During the AUA meeting of May 1978, some members interested in the basic mechanisms involved in human urinary stone formation proposed the formation of a special interest society. Part of the impetus for developing this organization came from the prior establishment of five SCORE (Special Center of Research Excellence) programs in urinary stone disease under the National Institutes for Health. One requirement of these SCORE Centers was to have annual meetings to exchange ideas and information. Because a number of other stone research centers outside the SCORE group existed, the founders of the ROCK Society believed that there should also be a forum for scientific discourse outside the SCORE program. Interestingly, a number of the SCORE program participants eventually joined and became an integral part of the ROCK Society.
Perhaps one of the most important components of the early constitution and bylaws arose from the recognized need to involve non-member colleagues from North America and the world. Hence, every member could invite one guest to every meeting. If a member invited no guest, the meeting Chairman receive the memberís proxy to invite additional guests. This resulted in the development of superb special guests and speakers at meetings of the Society.
Informality and open discussion remain the hallmarks of the Society. In most meeting settings now, equal time exists for presentation and discussion. Although early meetings had clustered around the National Kidney Foundation conventions of November, the Society quickly became more independent and by 1980 meeting times and places evolved according to the desires of the membership and chair. Beginning in 1997, the ROCK Society added a second yearly meeting that takes place during the annual meeting of the American Urological Association.