The Sir Charles Bell Society (SCBS) began as an informal group in 1992 during the VIIth International Facial Nerve Symposium (President: Professor E. Stennert) in Cologne. At this initial meeting 74 attendees confirmed the need for a multinational approach. Drs. Olaf Michel and Kedar Adour were appointed as coordinators and under their guidance the original 74 attendees were to be considered as “Founding Members” and they drafted a Statement of Purpose: “The SCBS is to be an international forum for clinicians of all medical specialties and researchers in basic or clinical science who have as special interest in the facial nerve and its disorders. This unique international multi-disciplinary organization is dedicated to the collection, dissemination and exchange of ideas relating to the facial nerve and its diseases.”
Their first charge was to aid Professor Naoki Yanagihara in organizing the VIIIth International Facial Nerve Symposium to be held in Japan in 1997.
The Sir Charles Bell Society was officially recognized June 23, 1993, incorporated in the state of California as a non-profit mutual benefit corporation organized under the non-profit mutual benefit corporation law meeting the criteria of: Internal Revenue Code Section 501 C (6) with FEDERAL Employee Identification Number: 94-320802 and California Corporate Number; 1917755 SCOBS.
Thanks to the diligent effort of Tom Ekstrand (Sweden) and with the assistance of Paul Mulkens (The Netherlands) and Gisle Djupesland (Norway) the first scheduled meeting of the SCBS convened in Istanbul on June 23, 1993 during the International Federation of Otolaryngological Societies Meeting (IFOS). The 21 attendees represented 10 countries.
In 1997 the proximity of IFOS and the VIIIth Facial Nerve Symposium, prevented many SCBS members from attending the IFOS- meeting in Australia. Therefore the planned preliminary organizational meeting of the SCBS in Sydney was limited. Under the guidance of Tom Ekstrand, the ad-hoc treasurer and chairman of the By Laws Committee an informal agenda had been prepared by Drs Kedar Adour, Pieter Devriese and Tom Ekstrand. Present and participating were: Adour K., Cousins V., Croxson G., Devriese P., Ekstrand T., Federspil P.A., Gavilán J., Hanner P., Le Roux B., Herranz-Gonzales J.
The final organizational meeting was held April 15, 1997 at the VIIIth International Facial Nerve Symposium in Matsuyama, Japan. Tom Ekstrand and Paul Mulkens were selected as Chairman and Secretary respectively.
Membership includes otolaryngologists, plastic-reconstructive surgeons, neurologists, neurosurgeons, basic science researchers, physiotherapists, audiologists, anatomists, psychologists, psychiatrists, radiologists, and internists. At present there are over 229 members from 32 countries.
In 2001 the Members Meeting was held in San Francisco, California at the IXth International Facial Nerve Symposium under the chairmanship of Kedar Adour & Robert Jackler with election of Rainer Laskawi (Germany), President; Jacqueline Diels (USA), Secretary and Larry Lundy (USA), Treasurer. Kedar Adour (USA), who had stepped down after two terms, was elected to the position of Honorary Member President-Emeritus by a unanimous vote.
The 2005 Members Meeting of the SCBS was held in Maastricht/Netherlands during the Xth International Facial Nerve Symposium (Chairman: Hans Manni) with election of a new Executive Committee: Rainer Laskawi (Germany), President; Jacqueline Diels (USA), Secretary and Paul Mulkens (Netherlands) as a new Treasurer.
The 2009 Members Meeting took place during the XIth International Facial Nerve Symposium. Dr. Henri Marres was elected President, and Dr. Tessa Hadlock Secretary. Dr. Javier Gavilan was selected as a member-at-large. Subsequently, Dr. William Slattery became an Officer, and Dr. Paul Mulkens retired.
2011 saw the launch of a new website, including images of the month, useful downloads, and a discussion board for difficult cases.