Extended: International Year of Sound (2020 – 2021)


The International Year of Sound is a project that the International Commission for Acoustics (ICA), an Affiliated Member of the ISC, has been preparing for many years.

The theme of the international year is the Importance of Sound for Society and the World and is underscored by the UNESCO Charter of Sound and resolution 39C/49 on the ‘’Importance of sound in today’s world – Promoting best practices’’.  Other partners for the international year include “La Semaine du Son” (LSdS), the International Science Council and ISC members the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) and the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM).

The main goal of any international year is to to promote international collaboration and to raise awareness on how science contributes to innovation for the benefit for all society. However, for the International Year of Sound, soon after the opening in Paris at the Grand Amphitheatre of the Sorbonne on 31 January 2020, it became clear that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic would curtail the outreach events that had been planned throughout the year and around the globe.

As expected, very few of the activities planned for 2020 were held with physical presence of the participants. Some, including major international conferences, were held online with considerable success, with the international year encouraged by new online technologies.

The activities, organized by member societies and affiliates of the ISC, included scientific conferences and workshops, exhibitions, presentations explaining the importance of sound to a general public in collaboration with museums, universities, schools, research centers and  cultural organizations, as well as postings in social media, podcasts and concerts. Many events, competitions and conferences have been rescheduled, and ISC members and their communities can find out more by visiting www.sound2020.org