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Who are We? Why are we here? What is our purpose in life? Now that we are moving onto Public Beta (Yay! Team!), we need to define who we are and what our purpose is.

From the 'Real Essential Questions of Every Beta':

Imagine you’ve just gotten on an elevator with a friendly stranger. You have precisely one floor to describe your community to them. What would you say? The elevator pitch is a brief sentence that describes what your site is about.

This helps in visualising what your community is about and what it is going to be. If you have trouble describing your community in one-line, then its a sign that the community needs to take a relook at its scope and purpose.

Here is the initial summary I developed for the Area51 Proposal:

Bioacoustics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people interested in the studies of non-human animal sounds and the impacts of sounds on animals.

We need the community to consider how to re-examine this 'elevator pitch'.

Please provide an alternative as an ANSWER

Please provide discussion points on any answer as a COMMENT

Please use VOTES to show your approval (downvotes for STRONG disapproval).

(I will put the initial elevator pitch as one option, but very much welcome comment on it!!)

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  • $\begingroup$ BTW, you are talking about "non-human animal sounds", so what are "human animal sounds"? $\endgroup$
    – WMXZ
    Jul 24 at 6:49
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    $\begingroup$ Question: I understand 'non-human' allows us to keep out medically related human hearing+sound production questions, and the current core of the site is non-human (topic wise!) researchers. What does the community think of allowing/including non-medical related human based questions? There may be a lot to gain by inviting knowledge sharing from human audiology, noise and voice production research? (Should this be a separate question??) $\endgroup$
    – Thejasvi
    Jul 27 at 7:32
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    $\begingroup$ I think human-related topics sit well with Biology SE, but those who study human hearing/sound are welcome to put in their advice on this site. I think we have a lot to learn from those folks, but I also think we want to keep our niche related to animals & the environment? $\endgroup$
    – Shannon
    Jul 27 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ There is also the neuroscience SE which covers hearing (mostly human): 76 questions on "the sensation and perception of sound information by the brain in humans and animals" $\endgroup$
    – Noil
    Jul 27 at 20:16
  • $\begingroup$ But I don't know how much significant 76 questions is :-D. Choosing the boundaries is not easy... The best may be to have an relatively broad pitch to let the community's questions build the boundaries themselves. A vague-enough pitch but not too much haha. "Non-human animal sounds" strictly excludes humans so may not be the best, but "animal sounds" ranges in-between I think, as whether human is included or not is ambiguous. $\endgroup$
    – Noil
    Jul 27 at 20:47

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Bioacoustics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site about animal sounds, the impacts of sounds on animals, and how to research/analyse these topics research related to these topics.

(I removed "non-human" because it's distracting - most ordinary people understand "animal" to mean "non-human animal")

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  • $\begingroup$ I really like this-- but I would like to see something about the ecological role of sounds (or role of sounds in the ecosystem). Does research/analyse both need to be there? Or perhaps 'research related to these topics'? $\endgroup$
    – Shannon
    Jul 27 at 13:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Shannon On the one hand, I want to say "research" because I really do want the site to focus on scientific questions. On the other hand, I don't want to say "research" because I don't want non-scientists to think they can't join in! ... But I do like your suggested "...research related to these topics", I think that's a good balance $\endgroup$
    – Dan Stowell Mod
    Jul 27 at 15:34
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    $\begingroup$ Would it be appropriate to add ecosystems this way: "the impacts of sounds on animals and ecosystems"? It's not precise, but maybe it suffices $\endgroup$
    – Dan Stowell Mod
    Jul 27 at 15:36
  • $\begingroup$ I like the sound of both of those suggestions. I wonder if this should be a new answer or different? Either way is fine.... I did realize that my earlier answer was 'locked' and I had to minor edit an answer so that I could 'unlock' my vote (and then edit it back to the original). $\endgroup$
    – Shannon
    Jul 27 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ In the context of this SE I'm only interested in sound/vibration of NON-human species (and the effect of it) and I hope that discussion does NOT go to generic organism (which includes humans). Why? including humans opens another pandora's box. $\endgroup$
    – WMXZ
    Jul 29 at 5:49
  • $\begingroup$ @WMXZ I agree we should "keep humans out of it" (mostly) but I think we do that by our moderation, not by this short text $\endgroup$
    – Dan Stowell Mod
    Jul 30 at 9:14
  • $\begingroup$ My suggestion is to stick with Dan's answer (Jul 25 at 9:03) $\endgroup$
    – WMXZ
    Jul 30 at 10:22
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Adding emphasis about the role of sound in ecosystems:

Bioacoustics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people interested in the studies of all non-human animal sounds, and the role of sound in ecosystems.

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Bioacoustics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people interested in the studies of non-human animal sounds and the impacts of sounds on animals.

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    $\begingroup$ To be more inclusive of biotremology & soundscape, we could add references to ecological sound? If someone wants to rewrite this as a different answer that includes ecological sound-- go for it! $\endgroup$
    – Shannon
    Jul 22 at 21:50
  • $\begingroup$ "Sound" can sometimes be understood as not including vibration (solid acoustic), so maybe we should precise "sound (in any medium)", or use "acoustic wave" or even "mechanical wave" $\endgroup$
    – Noil
    Jul 22 at 22:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Cam Desjonqu, maybe you could help to find the best words to add ecoacoustics in the SE bioacoustics pitch? $\endgroup$
    – Noil
    Jul 23 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Dan Stowell, maybe you could help to find the best words to add ecoacoustics in the SE bioacoustics pitch? $\endgroup$
    – Noil
    Jul 23 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ suggest that if you want to include biotremology, you need to add substrate-borne vibration, or vibrational waves- because biotremology deals with non-compressional waves (e.g. not sound)\ $\endgroup$
    – LouR
    Jul 29 at 19:52
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The Bioacoustics SE is the place you go to find answers and ask questions for all things related to biological sounds and vibrations. How organisms produce, hear, and are impacted by them.

'biological sounds' because bioacoustics is not only about animal sounds, it could also be about plant/insect/microbe sounds and their intersection with other phenomena. Also the common connotation of biological is non-human?

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    $\begingroup$ I like the idea of "organisms" instead of "animals" $\endgroup$
    – Noil
    Jul 27 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ There is less ambiguity with "organism" than with "animal". For instance, common usage and e.g. UK legal usage of "animal" does not include arthropods. $\endgroup$
    – Noil
    Jul 27 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ And indeed, "organism" also includes plants (e.g. some of which detect pollinator vibrations to release nectar etc..). $\endgroup$
    – Noil
    Jul 27 at 20:00
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    $\begingroup$ yes plants should be included, right? plant bioacoustics is a hot topic right now $\endgroup$
    – LouR
    Jul 29 at 20:00
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Bioacoustics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site about any sounds/vibrations detected or produced by non-human organisms or by the whole ecosystem, and the impact of anthropological sounds/vibrations on them (see the IBAC list of Bioacoustics topics)

I tried to mix the responses, by including:

  • vertebrates, invertebrates, plants --> "organisms"
  • biotremology --> "vibration"
  • ecoacoustics, ecotremology --> "sound/vibration from the whole ecosystem"
  • anthropological noise but no human sound communication
  • no scientific terms difficult for general audience such as "mechanical wave" or "acoustical wave"

The IBAC list of bioacoustics is quite comprehensive and we could refer to it (https://www.ibac.info/)

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