The natural world teems with remarkable conversations, many beyond human hearing range. However, scientists are using groundbreaking digital technologies to uncover these astonishing sounds, revealing vibrant communication among our fellow creatures across the Tree of Life.
Guggenheim Fellow Karen Bakker, an award-winning professor at the University of British Columbia and a Fellow of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, shares fascinating and surprising stories of nonhuman sound, interweaving insights from technological innovation and traditional knowledge. She explores scientists using sound to protect and regenerate endangered species from the Great Barrier Reef to the Arctic and the Amazon and reveals the shocking impacts of noise pollution on both animals and plants.
Bakker examines how artificial intelligence can decode nonhuman sounds and how researchers are building dictionaries in East African Elephant and Sperm Whalish. Surveying the frontiers of innovation, she recounts scientists’ successful attempts to engage in digitally mediated dialogues with bats and honeybees. Technology often distracts us from nature, but what if it could reconnect us instead?
Bakker offers hope for environmental conservation and affirms humanity’s relationship with nature in the digital age. After learning about the unsuspected wonders of nature’s sounds, you’ll never view (or hear) walks outdoors in the same way again.
Bakker’s book The Sounds of Life (Princeton University Press) is available for purchase.
Book Sale Information
- Purchase your copy of The Sounds of Life by Karen Bakker here.
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