Alexander Shulgin is a god-like figure in some underground circles, especially those who think of themselves as psychonauts (explorers of inner space, often with entheogens and designer psychedelics). He rediscovered MDMA (ecstasy) after it had long been forgotten by Merck. He authored the two most important references on designer hallucinogens (see below), and he was the first to synthesize and test (on himself) many of these drugs.
I found this at Neurobonkers, but the video is available on YouTube.
By On March 19, 2012
A beautiful new film tells the story of Alexander Shulgin, the chemist who re-discovered MDMA (after it was synthesised and abandoned by Merck) and went on to discover hundreds of psychedelic drugs such as the 2C* family. He is famous not only for independently discovering and developing so many psychedelics but for testing them extensively on himself and for writing the core textbooks of the psychedelic literature, PiHKAL (‘Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved’) and TiHKAL (‘Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved).
The film provides a rare insight in to how one man achieved so much from a humble workshop in his garden shed. You can buy the DVD on Amazon. Shulgin recently suffered a stroke and his family are seeking help paying for his medical bills, you can donate to the Shulgins directly on the Alexander Shulgin Research Institute website.
Benzenhöfer U, & Passie T (2010). Rediscovering MDMA (ecstasy): the role of the American chemist Alexander T. Shulgin. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 105 (8), 1355-61 PMID: 20653618