Recalling my role as an officer of the ARO, I remember people, in number and quality. The growth I had the pleasure of witnessing was phenomenal. The ever increasing quality of the organization and structure of the ARO, and most of all, the quality of research upon which our society is based was indeed fantastic - even to the most optimistic of us. To have been part of that activity and growth was certainly the most rewarding experience of my career. At every level, it is our members that make it work so well - too many by far to credit by name. Members who volunteer their time, members who are creative and effective, and members who share their ideas and concerns. As an officer all you had to do was listen and be willing to accept and work on the good ideas - even if they usually weren't your own.
The best part is we're still just beginning. Hearing, taste and smell, airway and laryngeal function ...we have much to develop and our field is in a special position to do it. Research in the communication disorders and otolaryngology has developed a foundation extending from the behavioral sciences to molecular biology. Our questions are at the interface of these discipline driven fields that provide our base and our strength. We can define the broad integrative concepts of sensory and motor function that underlie the communication sciences as we have redefined many fundamental concepts in the past 1-2 decades. These include receptor function, the encoding and representation of complex signals or sensory information in the nervous system as well as our success in developing new diagnostic measures, new biological markers, identifying and destroying cancer cells, and taking the first steps in the development of an artificial device for replacing a sensory receptor-the cochlear prosthesis.
We have much to do; the future is exciting. Certainly the growth we have seen so far is only a small indication of what we can expect for the future.
Joe Miller, Ph.D.