Alexander Shulgin, aka Sasha Shulgin, is a grandfatherly genius - a brilliant chemist with wonderfully wild eyebrows and white hair, and a gentle, funny soul with a giant smile and time for all of his fans. Yes, a chemist with fans. Formerly an employee at Dow, Shulgin's chemical experiments inadvertently led him to the discovery of MDMA's effects. (The drug itself was discovered by a German chemist at Merck but discarded as useless.) His continuing experiments, both in the lab and on himself and a handful of loved ones, have led to the discovery of countless psychotropic compounds, and a wealth of knowledge that scientists and psychopharmacologists will be studying for a long time to come. He and his wife Ann are the authors of PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story and TiHKAL: A Continuation, which are both semi-autobiographical and also scientific, with extensive information in the second half of each book on how to synthesize the compounds Shulgin has created and the couple writes about. Despite Shulgin's dislike of the term, for better or worse, his most famous creation is known as Ecstasy.