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Father of LSD Albert Hofmann
Father of LSD Albert Hofmann
Pascaline Minet

GENEVA — There are those few rare researchers through the ages so devoted to science that they have used their own bodies as a laboratory for their experiments. After inventing the hallucinogenic substance LSD, the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann unintentionally, and then intentionally, took doses of the drug.

In his autobiography published in 1980, Hofmann recounts the first intentional LSD trip on April 19, 1943. On that day, the young chemist ingested the new substance that he'd synthesized in his laboratory at Sandoz, of which the full effects were still unknown to him."I could not speak intelligibly. I asked my laboratory assistant to escort me to my house. On the way, my state began to assume worrying proportions. Everything that entered my field of vision shook and was distorted as if in a curved mirror. I felt like I was not moving forward. However, the lab tech later told me that we were moving very quickly."

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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