Skip to main content
This program is over. Hope you didn't miss it!

The Sounds of Life: Technology Unlocks Nature’s Hidden Realm

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, November 3, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1D0003
Select your Tickets
$20
Member
$25
Non-Member
Powered by Zoom

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.
  • SPECIAL NOTE: Politics and Prose is offering a 10% discount to Smithsonian Associates ticket-holders. To claim your discount, enter the code SPECIAL10 (no space between letters and numbers) in the “Coupon discount” section on Politics and Prose's check-out page.

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for online programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our online programs presented on Zoom.

Inside Science

This online program is presented on Zoom.