HearTomorrow seeks to educate and promote awareness of the damage to our hearing caused by continued exposure to loud sounds. HearTomorrow acknowledges the unique pleasures that sound gives us, but also the need for individuals to take personal responsibility to care for what is one of our least understood senses. We want to encourage everyone to continue to enjoy sound in all its beauty and diversity – but without forgetting safety.
We live in an increasingly noisy world. We are constantly bombarded by sounds we both like and dislike. But any sound, liked or disliked, is potentially damaging if it is loud enough. Worse, we often try to drown out "noise" with sounds we like. That is a classic recipe for hearing loss.
Most industrial workplaces are under the scrutiny of government organizations, which stipulate safe noise levels for workers. Management and employees are educated about the hazards of noisy environments and instructed in effective methods of hearing protection.
Less attention is given to sound levels in entertainment or recreation, and noise hazards certainly exist outside the workplace. Concerts, dance clubs, sporting events, and many forms of outdoor recreation pose a threat to our hearing. Some government regulations exist, but it is up to the individual to at least be aware of the potential hazard and make an informed decision about exposure to such sound levels.
The Swiss National Sound Archives, in close collaboration with the initiator prof. Benj Kanters at Columbia College Chicago, taking into account what has already been achieved in our country, is promoting this initiative in Switzerland. It includes in its educational program some mini-courses and lectures tailored to any audience, from primary school pupils to university students, from the curious or just interested person to the sound specialists.
And so this initiative has the goal of better learning, better listening, and better sound.