Alexander Shulgin, the pioneering pharmacologist heralded for synthesising psychoactive substances, has passed away.
According to a Facebook post by his wife and research partner, Ann, the 88-year-old pharmacologist, author, and medicinal chemist died earlier today surrounded by "family and caretakers and Buddhist meditation music".
Born in California, he is credited with discovering and synthesising over 200 psychoactive drug compounds for psychedelic evaluation alongside his wife. Among these was MDMA, which is believed to have been originally synthesised by German pharmaceutical company Merck in 1912. Shulgin famously rediscovered the drug and was instrumental in bringing it to the attention of the wider world. Without him, dance music culture would be very different today.
His and his wife's work is documented in their two books PiHKAL and TiHKAL (Phenethylamines and Tryptamines I Have Known And Loved), providing extensive detail on their work and their personal experiences with the drugs.
Visionquest member Shaun Reeves paid his tribute to Shulgin in June 2012, writing in Mixmag: "Shulgin's life's work had a deeper spiritual objective: to give us the keys to open doors of perception. It just so happens that he made a lot of keys."
Watch a video of Alexander Shulgin talking about ecstasy below.