Ernst Späth

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Ernst Späth
Ernst Späth.jpg
bust in the Arkadenhof of the University of Vienna
Born (1886-05-14)14 May 1886
Moravský Beroun, Moravia
Died 30 September 1946(1946-09-30) (aged 60)
Zurich, Switzerland
Nationality Austro-Hungarian, Austrian
Fields chemist
Doctoral students Percy Lavon Julian
Known for synthesis Mescaline
Notable awards Liebig Medal (1937)
Wilhelm Exner Medal (1937)

Ernst Späth (14 May 1886, in Moravský Beroun (German: Bärn), northern Moravia – 30 September 1946, in Zurich) was an Austrian chemist, specializing in natural products.

He was the first to synthesise mescaline[1] and was one of the first to synthesize cuscohygrine on a small scale with Hans Tuppy.

He lost everything in World War II, and died with no money. His former student Percy Lavon Julian returned to Vienna, paid for his funeral, and commissioned a bust of Späth, which is still displayed in the foyer of the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Vienna. A second cast of the bust was erected in 1961 in the Arkadenhof of the University of Vienna.


  1. ^ Manske & Holmes (1953), "The Alkaloids", Academic Press,, 3: 324–8  |chapter= ignored (help)


  • R. Werner Sonkup (2004), Die Wissenschaftliche Welt von Gestern, Wien: Böhlau, pp. 205–216, ISBN 3-205-77303-9