Lucas Richert, PhD
George Urdang Chair in the History of Pharmacy
Lucas Richert is a historian of medicine and pharmacy, who focuses on legal and illegal drugs, drug science and technology, alternative therapies, and mental health.
His books to date have centered on the pharmaceutical industry, regulation, and the Food and Drug Administration (A Prescription for Scandal); the boundaries that separates all manner of legitimate and illegitimate drugs (see Strange Trips), such as LSD, heroin, and amphetamines; radical mental health and social/professional movements (Break On Through) in the United States; and more specifically cannabis as an intoxicant and therapeutic substance across the planet (Cannabis: Global Histories). These publications all emphasize the evolving nature of health knowledges and logics over time.
Richert has studied and worked in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Between 2006 and 2018, he resided in Saskatoon, Edinburgh, London, and Glasgow, moving slowly from graduate school to postdoctoral fellow to the academic precariat and then to the professoriate. In 2019, Richert took up the George Urdang Chair in the History of Pharmacy within the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy and he is housed within the Social and Administrative Sciences Division and mostly teaches within the School of Pharmacy. He is also a proud affiliate faculty member with the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of History and the Department of Medical History & Bioethics (MHB). He regularly contributes to HSMT planning and activities.
Beyond developing academic publications and working with the UW-Madison community, Richert has enjoyed making his research available to different types of audiences. He has provided commentary for, and has been featured in/on, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the Daily Mail, Haaretz, New York Times, Psychology Today, Slate, Vice News Tonight, Women's Health, Washington Post, and Yahoo News, among other outlets. In Wisconsin, he has worked with Milwaukee Magazine, Wisconsin Public Radio, and the Wisconsin Badger-Herald.
Richert sits on the steering committee for the newly launched Psychoactive Pharmaceutical Investigation (PPI) masters program in the UW School of Pharmacy, and he serves on the Executive Committee of the recently created Transdisciplinary Center for Research in Psychoactive Substances, also based in the UW School of Pharmacy.
Richert's Urdang Lab, associated with the UW-Madison HSRP graduate program, currently has places for students focused on histories of medicine and pharmacy.
He is also willing to supervise or co-supervise students across divisions and departments at this time. He is particularly open to working with graduate students whose interests center on histories of substances; the evolving nature of community and corporate pharmacy; and mental health technologies. Richert has recently worked with students in the History and English Departments.
He teaches within the School of Pharmacy but his courses are humanities-based and open to students across campus. His courses help form part of the Psychoactive Pharmaceutical Investigation (PPI) masters curriculum, and he also provides content for the PharmD curriculum.
- PHM 401 History of Pharmacy
- PHM 563 Drug History - Dangerous Drugs & Magic Bullets
- PHM 564 Psychedelic Historiography: Sacred Plants, Science & Psychotherapy
Richert also periodically contributes to other courses in the SOP.
- PHM 800 Scientific Integrity & Responsible Conduct of Research
- PHM 411 The Role of the Pharmacist in the Public Health System
- PHM 490 Cannabinoids Seminar
- PHM 490 Introduction to Specialty Pharmacy
- PHM 570 Drug Literature & Evaluation
Jim Mills and Lucas Richert (eds.) Cannabis: Global Histories. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2021.
Other Publications (Select)
(with Erika Dyck, Alexis Turner) “Psychedelic Wars,” The War on Drugs: A History, edited by David Farber (New York: New York University Press, 2021).