Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann was the first known person to synthesize the psychedelic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Interested in science from a young age, he studied chemistry at the University of Zürich. As a chemist, he conducted several significant studies and authored more than 100 scientific articles and books. He was a recipient of the prestigious Scheele Award.
Alfred Werner was a Swiss chemist who is credited with developing the fundamental for modern coordination chemistry. In 1913, he became the first inorganic chemist to receive the prestigious Nobel Prize in Chemistry, which he won for proposing the correct configuration of transition metal complexes.
Born in a small Polish village, Ignacy Mościcki grew up to become a chemist, an academic, and a researcher, before he stepped into politics. He later served Poland as its longest-serving president. Initially a supporter of Polish dictator Józef Piłsudski, he became more liberal after Piłsudski’s death.
Richard R. Ernst is a Swiss physical chemist whose work on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1991. Over the course of his career, Ernst has been honored with other awards, including the John Gamble Kirkwood Medal. In 2009, he became the subject of a documentary film titled Science Plus Dharma Equals Social Responsibility.
Paul Hermann Müller was a Swiss chemist known for his discovery of insecticidal qualities and the use of DDT in the control of vector diseases. He received the 1948 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this work. He began his career as a research chemist and later became the Deputy Director of Scientific Research on Substances for Plant Protection.
Nobel Prize-winning Croatian-Swiss chemist Lavoslav Ružička is remembered for his research on cyclic compounds. He also taught in the Netherlands and Switzerland. Apart from studying the rings of muskone and civetone molecules, he also discovered the molecular structures of male hormones such as testosterone and androsterone.
Nobel Prize-winning Swiss biophysicist and chemist Kurt Wüthrich is best known for developing the NMR technique for studying large biological molecules. Initially a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, he was also later associated with the Scripps Research Institute. He later became a permanent resident of China.
German chemist Richard Willstätter is best remembered for his Nobel Prize-winning research on chlorophyll and the structures of other plant pigments. He taught at ETH Zürich and the universities of Berlin and Munich but later resigned from his post at Munich as a protest against anti-Jew attacks.
German chemist Christian Friedrich Schönbein is best remembered for his discovery of ozone and the fuel cell. He also discovered guncotton, or nitrocellulose, as a result of a kitchen accident. He was an apprentice at a chemical firm at 13 and grew up to teach at the at the University of Basel.
Swiss chemist Tadeusz Reichstein is remembered for his Nobel Prize-winning research on the hormones of the adrenal cortex. He also taught pharmaceutical chemistry and organic chemistry at the University of Basel and independently discovered the synthesis of vitamin C. At 99, he was the oldest-living Nobel laureate until his death.
Initially a physician, Germain Henri Hess later focused on chemistry and eventually came up with the Hess's law of thermochemistry. The Swiss-born scientist had grown up and conducted his research in Russia, where his artist father worked. His book Fundamentals of Pure Chemistry was a staple text in Russia for years.
Nobel Prize-winning Russian-born Swiss chemist Paul Karrer is best remembered for his research on carotenoids, vitamins A and B2, and flavins. Associated with the University of Zurich, he also worked as a chemist at the Georg Speyer Haus in Frankfurt. His penned the famous Textbook of Organic Chemistry, too.
While he initially aspired to become a mining engineer, Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac later worked at a porcelain factory and eventually became a professor of chemistry and mineralogy. He is remembered for his research on atomic weights and rare earth elements. He discovered ytterbium and co-discovered gadolinium, too.
Swiss plant physiologist and chemist Nicolas-Théodore de Saussure made pioneering developments in phytochemistry and is considered one of the major researchers of photosynthesis. His rich articles were featured in Annals of Chemistry. Born to alpinist, physicist, and meteorologist Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, he was drawn to science since childhood.
Swiss chemist Werner Kuhn was known for his pioneering model of the viscosity of polymer solutions, which he created using statistical mechanics. A chemical engineer, he taught physical chemistry at the University of Kiel and later headed the University of Basel as its director and then rector.