inclusivity (CIRDI; see, other ASA groups, and entities outside the Society. Ulti- mately, we hope to see more opportunities for Hispanic acousticians to be an active part of the ASA both virtually and in person because we see the Society as an invaluable resource for acousticians in the region and those acousti- cians as a source of growth for the ASA.
The SSA Committee strives to better understand the problems and limitations encountered by acousti- cians in Latin America. In June 2021, a survey was sent to all SSA members in which respondents were asked to describe their perspective on the opportu- nities for career development and education in their home countries in terms of access to proper education, employment, and economic stability. The responses, largely coming from acousticians in the field of AA, indicate that acoustics is not a well-developed profes- sion or subject of study in Latin America and that many acousticians from this technical area struggle to grow in their career paths. A common criticism expressed by survey respondents is the lack of governmental and institutional involvement in generating a regulatory framework that promotes acoustics for building design, construction, and environmental noise. Although we agree that such regulations could yield more opportuni- ties for acousticians in architectural acoustics and noise,
an equally important factor is increased industrial, sci- entific, and technological development, which could further incentivize talented acousticians to research, practice, and study in the region.
One respondent, who emigrated from his country of origin, said, “[In my home country] there are no job opportunities in acoustics, the few companies [that there are] do not have open positions.” Within Latin America’s struggling economies, it is especially challenging to start companies capable of hiring and appropriately compensat- ing professionals. Those with the appropriate education and experience are commonly considered “overqualified,” and thus positions end up filled by those who do not have sufficient education or expertise in acoustics.
Although most of the survey respondents are professionals in AA, there are Latin American acousticians from other disciplines who regularly contribute to the ASA through JASA, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics (POMA), and other means. However, we expect that these individu- als experience similar challenges related to professional development. For example, in an Acoustics Today interview with Gabriela Virginia Santiago, a Venezuelan acoustician focused on cognitive neuroscience, she comments, “[A]t least in Venezuela acoustics is seen as a completely new field of study and a lot of people do not know about acous- tics. Nevertheless, I think that the interest on acoustics is growing in the youngest generations from South America,” (see This interest is also noted in an interview with Jorge Arenas, who notes that academia was essential in bringing acoustical criteria into Chilean leg- islation, which was a direct result of global collaboration (see Individuals, like the above-men- tioned, work hard to bring exposure to acoustics to the region’s greater population and are pioneering and setting the bar for future work.
With acoustics being a growing field in Latin America, the SSA Committee believes that peer collaboration has a great potential to advance the field, further emphasizing the importance of connecting acousticians and pro- viding an outlet to facilitate regional development. “In the region, there are countries that are more advanced than others. I see a promising future as I see continuous growth, and that requires more knowledge, and more acoustic applications to solve problems in developing countries,” comments a member from Ecuador.
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