International Year of Sound 2020-2021

Sound and Society

Sound is omnipresent in our lives. Some sounds are useful, some are enjoyable. Some sounds are intrusive, some are hazardous


Approaching the close of the IYS 2020-2021

As the International Year of Sound 2020-2021 approaches the end, we begin to review and consolidate what has been achieved over this two year period. The activities and resources that have been compiled on the website truly reflect the support and enthusiasm from the member societies and other organisations to embrace the concept and in their own way endeavor to promote the importance of sound in our world.

The website has been pivotal to the success of the IYS. The number of visits to the site reached a high of 8,880 for March 2020 and has continued between 4,000 and 6,000 visits per month for both 2020 and 2021.

The central actions by the ICA involved the opening at the Sorbonne University in January 2020, the production of the film which is available in short and long version, and the international student competition. This student competition received over 650 entries for the primary school level and approaching 100 stanzas and videos for the high school level. There will be various closing events around the world with the final closing during the ICA congress in Korea, 24-28 October 2022.

The structure of the IYS relied on the local societies to organise activities. The majority of those were planned to occur soon after the opening in February 2020 and unfortunately had to be cancelled or postponed while developing alternative ways to hold the event. As the year unfolded and we all began to realise that we could continue to promote the message using modern technology, many novel and innovate activities were added to the program. Close to 200 events have been held in 31 countries.

In the resources category, there are almost 100 on-line and special projects that have been made available via the website. As well, the topic has been featured in many publications both within the scientific community (e.g., Acoustics Today) and the general media (i.e., newspapers and magasines). The co-organisers have also participated in a number of media interviews and podcasts.

A first summary of the objectives of the IYS and the activities and products associated with it, was presented during a special session devoted to the IYS organized by Michael Vorlander, Mark Hamilton and Keeta Jones during the ASA meeting that was held at the end of November 2021 in Seattle. While it has led to challenges, the pandemic of 2020-21 has provided a unique experience for everyone around the world to become personally aware of the importance of sound, in both the desired form and also in the undesired form of noise, in so many aspects of our life. After the closing of the International Year, the continued actions by the acoustic community will aim to ensure the achievements of the IYS in promoting the importance of sound in our world is not forgotten.

Marion Burgess and Michael Taroudakis

Location: International

Source: Marion Burgess and Michael Taroudakis, co-organisers of the International Year of Sound

Source Location: Australia, Greece


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