The Acoustical Society of the Netherlands

Prepared for Noise/News International, 2001 June.

The Acoustical Society of the Netherlands, was established on October 12th 1934. It is the second oldest acoustical society in the world, after the Acoustical Society of America, which was founded in 1929. The Dutch name is Nederlands Akoestisch Genootschap (NAG).

Originally it was known as Noise Foundation. The founders in 1934 envisaged a broad social organization which, besides encouraging the development of a scientific approach to acoustics, would be occupied with acoustical consulting and measurements and could also function as an anti-noise lobby.

After the second world war the foundation focused more and more on the former objective; the latter was by then partly covered by other organizations, such as what is now TNO, private acoustical consultants and the NSG (Noise Abatement Society).

In 1962, triggered by some legal aspects, led to the change of name and objectives. The current objective of the society is to encourage the development and the applications of the science of acoustics and acoustical techniques.

At its 50th anniversary in October 1984, the Society produced a special edition in the series of NAG-Publications, highlighting 50 years of acoustics in the Netherlands.

At present the NAG has more than 500 members and about 50 sponsors from public organizations, consultants and industry. During its existence, the Society has nominated eight honorary members as recognition of their scientific work and/or their activities for and within the Society.

The main activity of the NAG is the organization of its scientific meetings. These are being held four times per year. The contributions to each of these meetings are published together in an issue of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of the Netherlands (NAG-Journal). Up to now, over 150 issues have been published. These issues together reflect the broad range of topics, which are covered by the membership. On speech, hearing and perception over 120 papers are found. Sixty-eight papers are on electro-acoustics. Other large groups are on building acoustics and installations (90), on architectural acoustics and sound absorption (80), on machinery noise and noise control (110), on outdoor sound propagation and traffic noise (65) and on echo-acoustics and measurement techniques (95). Other well-covered topics are echo-acoustics, medical acoustics, musical acoustics, flow acoustics and ship acoustics.

Several International scientific meetings have been organized. The first ICA-Congress was held in Delft (1953). In 1975 the third Anglo-Spanish-Netherlands Symposium on Acoustics was organized by the NAG in Rotterdam. The tenth INTER-NOISE Congress was held in Amsterdam (1981), and INTER-NOISE 2001 will be held in The Hague in 2001 August.

Education in acoustics is another field in which the NAG has always been supportive. An example of direct involvement is the course in acoustics on an academic level, that since 1973, has been organized yearly in co-operation with the Belgium Acoustical Society (ABAV). The length of the course is 70 hours and the yearly number of participants averages about 70.

The good co-operation with our Belgium sister society ABAV is also reflected in the fact that always one of the board members of the NAG is from the ABAV.

Further information on The Acoustical Society of the Netherlands can be found on its web-site:

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