Marie Curie is one of the most famous female scientists in history. Her two Nobel Prizes and breakthrough research in radioactivity were hard fought rewards for a lifetime of determination.
Born and raised in Warsaw, when it was under Russian rule, it was illegal for women to attend university. In order to get an education Marie attended a floating university. This school met nightly and was forced to change locations every evening in order to stay under the radar of the czar. This led to Marie becoming an active member in the Student’s Revolutionary Organization.
Because of her involvement in the Revolutionary Organization Marie was forced out of Warsaw. She moved to Paris and continued her studies. Her time in Paris in the early 1890’s was a time of hardship mixed with happiness. Marie met her husband, Pierre Curie in 1895. Together they worked in a cramped uncomfortable hanger as they conducted their research.
In 1903 Marie won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with her husband and another scientist, making her the first woman to ever win. She won a second time in 1911 for Chemistry. When World War I broke out she championed using radiation as a means of therapy for the injured soldiers. With the use of radiology she developed portable x-ray machines allowing military doctors to see bullets and other field injuries. With her Petites Curries, vehicles with xray machines she created opportunities for other women. They trained at the Radium Institute and joined the Red Cross’s Radiologist’s division.
I am one of those who think like Nobel, that humanity will draw more good than evil from new discoveries. ~Marie Curie
My recommendations based on Marie Curie:
- Obsessive Genius, the Inner World of Marie Curie
- The Parasol Protectorate Series Some of my favorite books, this steampunk series has a heroine who is inquisitive, scientific and a bit rebellious. Likewise, there is a fabulous inventor by the name of Madame Lefoux