Study: AC/DC's Back In Black Experiment Shows Rock IS Noise Pollution
July 11, 2018, a year ago
According to a report from Jackson Clarion Ledger, a recent study by researchers at Mississippi State University shows that contrary to what rock icons AC/DC famously hypothesized in their 1980 classic song "Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution", rock music can have a harmful effect on environmental systems.
Researchers in MSU’s Department of Biological Sciences and Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture exposed ecosystems of lady beetles, aphids (small agricultural pests) and soybean plants to rock music, country music and more conventional urban sounds to test the effects of noise on an environment. As part of the experiment, ecosystems didn't much care for AC/DC’s Back In Black album, repeated for two consecutive weeks, according to an MSU news release.
The results of the study showed that when exposed to rock music and urban sounds, lady beetles became less effective predators, which resulted in higher aphid populations and lower biomass for soybean plants. The research was published this month in Ecology and Evolution. Brandon Barton, the paper’s lead author and avid AC/DC fan, said he was “thunderstruck” by the results.
“It was hard on us,” Barton said. “We hate to disagree with AC/DC. We don’t think it’s noise pollution, but the lady beetles do. That’s an important distinction," Barton said in the news release.
Barton, an assistant professor in MSU’s Department of Biological Sciences, explained that while AC/DC’s music is not a serious environmental threat, the study offers a “proof of concept” that shows sound can alter one organism, which could then have effects on others.
Read the full story at Jackson Clarion Ledger.