Wednesday, April 30, 2008

LSD experimenter Albert Hofmann dies aged 102

THE man who synthesised LSD and became the first person to ever have an "acid trip" has died at the age of 102.

Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann died of a heart attack at his home in  Basel yesterday, a friend and colleague said.

Dr Hofmann was working as a chemist in Basel when he synthesised lysergic acid diethylamide.

On April 19, 1943, he took the substance before cycling home.

That day has become known among aficionados as “Bicycle Day” as it was while he was riding home that he experienced the most intense symptoms brought on by the drug.

Dr Hofmann was also the first person to synthesise psilocybin, the active constituent of “magic mushrooms”.

He also discovered the hallucinogenic principles of Ololiuqui (Morning Glory), lysergic acid amide and lysergic acid hydroxyethylamide.

He disapproved of the appropriation of LSD by the youth movements of the 1960s, but regretted that its potential uses had not been explored.
In retirement, Dr Hofmann served as a member of the Nobel Prize Committee. He was a Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences, and a Member of the International Society of Plant Research and of the American Society of Pharmacognosy.

Dr Hofmann was married and had three children.


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