The International Society for Autonomic Neuroscience came to life on 2nd July 1994 at a meeting in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Those present at this meeting which established the Society were Roger Dampney, John Furness, David Hirst, Marcello Costa, Bill Blessing and Max Bennett. The following issues were key drivers for discussion:
At this original meeting John Furness brought his colleague, Joel Bornstein, into the group and suggested that Jim Angus should also be invited to join. Max Bennett presented the Statutes and By-Laws of IBRO at the meeting for the purposes of setting up what he suggested should be called the International Society for Autonomic Neuroscience (ISAN). It was decided at this fist meeting in Melbourne that Geoff Burnstock be approached to become President, and that the executive would consist of Max Bennett (Executive Vice-President), Joel Bornstein (Executive Secretary), John Furness (Treasurer), David Hirst (Conference Convenor) and Jim Angus (Finance Officer). The ISAN Interim Executive Committee was thus bootstrapped into existence. [derived from a history by MR Bennett]. The existence of the society was proposed by Australian Autonomic Neuroscientists at a meeting on July 2nd 1994 and formally constituted in March 1995 with Geoff Burnstock elected as the Foundation President [personal communication; G Burnstock].
The Journal of the Autonomic Nervous System was established in 1979 with Chandler Mac Brooks as founding Editor-in-Chief (1979 – 1985), Kiyomi Koizumi as assistant editor and a further 26 editors. Geoff Burnstock became Editor-in-Chief in 1985, with the number of Assistant Editors and Editors growing as the journal grew. In 1995 Philip Low was appointed to act as a Clinical Editor to reflect the increasing number of good clinical papers submitted, and the journal also became the became the official journal for ISAN.
In 2000, the name of the journal was changes to AUTONOMIC NEUROSCIENCE: BASIC AND CLINICAL to reflect the policy to provide a publication venue that brought together basic science and clinical medicine. The Editorial Board was increased to 50 members. Subsequently, a Review Editor was appointed and the journal started publishing Special Issues, edited by leading international figures.