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Ten Geniuses Share Their Drugs of Choice

6 Substance

Many scientists and inventors have had close relationships with drugs. And some haven’t been shy about it. Steve Jobs was once quoted having said that the reason Bill Gates wasn’t more inventive was because he had never dropped acid. Or had he?

Nation Trend  compiled this fascinating list.

1. Sigmund Freud, psychoanalyst: Cocaine and Marijuana

Freud believed so strongly in the healing powers of cocaine that he once prescribed it to a friend with morphine addiction, calling cocaine a “wonder drug.”

2. Francis Crick, molecular biologist: LSD

LSD was Crick’s “thinking tool.” Supposedly, it was while tripping on LSD that Crick first perceived the double-helix structure of DNA.

3. Thomas Edison, inventor: Cocaine Elixirs

Not content with inventing electricity, Edison also found a way to keep the lights on in his own mind into the wee hours: He liked to mix his wine with coca leaves.

4. Paul Erdos, Hungarian mathematician: Amphetamines

Erdos claims he couldn’t get any work done for more than a month because he bet a friend $500 he could quit speed for 30 days. He made the $500, but who knows what the world of math lost.

5. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple: LSD

Jobs once said that experimenting with LSD in the 1960s was one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life.

6. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft: LSD

He swears that he never took any LSD after he turned 25. But by then, he’d already founded Microsoft.

7. John C. Lilly, neuroscientist: LSD and Ketamine

One of the most important figures in the field of electronic brain stimulation, Lilly began experimenting with the two psychedelics early on. To what extent did this influence his discovery of interspecies communications between dolphins, whales and humans?

8. Richard Feynman, theoretical physicist: LSD, Marijuana and Ketamine

Even geniuses apparently aren’t immune from peer pressure: Feynman was initially very careful about what he put into his body for fear of rotting his high-powered brain cells. But when he met John Lilly, he just couldn’t say no, and experimented briefly with hallucinogens.

9. Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize-winning Biochemist: LSD

Mullis said that his experiments with LSD were much more important than anything he studied in school, describing them as “mind-opening.”

10. Carl Sagan, astrophysicist and cosmologist: Marijuana

There was a time when Sagan tried to say that marijuana enhanced intellect. Later, he contributed to a book called Marijuana Reconsidered, extolling weed’s virtues.