International Congresses on Traditional Asian Medicine (ICTAM)

Since IASTAM’s first international conference in 1979 in Canberra, the organisation has continued to grow, and has held many more international conferences (see details here).

Regional Conferences

After 1994, as already mentioned above, several regional chapters of IASTAM evolved, in North America, Europe, and India. These organisations have also held separate, highly successful regional conferences.


See the Awards page for details of the Basham Prize and Charles Leslie Awards.

IASTAM Newsletter

The Newsletter was first edited by Charles Leslie (1982-84), then Francis Zimmermann (1984-89). In 1989 it was re-named Asian Medicine Newsletter. Although the frequency of publication dropped off in the early 1990s, the issues which did appear, edited by Charles W. Nuckolls (1992-94) and Lawrence Cohen (1996), were as packed and stimulating as ever. Under the able editorship of Waltraud Ernst, IASTAM’s Newsletter was put back on a regular schedule, with two lively and informative issues appearing in 1998. Professor Ernst continued to edit them into her presidency, during which time she worked on them with Joe Alter, Maarten Bode and Emma Griffin. The same team continued to issue newsletters up until December 2006. Despite a hiatus since then, the Newsletter is in the process of being revived under the editorship of Paul Kadetz.

With the foundation of IASTAM’s journal, Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity, under the initial editorship of Waltraud Ernst and Vivienne Lo, the academic contributions to the Newsletter were reduced. Instead these more scholarly submissions could be better situated in the first fully-fledged, peer-reviewed journal of its type, and produced by the respected academic publishing house, Brill Academic Publishers. While regular updates are still sent out to members through the Newsletter, information about IASTAM is also disseminated through the organisation’s website,

Journal Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity

As stated above, Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity, was founded in 2005 by Waltraud Ernst and Vivienne Lo. It was IASTAM’s first peer-reviewed journal, issue number one published by Brill later that same year. Between 2007 and 2012, under the co-editorships of Lo and Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim (2007), and then Lo and Geoffrey Samuel (2008-2012), the journal has put out two issues a year. Since 2012, Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity is co-edited by a new team, Marta Hansen and Mona Schrempf.

Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity is a multidisciplinary journal aimed at researchers and practitioners of Asian medicine in Asia as well as in Western countries. It makes available, in one single publication, academic essays that explore the historical, anthropological, sociological and philological dimensions of Asian medicine. In addition, the journal also gives space (and hence voice) to practice reports from clinicians based in Asia and in Western countries, as well as providing reviews of new publications considered important and germane to the field.
With the recent upsurge of interest in non-Western alternative approaches, Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity is of relevance to those studying the modifications and adaptations of traditional medical systems on their journey to non-Asian settings. It is also be of value to those who wish to learn more about the traditional background and practice of Asian medicine within its countries of origin. On account of its appeal to scholars from a wide range of academic backgrounds (such as history, anthropology, philology, sociology, and archaeology), as well as to practitioners based in Asian and Western medical institutions and alternative health care settings, the journal constitutes a unique resource for both scholarly and clinically focused institutions.

By Dominik Wujastyk & Theresia Hofer