2021 AIHP Glenn Sonnedecker Prize Awarded

Isaac Tan
Isaac C. K. Tan, 2021 Glenn Sonnedecker Prize Winner

The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy (AIHP) is pleased to announce that the 2021 AIHP Glenn Sonnedecker Prize has been awarded to Isaac C.K. Tan, a PhD candidate in modern Japanese History in the Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures at Columbia University. The Sonnedecker Prize is awarded for the best unpublished manuscript submitted in an annual competition on a topic within the field of the history of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals.

Mr. Tan received the prize for a manuscript entitled, “Picturing the Politics of Pharmaceutics: The Pharmacists, the Physicians, and the Unfinished Business of Dispensing Separation in Modern Japan, 1868–1937.” The manuscript explores the political and social factors affecting legislative efforts during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to demarcate the respective roles of physicians and pharmacists in the dispensing of pharmaceuticals in Japan.

Mr. Tan will receive a $1,000 cash prize for winning the Sonnedecker Prize, and, upon successful completion of the peer- and editorial-review processes, his manuscript will be published in AIHP’s academic journal History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals.

Manuscripts submitted in this year’s competition for the Sonnedecker Prize were reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of AIHP’s Historical Director, Lucas Richert, PhD, and four members of the journal’s editorial board.

Dr. Richert stated that “the judges were all impressed with Tan’s original examination of the politics of dispensing in Meiji Japan.” Richert praised Mr. Tan’s work as “analytically and historiographically commendable.”

Originally established in 2015, the AIHP Glenn Sonnedecker Prize honors Professor Glenn Sonnedecker, a distinguished historian of pharmacy, the longtime Director of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, and the founding editor of the Institute’s academic journal, Pharmacy in History (which changed its name to History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals in 2021). Professor Sonnedecker died in June 2021 at age 103.

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