Students at the School of Pharmacy step back in time to celebrate centenary
18 November 2019
On October 8th 1919 the Welsh College of Pharmacy opened its doors for the first time and one hundred years later the current cohort of pharmacy students donned their Edwardian costumes, dusted off their notepads and pencils and enjoyed a day of lectures and workshops as they would have been at the beginning of the twentieth century.
In its hundredth year, the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have planned a series of celebration events for its stakeholders, staff and alumni, but for the current intake of students, they wanted to do something particularly special.
Staff were invited to dress up in the fashion of Edwardian Britain and deliver classes in subjects that students of pharmacy would have received in 1919. Leaf drawing, Latin interpretation, materia medica, powder folding and pill rolling were the order of the day along with lectures on poisons and a chemistry practical involving aspirin.
To ensure historical accuracy the School employed the talents of Briony Hudson and Heather Pardoe, the School’s historian and Principal Curator for Botany and Pollen at Cardiff Museum, respectively. Guiding the academic staff, they stressed the importance of modern context when producing content, providing a clear line of sight between how things were done in the past and how they led to modern techniques.
“There are as many continuities as there are changes,” said Hudson. “The hands-on skills, the professionalism, the attention to detail… and the science behind the medicines – none of that has actually changed its core values.”
Professor James Birchall, Deputy Head of School, added of the day, “Our Step Back in Time Day was a wonderful opportunity for our staff and students to join together to celebrate our history and achievements and look forward to the next 100 years of pharmacy education in Cardiff.”