The occasional obituary leaves me surprised that the subject was, until just recently, still alive. Albert Hofmann died yesterday.
Prompted by what Hofmann later described as a “peculiar presentiment” that LSD-25 might have properties other than those established in the first investigations, he decided to look at it again.
On Friday afternoon, April 16, 1943, Hofmann had just completed synthesizing a new batch when, he subsequently wrote to his supervisor, “I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with slight dizziness.
“At home, I lay down and sank into a not-unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours, this condition faded away.”
He was 102. Perhaps he had discovered the philosopher’s stone, as well.
Update: A lovely tribute to Hoffman on “On the Media.”