The Czech Acoustical Society

Prepared for Noise/News International, 2003 June.

The Czech Acoustical Society originated in 1958 as an Acoustic Group of the Czechoslovak Scientific and Technical Association (AG/CSTA) under the direction of Prof. J.B. Slavik and later, of Prof. J. Nemec. Even though under the domination of communist ideology, the Society remained steadfast in its beliefs, evident by its slogan “The acoustic waves propagate independently of political ideology”. In addition to the AG/CSTA, an Acoustical Commission was created later on at the Czechoslovak Academy of Science under the direction of Prof. F. Kolmer. Although the communist government was suppressing all organized activities, AG/CSTA in co-operation with the Acoustical Commission started acoustical seminars in order to create a platform for the exchange of scientific and engineering information. This important move ensured continued scientific contacts with the western world, amidst an atmosphere of censorship and repression of scientific knowledge.

Two members of AG/CSTA, J. Ransdorf and P. Urban, organized these seminars since 1964. The seminar participants consisted of scientists working in research, technical and medical organizations. The gathering of people was generally forbidden under the communist system and therefore, the acoustical seminars had to be officially organized as AG/CSTA training seminars whose purpose were to share new information and upgrade participant’s acoustical proficiency.

The seminars become very popular because of the plethora of research and progress reported by members of these domestic acoustical conferences. A few members who were receiving literature from the western acoustical societies presented lectures on the latest development.

The Council of the Czechoslovak Acoustical Society (CZSA), continuing in the tradition of former AG/CSTA activities, was formed after the Prague “Velvet revolution” in 1989 under the chairmanship of P. Urban. Afterwards, Prof. Z. Skvor, J. Novak, and currently V. Kunzl ascended the chairmanship.

Former seminars were converted into regular Acoustical Conferences with experts invited from many European and other world societies. Open conferences resulted in a substantial increase of the number of participants. The conferences became the equivalent to national conferences of other European societies with the Czech Acoustical Society (earlier AG/CSTA) organizing a total of 66 seminars.

After 1989, many members of the Czech Acoustical Society have been participating in national legislation, international government organizations, in the International Standardization Organization (ISO), the International Electrical Organization (IEC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, among other organizations. Others are active in foreign countries: Prof. J. Tichy was president of INCE USA and The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) and Prof. I. Nabelek was active at the University of Tennessee. Members are active in foreign scientific societies, at universities, government, and private enterprises.

Due to the vigorous activities of the Czech Acoustical Society, the International INCE has assigned it the privilege to organize INTER-NOISE 2004 in Prague. We look forward to seeing you in Prague.

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