Some persons work in different domains at different

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Some persons work in different domains at different times, although most persons spend most or all of their careers in only one domain. Moving from one domain to another requires care. Let us consider a person who has spent much of his career in pure science, and who then starts to perform professional services, let us say in noise control. In designing a solution, he passes the limit of existing scientific facts and therefore estimates a needed physical quantity. If he does not recognize and openly declare that he obtained the result by professional judgment and not be scientific experimentation, the result may be perceived as a scientific fact in the minds of persons not acquainted with the circumstances. This kind of misunderstanding can lead to strong disagreements argued in public, and to a public perception that "two scientists never agree," when actually one or both of the debaters are defending a professional judgment rather than an objective scientific fact. Perhaps more serious are the problems that can arise when a scientist or member of a profession moves into the political domain, and tries to use the processes appropriate to scientific truth or professional service to settle a political matter. No matter how much distinction or "authority" the person may possess in his own specialty, violations of the functions and values of the political domain can lead to his being voted out of office or being fired from an appointed position. Let us now summarize the domain model in terms directly related to our interest in noise control. The scientific domain includes the physical and life sciences that provide knowledge and objective information about acoustics and noise phenomena. In the professional domain are noise control engineering and other professions relating to health, economics, engineering, and operational aspects of noise control. The political domain con- tains elected and appointed government officials involved in the policy and administration of noise abatement and control, and also includes members of the general public when they express their wishes about noise through lobbying, testimony at hearings, letters to representatives, and so on.
10 DISTINGUISHED LECTURE DETERMINING RISK Al1D DANGER The basic definition of noise as unwanted sound is useful operationally only to the extent that we can understand what is meant by "unwanted" and can determine "unwantedness." Too easily we say that "unwanted" obviously means such things as "un- desirable, unacceptable, detrimental, dangerous---." If so, how do we measure such quantities? Do we have a "danger meter?" Such questions are not unique to noise. Questions about danger and safety arise also in connection with things as dif- ferent from each other as pills and power plants, highways and skyways, toys, appliances, and environmental pollution of all kinds. In our increasingly technological society, matters of safety and danger are becoming everyday topics among scientists, engineers and persons in many other professions, politicians, and members of the general

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