Higby Awarded the George Urdang Medal

AIHP Fischelis Scholar Greg Higby

Gregory Higby, PhD, has been awarded the George Urdang Medal for his publications describing the evolution of American pharmacy during the nineteenth century. Higby served as AIHP’s Executive Director for more than 30 years before retiring at the end of 2018. He now serves as Fischelis Scholar at the Institute.

The George Urdang Medal is awarded for an original and scholarly publication, or series of publications, pertaining primarily to historical or historico-social aspects of pharmacy. Evaluation is based on competence of research and skill of interpretation and presentation. AIHP established the award in 1952 in honor of Professor George Urdang, one of AIHP’s founders and a renowned scholar of the history of pharmacy.

AIHP received six nomination for the 2019 Urdang Medal in response to a call for nominations issued earlier this year. An international panel of judges, consisting of three members of AIHP’s Awards Committee and three historians of pharmacy from countries other than the United States, reviewed the nominations.

Higby was nominated for his publications that have contributed to a deeper and richer understanding of the history of American pharmacy, particularly its evolution during the Nineteenth Century. The cited works include his book (co-authored with Lee Anderson) The Spirit of Voluntarism: A Legacy of Commitment and Contribution – The United States Pharmacopeia 1820 -1995, the chapter he authored on the “Evolution of Pharmacy” in Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy, and his 1995 article “Proctor as Pharmaceutical Icon” in Pharmacy in History. His nomination was also based on his work to promote high-quality pharmaco-historical writing in his role as the editor of AIHP’s journal Pharmacy in History.

In selecting Higby to receive the George Urdang Medal, the panel of judges concluded that his pharmaco-historical writings exhibit the superior quality and distinctive significance that the Medal is intended to promote and recognize. The judges cited the breadth and depth of his writings that trace the development of American pharmacy and his ability to provide (in the words of one judge) “insight to pharmacy’s evolution in and of itself and as part of human history generally.”

The Medal will be presented to Higby on September 6, 2019, at the 44th International Congress for the History of Pharmacy, in Washington, DC.

AIHP extends its thanks to six historians who served on the review panel:

  • Arthur Daemmrich, PhD (AIHP Vice President and Chair of the AIHP Awards Committee; Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation).
  • María del Carmen Francés Causapé, PhD (Professor, Catedrático de Universidad, Madrid, Spain).
  • Bruno Bonnemain (President, International Academy for the History of Pharmacy).
  • Axel Helmstädter, PhD (Professor, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Institut für Pharmazeutische Chemie; President, International Society for the History of Pharmacy).
  • Lucas Richert, PhD (AIHP’s Historical Director and the George Urdang Chair in the History of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy).
  • John Swann, PhD (Historian at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration).
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