- Category : Science-Chemistry
- Type : GE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Cycles 2
Swiss chemist dubbed “the father of LSD” who later wrote a book called, “LSD, My Problem Child.” Hofmann discovered LSD by accident on April 16, 1943 while he was an employee of a pharmaceutical company in Basel, Switzerland. He had been working in the lab when he inadvertently got some on his fingers that afternoon (his journal entry says "the middle of the afternoon"). Three days later, he conducted an deliberate official test.
Hofmann was the oldest of four children. Always enthralled by the natural world, he was fascinated by plants and how they interact with the human body. In 1927, after graduation from the University of Zurich, he joined Sandoz Pharmaceuticals where he was assigned to investigating plants’ medicinal properties. He began to study ergot, a rye fungus. By 1938 ergot was synthesized and some of its compounds proved useful in treating medical conditions. He noted his reactions when he isolated a compound called LSD-25 and accidentally exposed himself to it. The aftereffects were reminiscent of a mystical feeling that came over him as a child when he was wandering through a field: a spiritual oneness with nature. He called LSD “medicine for the soul” and for its first several years, it proved useful in treating psychiatric disorders. In 1984,he told psychiatrist Stanislav Grof that his experience with the drug made him "aware of the wonder of creation, the magnificence of nature and of the animal and plant kingdom."
Hofmann disapproved of LSD’s widespread recreational use in the 1960s and was disappointed that such drug abuse effectively put an end to scientific experiments that could have benefited humanity. Throughout his life he maintained that LSD ought to be treated with the same care and control as morphine.
In his career with Sandoz, he worked on other hallucinogenic plants and researched their sacred uses by native civilizations. He retired in 1971 as the company’s director of research for the department of natural products. After his retirement he served on the Nobel Prize Committee, was a Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences and held membership in scientific organizations researching medicinal qualities of plants. The Albert Hoffmann Foundation was established in 1988 to continue and expand his work in human consciousness.
Hofmann and his wife, Anita had four children. One son predeceased them in a battle with alcoholism. Anita died in December 2007. Hofmann suffered a fatal heart attack on April 29, 2008 around 9 AM in Basel, Switzerland, age 102.