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History & Mission

The association was founded in 1973. It is under the direction of the ARO COUNCIL that consists of a President, a Past President, a President-Elect, a Secretary-Treasurer, a Communications Officer, a Program Chair, a Nominating Committee Chair, and three Council Members At-Large, all of whom are elected from and by the membership. The functions of the organization are established by bylaws carried out with the help of the following COMMITTEES and often with counsel from past presidents.

The Mission

The mission of the Association shall be to encourage and promote basic and clinical research in the broad fields of Otolaryngology, hearing and balance science, and related areas. To achieve these objectives, and to foster collegial assembly and stimulate scientific collaboration among its members, the Association shall encourage year-round scientific engagement through meetings and other activities.

The Vision

Our vision is to pioneer inventive excellence in pure and applied science by nurturing researchers to perform the most rigorous and exciting science in the study of hearing and balance and related otolaryngological fields. We seek to use our collective knowledge to make fundamental discoveries and develop ground-breaking treatments that improve quality of life.

Our Core Values

  • Science: We promote rigorous original basic science and clinical research that moves forward our understanding of hearing and balance sciences and related fields. We strive to provide a forum for dissemination and meaningful discussion of results.
  • Diversity: We acknowledge and honor the fundamental value and dignity of all individuals. We are committed to maintaining an inclusive environment that removes barriers and respects diverse people, approaches, and ideas.
  • Integrity: We maintain the highest ethical standards in the collection, sharing and dissemination of research and champion best practices in both basic and clinical experimentation.
  • Collaboration: We believe in listening and evolving together by embracing the exchange of ideas through initiatives including, but not limited to, interdisciplinary research, education, mentorship, and professional networking.
  • Education: We support and empower our community by providing multi-faceted educational and mentorship opportunities relevant to early career professionals and throughout the career-span.



Dr. Gerald Popelka, ARO’s Editor for over a decade, conceived the ARO’s first website and JARO. This video is from a special session at the 1996 ARO MidWinter meeting, now over 25 years ago, that shows two of his presentations, the first describing his implementation of the first website followed by the second describing his view of future scientific publishing, the elements of which led to his spearheading the creation of JARO.

Dr. David Lim was ARO's historian from its inception until his death in 2018.  On the 25th anniversary of the ARO, he prepared a video celebrating this milestone.