Lucas Richert's profile picture: a white man with light hair in a black button-up smiling against a light grey background.

Lucas Richert

Associate Professor

School of Pharmacy | Social & Administrative Sciences Division

Lucas Richert is a historian of medicine and pharmacy, who focuses on legal and illegal drugs, drug science and technology, pharmaceutical pricing and policy, and mental health. 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).


Dangerous Drugs and Magic Bullets

“Medicines” and “drugs” change over time — and concepts of risk, danger, legality, and even scientific evidence are elastic. As we will see, histories of laws, regulations, and key historical actors, as well as specific drug biographies, matter when thinking about the present.

Psychedelic History: From Sacred Plants to Science and Psychotherapy

Have you “changed your mind” recently? So-called psychedelic substances and medicines have long, complex histories and have become more prominent in recent years. In thinking about the “psychedelic renaissance” and novel medicines, it is valuable to take stock of both the hype and harms and place psychoactive substances in wider religious, cultural, and scientific contexts.

Pharmacy History and the UW-Madison Tradition

The history of pharmacy tradition in Wisconsin, which was initiated over a century ago, began with a belief that science should be taught alongside the humanities. This talk will share the unique story of innovation, interdisciplinarity, and the struggle to blend scientific training with the liberal arts at the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy. In the face of contemporary developments in psychedelic science and medicine on the UW campus, it is a tradition that continues to have relevance today. This talk will also provide an understanding of the Madison-based American Institute of the History of Pharmacy (AIHP) and share some of the most interesting collections and specific items that might help scientists and historical researchers make strides together in the years ahead.

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