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Lucas Richert, PhD

Associate Professor
George Urdang Chair in the History of Pharmacy


Lucas Richert (RICK-ert) studies intoxicating substances and the pharmaceutical industry. He also examines the history of mental health.

Richert is accepting graduate students in the history of pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, and medicine more broadly. If you have thoughts or questions about pursuing areas of research, please feel free to get in touch. 

His recent book, Break on Through: Radical Psychiatry and the American Counterculture,  historicizes radical mental health practices in the 1960s-1970s. 

Richert is also the author of Strange Trips: Science, Culture, and the Regulation of Drugs (2019), which focuses on legitimate and illegitimate, legal and illegal drugs. 

Conservatism, Consumer Choice, and the FDA during the Reagan Era: A Prescription for Scandal, his first book, examined pharmaceutical regulation in the 1970s-1980s (2014). It was awarded the 2015 Arthur Miller Centre First Book Prize.

Since January 2018, Richert has served as the co-editor in chief of The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs, along with David Herzberg and Nancy Campbell. Under the stewardship of Campbell, Herzberg, and Richert, the journal moved to the University of Chicago Press in January 2019. Richert also acts as the editor in chief of Pharmacy in History (American Institute of the History of Pharmacy). 

In 2019, Richert took up the George Urdang Chair in the History of Pharmacy. The Chair, the only one of its kind in the United States, is named after Urdang, a Jewish German pharmacist, pharmacy editor, pharmacy historian, and refugee from Nazi Germany. Along with Edward Kremers, the School of Pharmacy's second Dean, Urdang researched and published the pathbreaking History of Pharmacy—the first such book in the US—in 1940. As the first Executive Director of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy (AIHP), Urdang established the Institute’s publishing program. In 1947, the UWSoP hired Urdang as Professor in the History of Pharmacy, and he founded the country’s first graduate program in the discipline. Urdang’s varied and prominent experiences and publications in two countries document the history of pharmacy from multiple understudied perspectives, and he proved influential the history of medicine and science, as well.

Prior to joining UW-Madison in 2019, Richert was a Lecturer and then a Chancellor's Fellow in the University of Strathclyde's Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare (CSHHH). Before that, he held a federally-funded Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellowship in Canada and worked in policy at the Health Quality Council (HQC). Richert was awarded graduate degrees from the University of Edinburgh and University of London after beginning his academic studies at the University of Saskatchewan.

Richert serves as the Historical Director for the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, which is based in the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy and was established in 1941 by Urdang, Kremers, and others.

Dangerous Drugs & Magic Bullets

History of Pharmacy

Psychedelic Historiography

Scientific Integrity & Responsible Conduct of Research 

 

Highlighted Publications:

Books

Jim Mills and Lucas Richert (eds.) Cannabis: Global Histories. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2020-2021. (forthcoming)

Break on Through: Radical Psychiatry and the American Counterculture. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2019.

Strange Trips: Science, Culture, and the Regulation of Drugs. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019.  

Conservatism, Consumer Choice, and the Food and Drug Administration during the Reagan Era: A Prescription for Scandal. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014. Paperback, 2016.

Journal Publications, Peer-Reviewed 

(with Natalie Schmitz) 'Pharmacists and the Future of Cannabis Medicine,' Journal of the American Pharmacists Association [November 23, 2019: early online publication]

(with Erika Dyck) 'Psychedelic crossings: American mental health and LSD in the 1970s,' BMJ: Medical Humanities [June 23, 2019: early online publication]

(with Matthew DeCloedt) ‘Supple Bodies, Healthy Minds: Yoga, Psychedelics, and American Mental Health,’ BMJ: Medical Humanities [Vol. 44, 2018] 193-200

‘Psychiatry in Transition, 1968,’ The British Journal of Psychiatry 212:2, February, 2018, 121.

‘Heroin in the hospice: opioids and end-of-life discussions in the 1980s,’ Canadian Medical Association Journal Vol.190, No.37 October 2, 2017, E1231-E1232.

‘“Therapy Means Political Change, Not Peanut Butter”: Radical Psychiatry in the United States, 1967-1975,’ Social History of Medicine Vol.27, No.1, 2014, 104-121. 

‘The Maple Peril: Canadian Drug Reimportation and American Drug Security during George W. Bush’s First Term,’ Canadian Review of American Studies Vol.43, No.1, 2013, 48-73.

‘Trimming Down: The Debate over Weight Loss Drugs and the Push for a Leaner FDA, 1979-2000,’ Pharmacy in History Vol.53, No.2, 2011, 55-69.

Chapters & Contributions to Edited Volumes 

(with Matthew DeCloedt) 'American Psychiatry in Transition: Reform or Revolution?' in Preventing Mental Illness, edited by Matt Smith, Vicky Long, and Despo Kritsotaki. London: Palgrave Macmillan. November 2018, 187-207.

‘Fen-Phen,’ in Sage Encyclopaedia of Pharmacology and Society, edited by Sarah Boslaugh, et al. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing, 2015, 601-603.

‘Canadian Society of Pharmacology and Therapeutics,’ Sage Encyclopaedia of Pharmacology and Society, edited by Sarah Boslaugh, et al. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing, 2015, 306-308.