Newswise — MELVILLE, N.Y., June 3, 2021 -- The 180th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America will have new features for attendees, but the information in "Acoustics in Focus" remains interesting, innovative, and insightful. Any of these highlighted topics would make for a great story or feature piece for all news outlets.

The virtual meeting, being held June 8-10, will feature sessions on how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted hearing health, affected noise annoyance in urban settings, and adjusted how teachers talked and listened to their students. There will be presentations on how acoustics shapes speech in children, impacts mental health, and potentially signals health problems.


Sounds of the deep are featured on Tuesday, June 8, with several sessions on aquatic acoustics and what scientists can learn about animal behavior. Hydrophone arrays help keep track of killer whales in a critical habitat. Computer software listens for the clicks of harbor porpoises as part of a conservation effort.


Sonic booms blast their way into the meeting with a series of sessions on Wednesday, June 9. The RUMBLE project aims to quantify the effects of low sonic boom exposure on human responses. Sonic boom noise certification procedures for quiet supersonic aircraft are in development, potentially enabling supersonic flight over land. Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is building the X-59 low boom flight demonstrator for NASA's quiet boom testing program, and the results are promising.


On the quieter side, the acoustics of music takes center stage on Tuesday, June 8, and Wednesday, June 9, with sessions on developing better instruments, the psychological impact of electric music, and the different sounds produced by unique guitars, harps, and recorders.


In 2020, mammal acoustician Tom Norris passed away from pancreatic cancer. He was 55. On Tuesday, June 8, a series of sessions will honor his work with whale sounds. In addition, Norris will be remembered in a talk for his tips on Mackie mixer boards, buying drinks in dangerous bars, tracking dolphin whistles, not antagonizing visual observers, and liberating furniture from the U.S. Panama Canal zone.

For more information about these and other important acoustics-related research, visit the Acoustics in Focus technical program page. If a member of the media or an outlet wishes to register for the meeting, please email [email protected].

*** Details about talks mentioned above (all times U.S. Eastern) ***


  • 3pNS2 - Hearing disorders secondary to infection with SARS-CoV-2 - Thursday, June 10 at 1:15 p.m.
  • 1pNS4 - Noise annoyance in dwellings during the first wave of Covid-19 - Tuesday, June 8 at 1:45 p.m.
  • 1pED4 - Lessons learned teaching through a pandemic and looking forward to a post-COVID-19 classroom - Tuesday, June 8 at 1:45 p.m.

Animal sounds

  • 1pAB3 - The development and use of towed hydrophone arrays to inform Southern Resident killer whale Critical Habitat in outer coastal waters - Tuesday, June 8 at 1:30 p.m.
  • 1pAB5 - FindPorpoises: Deep learning for detection of harbor porpoise echolocation clicks - Tuesday, June 8 at 2:35 p.m.

Sonic boom

  • 2pPA3 - Impact of low sonic boom exposure on psychophysical and cognitive performance - Wednesday, June 9 at 1:30 p.m.
  • 2pPA6 - X-59 sonic boom demonstration performance - Wednesday, June 9 at 2:30 p.m.
  • 2pPA8 - Developing certification procedures for quiet supersonic aircraft using shaped sonic boom predictions through atmospheric turbulence - Wednesday, June 9 at 3:00 p.m.


  • 1aMU6 - Psychoacoustic phenomena in electric-guitar performance - Tuesday, June 8 at 11:30 a.m.
  • 2aMU3 - Using Navier-Stokes modeling to design a better recorder - Wednesday, June 9 at 10:05 a.m.
  • 2pMU2 - Vibro-acoustics of Central Africa harps - Wednesday, June 9 at 1:15 p.m.

Tom Morris

  • 1aABb1 - Tom and Thode's excellent adventure: Practical guidance on surviving seedy bars, preparing for a DJ career, dismantling the U.S. Panama Canal zone, and other useful tips when working with towed acoustic arrays in the Eastern Tropical Pacific - Tuesday, June 8 at 11:35 a.m.
  • 1aABb2 - Tom Norris's contributions to the acoustic density estimation of minke whales near Kauai, Hawaii - Tuesday, June 8 at 11:50 a.m.


----------------------- MORE MEETING INFORMATION -----------------------


Main meeting website: 
Technical program: 
Press Room:


In the coming weeks, ASA's Worldwide Press Room will be updated with additional tips on dozens of newsworthy stories and lay language papers, which are summaries of presentations written by scientists for a general audience and accompanied by photos, audio and video. You can visit the site during the meeting at


We will grant free registration for credentialed and professional freelance journalists who wish to attend the meeting sessions. If you are a reporter and would like to attend, contact the AIP Media Line at [email protected]. We can also help with setting up interviews and obtaining images, sound clips or background information.


Press briefings will be held virtually during the conference. Credentialed media can register in advance by emailing [email protected] and including your full name and affiliation in the message. The official schedule will be announced as soon as it is available, and registered attendees will be provided login information via email.


The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7,000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world's leading journal on acoustics), Acoustics Today magazine, books, and standards on acoustics. The society also holds two major scientific meetings each year. For more information about ASA, visit our website at