Historie výuky farmacie na Přírodovědecké fakultě Univerzity Karlovy v letech 1920–1950
Through the history of teaching of pharmacy at the Faculty of Science, Charles University, we illustrate how cutting-edge science impregnated with fundamental historical reversals has profoundly affected the lives of those who taught, studied, and developed pharmacy in the Czech Lands in the 20th century. During the first thirty years of the faculty's existence, the centenary of which we commemorate this year, chemistry is inextricably connected with pharmacy. However, the mutual dialogue between pharmacy and Charles University (founded in 1348) is much older, as the first relationships between the University and pharmacists can be traced to the Middle Ages. From 1652 onwards, the University supervised the profession of pharmacists who were passing exams there, which entitled them to practice their profession. Since 1804, the University has been providing full university education for pharmacists. The formation of independent Czechoslovakia in 1918 enabled the Faculty of Science to be established as the fifth faculty of the Charles University two years later. Between 1920 and 1950, the Faculty was the only place of pharmaceutical education in the Czech Lands. Based on a profound examination and evaluation of the materials from the Archive of the Charles University, we not only bring an overview of the requirements for applicants to study pharmacy, but also reconstruct and analyze the curricula (in which chemical subjects represented most of the taught subject matter). We also present an international character of the education at the Faculty (a large part of the students was from abroad) and its important gender aspect (women represented an above-average proportion of students of pharmacy). The forced closure of the Czech universities as a result of the German occupation in 1939 not only interrupted the teaching of pharmacy, but also caused a significant loss of the Faculty's pedagogical and scientific potential due to the dispersal of top scientists and educators as well as irrevocably lost opportunities for personal development. Although the teaching of pharmacy at the Faculty of Science of the Charles University was resumed after the end of World War II in 1945, shortly thereafter in 1950 it was abolished as a result of political and organizational decisions. It was renewed only in 1969 with the establishment of the independent Faculty of Pharmacy. The ongoing scientific interest in pharmaceutical analysis and synthesis of new drugs at the Faculty of Science of the Charles University therefore remains a logical legacy of these chapters in the history of the Faculty. By recalling the dynamic past of the faculty and its inner connection with the vibrant present, our message is to be seen as a contribution to the dynamization of public perception of the identity of chemists. And as such, in addition to communication, it also has a didactic dimension. Chemistry, if communicated – among other things – as a science that medicates and heals, naturally acquires a completely different emotional touch than it usually has at present. It suddenly becomes socially relevant. This can have a positive impact on young people's decision to study chemistry and then dedicate their lives to it. Only this will allow leading chemical institutes to educate new generations of chemists who will be well prepared to effectively manage the pitfalls of new epidemics and pandemics for humanity.