Albert Hofmann and the Discovery of LSD Term Paper by Nicky

Albert Hofmann and the Discovery of LSD
A reflection on the life, work and philosophy of Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann and his discovery of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).
# 149591 | 4,280 words | 9 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Dec 25, 2011 in Medical and Health (Drugs) , Psychology (Alcohol and Drugs)

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The paper looks at Albert Hofmann's background and his belief that psychedelic substances such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) have a beneficial and unique impact on human subjects that can be constructive in navigating psychological afflictions, overcoming traumatic experiences and producing intellectual epiphanies with curative potential concerning one's emotional condition. The paper focuses on these benefits of LSD and how Hofmann decried the adoption of LSD as a recreational drug by the so-called 'hippie' movement. The paper does highlight, however, how the dangers of LSD usage are real and can provoke terrible psychological consequences and even psychoses that can be somewhat incurable.

Albert Hofmann
The Benefits of Hofmann's Discovery

From the Paper:

"One of the most controversial discoverers of the 20th century, Hofmann came from decidedly humble beginnings. He was born to a modest family in Baden, Switzerland. His father's work as a factory laborer and the absence of his formal education retained the family to fairly poor conditions. (Smith, 1) Nonetheless, Hofmann, who was born in 1906, would report happily on a childhood spent largely outdoors. Here, he would explore the ruins of local castles and roam the hillsides consuming the stimuli of nature. He would consistently report this to be one of his greatest pleasures and a source of the spirituality that encompassed his life but tended not to connect him to organized religion. (Smith, 1)
"The impoverished state of Hofmann's family stacked the odds against him in terms of furthering an education. However, the promise and perspicacity which had shown would incline his godfather to sponsor Hofmann at university. (Wikipedia, 1) Thus, he "went on to study chemistry at Zurich University because, he said, he wanted to explore the natural world at the level where energy and elements combine to create life. He earned his Ph.D. there in 1929, when he was just 23." (Smith, 1) The ready enthusiasm and fast success that Hofmann experienced in his studies would be a significant presence in the revelations that were to come about in the years to follow."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Hofmann, A. (1979). LSD-My Problem Child. MAPS.
  • Hofmann, A.; Wasson, R.G.; Ruck, C.A.P.; Smith, H. & Webster, P. (2008). The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secrete of the Mysteries: 30th Anniversary. North Atlantic Books.
  • Hofmann Foundation (HF). (1999). The Albert Hofmann Foundation.
  • Nosowitz, D. (2009). LSD Creator Albert Hofmann to Steve Jobs: 'How Was LSD Useful To You?" Gizmodo. Online at
  • Smith, C.S. (2008). Albert Hofmann, the Father of LSD, Dies at 102. The New York Times.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Albert Hofmann and the Discovery of LSD (2011, December 25) Retrieved April 14, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Albert Hofmann and the Discovery of LSD" 25 December 2011. Web. 14 April. 2021. <>