Follow your ears online to test your hearing, take part in a giant science experiment and be in the running to win tickets to any concert that pleases your ears.
The National Acoustic Laboratories, The Hearing CRC and the ABC have teamed up as part of National Science Week to run Sound Check Australia, the national noise and hearing survey, and are giving participants a chance to win $1000 worth of concert tickets.
This massive online science survey will help build a picture of Australia’s hearing health and hopes to raise awareness about healthy hearing habits.
“Our access to noise and music is just unprecedented in its availability,” says Elizabeth Beach, a researcher from the National Acoustic Laboratories. “We hope that with Sound Check people will start a conversation about it… To talk to other people about what the risks are and what activities they should be thinking about reducing or avoiding.”
People who take part in the online survey will be able to test their hearing, work out whether they are ‘overdosing’ on noise, and find out what part of their social lives could be putting them at risk.
The experiment comes on the back of recent research which suggests that some people are choosing to expose themselves to more noise than would ever be allowed in a sound-safe work environment.
“One of the things we are trying to get a handle on is just how big a problem this really is and not trying to be sensationalist about it,” says Elizabeth Beach.
“We don’t want to discourage people from participating in music activities, we just want people to be aware,” she says.
With the results of Sound Check, researchers hope to get a better picture of the hearing health and habits of Australians of all ages so that they can dig deeper into this issue.
Are regular loud noises at the workplace more harmful than the occasional visit to an extremely loud concert? And could 10 years of clubbing be worse than 30 years working in a woodworking factory?
With the help of eager volunteers, scientists will be able to answer these questions.
But not only will volunteers be lending a hand to significant scientific research which could shape the future health of the country, but they also get a chance to win $1000 worth of concert tickets.
The Big Day Out, a Symphony Orchestra or The Wiggles, whatever the favoured flavour of noise, one lucky citizen scientist will be treated to the tickets of their choice.
Everything you need to know is at www.soundcheckaustralia.net.au. At the website there is a range of feature stories and “hearing facts”, information about how our ears work, sound, noise and techniques for improving your listening powers.
MEDIA INQUIRIES Hearing researchers and Sound Check Australia spokespeople from all over Australia are available for interviews. Contact us and we’ll find an expert or a knowledgeable science-chat person – whatever suits your program or column.
Sound Check Australia: the national noise and hearing survey runs until September 12 www.soundcheckaustralia.net.au
Media contacts: Frankie Lee: 0419 448-847, firstname.lastname@example.org or AJ Epstein: 0433 339-141, email@example.com