Albert Hofmann (January 11, 1906 – April 29, 2008)- a Swiss scientist known best for being the first person to synthesize, ingest, and learn of the psychedelic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Hofmann was also the first person to isolate, synthesize, and name the principal psychedelic mushroom compounds psilocybin and psilocin. He authored more than 100 scientific articles and numerous books, including LSD: My Problem Child. In 2007 he shared first place, alongside Tim Berners-Lee, in a list of the 100 greatest living geniuses, published by The Telegraph newspaper. Hofmann was born in Baden, Switzerland, the first of four children to factory toolmaker Adolf Hofmann and his wife Elisabeth (born Elisabeth Schenk). Owing to his father's low income, Albert's godfather paid for his education. When his father became ill, Hofmann obtained a position as a commercial apprentice in concurrence with his studies. At the age of twenty, Hofmann began his chemistry degree at the University of Zürich, finishing three years later, in 1929.
His main interest was the chemistry of plants and animals, and he later conducted important research on the chemical structure of the common animal substance chitin, for which he received his doctorate, with distinction, in the spring of 1929. Regarding his decision to pursue a career as a chemist, Hofmann provided insight during a speech he delivered to the 1996 Worlds of Consciousness Conference in Heidelberg, Germany: "One often asks oneself what roles planning and chance play in the realization of the most important events in our lives. This [career] decision was not easy for me. I had already taken a Latin matricular exam, and therefore a career in the humanities stood out most prominently in the foreground. Moreover, an artistic career was tempting. In the end, however, it was a problem of theoretical knowledge which induced me to study chemistry, which was a great surprise to all who knew me. Mystical experiences in childhood, in which Nature was altered in magical ways, had provoked questions concerning the essence of the external, material world, and chemistry was the scientific field which might afford insights into this." In april 1943 he discovered a molecule that chaged the World. LSD. Hofmann, interviewed shortly before his hundredth birthday, called LSD "medicine for the soul" and was frustrated by the worldwide prohibition of it. "It was used very successfully for ten years in psychoanalysis," he said, adding that the drug was misused by the Counterculture of the 1960s, and then criticized unfairly by the political establishment of the day. He conceded that it could be dangerous if misused, because a relatively high dose of 500 microgrammes will have an extremely powerful psychoactive effect, especially if administered to a first-time user without adequate supervision. In December 2007, Swiss medical authorities permitted psychotherapist Peter Gasser to perform psychotherapeutic experiments with patients who suffer from terminal-stage cancer and other deadly diseases.
Completed in 2011, these experiments represent the first study of the therapeutic effects of LSD on humans in 35 years, as other studies have focused on the drug's effects on consciousness and Hofmann acclaimed the study, and continued to say he believed in the therapeutic benefits of LSD.In 2008, Hofmann wrote to Steve Jobs, asking him to support this research; it is not known if Jobs responded.
The Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has supported research in the field of psychoanalysis using LSD, carrying on Hofmann's legacy and setting the groundwork for future studies. Hofmann was due to speak at the World Psychedelic Forum from March 21 to March 24, 2008, but was forced to cancel because of bad health. Hofmann died of a heart attack on April 29, 2008 and was survived by several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He and his wife, Anita, reared four children, one of whom died at the age of 53. Hofmann revealed that LSD had not affected his understanding of death and explained "I go back to where I came from, to where I was before I was born, that’s all.” Honors and awards The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) honored him with the title D.Sc. (honoris causa) in 1969 together with Gustav Guanella, his brother-in-law. In 1971 the Swedish Pharmaceutical Association (Sveriges Farmacevtförbund) granted him the Scheele Award, which commemorates the skills and achievements of the Swedish Pomeranian chemist and pharmacist Carl Wilhelm Scheele. Here is the link to ALbert Hoffmann Foundation