The year 2020 has gotten off to a busy start. Here in the United States we are now nearing the peak of the presidential election cycle, with all of the news that process brings. And, of course, we have had significant news about a presidential impeachment that now seems to have run its course. Internationally we are dealing with the devastation of the wildfires in Australia and the effects and uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus (also known as the coronavirus). Perhaps overshadowed to this point but of significant interest to affiliates of I-INCE is the International Year of Sound (IYS; see https://sound2020.org/), led by the International Commission on Acoustics (ICA) and sponsored by I-INCE and many of its member societies. The opening ceremony of the IYS was held on January 31, 2020, in Paris, France. There are many events planned across the globe; for more information, visit https://sound2020.org/event/. I encourage all of the member societies of I-INCE to hold some type of high-profile event affiliated with the IYS to raise the awareness about sound and noise control with the media and local communities.
Our first deadlines for INTER-NOISE 2020 are approaching. The abstract submission deadline is March 15, 2020. Understandably, there may be concerns about how the COVID-19 virus will spread and what effect it might have on international travel at the time of our congress in late August. I-INCE leadership and the organizing committee of INTER-NOISE 2020 are staying in close contact. The organizing committee is publishing a newsletter with news about the congress, including recent developments. You can subscribe to the newsletter from the home page of the congress (https://internoise2020.org/). The most recent issue of the newsletter discusses the steps being taken by the congress venue, the COEX Convention Center, to keep participants safe. Fortunately, INTER-NOISE 2020 is many months away yet, and we will have the opportunity to see how the virus spreads and what other congresses that are scheduled before us decide to do. We will also watch very carefully the recommendations of the World Health Organization. For now, I think it is very reasonable to assume that the virus will run its course as other viral outbreaks have in the past, and the congress will be able to go on as planned. We will keep everyone informed of our decisions and will make alternative plans if that becomes necessary. For now, please submit paper abstracts and plan to attend. The Koreans are excellent hosts and the local noise control engineering community is large and vibrant. It will be a great congress.
As I mentioned in my “Getting to Know You” feature in the last issue, the theme of my tenure as I-INCE President will be “inclusion and renewal.” My focus will be raising the profile of I-INCE with the members of the member societies. I’m hopeful that more of them will see I-INCE, particularly its congresses, newsletters, and technical activities, as an added benefit of their membership in their local society. With this column, I am asking the readers of NNI for their best ideas on two fronts.
The first is better distribution of NNI to the members of the member societies not in the USA. I realize that asking people who are receiving NNI about how to distribute it to those who are not receiving it may be a fool’s errand, but a good idea is a good idea. We currently distribute the link to each issue of NNI to the administrative offices of the member societies and ask them to forward the link to their membership. From what we hear, that approach has been inconsistent. It is possible for an individual to subscribe to NNI directly as well. There are no access restrictions to NNI, so increasing the circulation is essentially only a challenge of awareness. We hope that we can increase international circulation in some way, which we believe make NNI better in the news it covers and its reach. Please send suggestions to me at email@example.com or to the NNI editor, Eoin King, at NNIeditor@inceusa.org.
The other issue is about awareness of the INCE Congress Database (available at http://ince.publisher.ingentaconnect.com/content/ince/). INCE-USA built this database with some financial support from and the cooperation of I-INCE. All of the papers from every INTER-NOISE and NOISE-CON congresses dating back to 1971 have been scanned, classified, and loaded onto the database. Access to the database is available to any member in good standing of one of the I-INCE member societies, as a benefit that to society’s membership in I-INCE. However, our feedback suggests that awareness of the database outside the USA is low. In addition, accessing the database is more complicated than accessing NNI because we must have a mechanism for validating access rights for users. Validation requires certification by the member society. Again, your best ideas would be much appreciated and can be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Joe Cuschieri at email@example.com.
I hope you all have a great 2020 and enjoy the IYS.