Marie Curie
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Marie Curie
A New York Times reporter wrote of Curie, "Few persons have contributed more to the general welfare of mankind and to the advancement of Science than that modest, self effacing woman whom the world has come to know as Marie Curie."
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ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT | Marie Curie | Scoop.it

Born into poverty in occupied Poland, Maria Sklodowska overcame her unfortunate childhood and went on to become an acclaimed scientist and a pioneer for women’s rights.  From childhood, Maria was a prodigy; at the age of 16, she worked as a teacher while taking part in the nationalist “free university.” She helped finance her sister’s medical studies with the understanding her sister would assist her in obtaining her education later. In 1891 Maria, now using the name Marie, went to Paris and began to follow lectures at the Sorbonne. She worked in Lippmann’s research lab starting in 1893 and worked late into the night, living on nothing but bread and butter. It was then that Marie met her husband, Pierre Curie. After their marriage, they began working towards discovering things that would change the world. In the summer of 1898, Marie and Pierre discovered polonium, and then, just a few months later, discovered radium. Marie then was set on obtaining pure radium, which she eventually did with the help of André-Louis Debierne. For these discoveries, Marie and her husband were rewarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903. Marie gave birth to two daughters, Irène and Ève, but this did not interrupt her intensive scientific work. She became a lecturer in physics at the École Normale Supérieure for girls in Sèvres and introduced a new method of teaching: teaching based on experimental demonstrations. After the sudden death of her husband, Marie chose to devote her energy towards completing the scientific work her and her husband had undertaken. Though, in May 1906, she was appointed to the position her husband had left vacant: a professor at the Sorbonne. Marie was the first professor at the Sorbonne, and in 1910 her fundamental treatise on radioactivity was published. In 1911, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the isolation of pure radium; she was the first person to win two Nobel Prizes. Though, even after winning two Nobel Prizes, she continued her work. Throughout World War I, Marie, along with her daughter, devoted herself to the development of the X-ray. After the war, in 1921, Marie made a journey to America to present a gram of radium to President Harding. Later in her life, she had the satisfaction of seeing the development of the Cuie Foundation in Paris, and was inaugurated into the Radium Institute. Marie is truly a woman to be admired; she was persistent with her research even though she was discriminated against for being a woman, and had to live in less than preferable conditions. She was a determined individual, a pioneer in the fight for women’s equality, and an independent female that was not afraid to show the world what women were and are capable of doing.

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About Marie Curie

About Marie Curie | Marie Curie | Scoop.it

"The ashes of Marie Curie and her husband Pierre have now been laid to rest under the famous dome of the Panthéon, in Paris, alongside the author Victor Hugo, the politician Jean Jaurès and the Resistance fighter Jean Moulin. Through her discovery of radium, Marie Curie paved the way for nuclear physics and cancer therapy. Born of Polish parents, she was a woman of science and courage, compassionate yet stubbornly determined. Her research work was to cost her her life....Even with her passing, her contribution may still be felt in the centres for research and palliative care set up in her name, as well in world wide advancement of her work in understanding the nature of the atom and the energy it can release."

Sarah Anderson's insight:

Marie's contributions, her social impact and how she is veiwed by the popular media are all discused in this biography. Most importantly, this biography states that, though she was not a part of the suffrage movement, Marie's acheivements brought great encouragement to the cause.

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Marie Curie and The Science of Radioactivity

Marie Curie and The Science of Radioactivity | Marie Curie | Scoop.it

"Marie Sklodowska Curie opened up the science of radioactivity. She is best known as the discoverer of the radioactive elements polonium and radium and as the first person to win two Nobel prizes. For scientists and the public, her radium was a key to a basic change in our understanding of matter and energy. Her work not only influenced the development of fundamental science but also ushered in a new era in medical research and treatment."

Sarah Anderson's insight:

Marie left a long term impact on the scientific community given she basically developed a fundamental science that allowed for a new approach towards medical research and treatment.

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Marie Curie: In Her Own Words- Continuing without her husband

Marie Curie: In Her Own Words- Continuing without her husband | Marie Curie | Scoop.it

"In 1906 just as we were definitely giving up the old shed laboratory where we had been so happy, there came the dreadful catastrophe which took my husband away from me and left me alone to bring up our children and, at the same time, to continue our work of research."

Sarah Anderson's insight:

Marie, after already becoming an acclaimed scientist and the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, continued to raise her children and research in the lab after her husbands unexpected death. She was a strong independent woman who was forced to face sexism, though she was obviously very intelligent.

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Women to Women: Barbara Goldsmith, "Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie."

Taped: 02/23/2005. Women to Women ended its eleven year run on CUNY TV in 2005. In depth interviews with women of distinction in the arts, education, journal...
Sarah Anderson's insight:

In this episode of the series Women to Women, the author of "Obessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie" talks about her book, which includes information on Marie's life, her discoveries, and her impact on women and science.

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Women's History Biographies - Marie Curie

Women's History Biographies - Marie Curie | Marie Curie | Scoop.it

"Whenever Marie Curie was asked in her later years when she was going to write her autobiography, she responded, "[My life] is such an uneventful, simple little story. I was born in Warsaw of a family of teachers. I married Pierre Curie and had two children. I have done my work in France." Thus did Marie Curie respond in her later years to those who asked when she was going to write her autobiography. A brilliant physicist and tireless researcher who was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, she was always exceedingly modest about her achievements and emphasized that they belonged to science, not to her. Yet as Mollie Keller put it in her biography of Curie, "this tiny woman with her decigram of radium turned the world upside down, forever changing the way we look at, understand, and use our environment."

Sarah Anderson's insight:

From childhood to adulthood, Marie was a determined and brave woman, who, though living a poor conditions, was able to make a change not only in science, but also in the way women were viewed.

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Marie Curie: Leaving Home at 15 (In Her Own Words)

Marie Curie: Leaving Home at 15 (In Her Own Words) | Marie Curie | Scoop.it

"My father, now aged and tired, needed rest; his fortune was very modest. So I resolved to accept a position as governess for several children. Thus, when scarcely seventeen, I left my father’s house to begin an independent life."

Sarah Anderson's insight:

At the age of 15, after finishing school, Marie left home.  After returning to her father for a short while, she realized she needed to start an independent life. Marie was obviously very mature, brave and independent; these were attributes that helped her in her studies.

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The first women to win the Nobel Prize

The first women to win the Nobel Prize | Marie Curie | Scoop.it

 "Her early researches, together with her husband, were often performed under difficult conditions, laboratory arrangements were poor and both had to undertake much teaching to earn a livelihood. The discovery of radioactivity by Henri Becquerel in 1896 inspired the Curies in their brilliant researches and analyses which led to the isolation of polonium, named after the country of Marie's birth, and radium. Mme. Curie developed methods for the separation of radium from radioactive residues in sufficient quantities to allow for its characterization and the careful study of its properties, therapeutic properties in particular."

Sarah Anderson's insight:

Though both Marie and her husband were working in poor conditions, Marie's persistant research and intelligence helped lead them to win the Nobel Prize in Physics. Marie was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, and had to face much sexism within the scientific community- but that never stopped her.

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Amazon.com: Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie (Great Discoveries) (9780739453056): Barbara Goldsmith: Books

Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie (Great Discoveries)

~ Barbara Goldsmith (author) More about this product
List Price: $14.95
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"THE MYTH OF MARIE CURIE--the penniless Polish immigrant who, through genius and obsessive persistence, endured years of toil and deprivation to produce radium. While her work won her two Nobel Prizes and transformed our world, it did not liberate her from the prejudices of either the male-dominated scientific community or society. Here is an all-too-human woman trying to balance science, love, and the family values that constitute her legacy."

 

Sarah Anderson's insight:

This book illustrates the times in which Marie was working, and the sexism that was deeply rooted in the scientific comunity. Though Marie's "obsessive persistence" and great mind led her to success.

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Works Cited

"About Marie Curie." Modern American Poetry. Ed. Cary Nelson and Bartholomew Brinkman. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Jan. 2013. <http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/m_r/rich/mariecurie.htm>.

 

"Marie Curie." Encyclopedia Britannica. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Encyclopedia Britannica's Guide to the Nobel Prizes. Web. 8 Jan. 2013. <http://www.britannica.com/nobelprize/article-9028252>.

 

"Marie Curie and the Science of Radioactivity- Main Exhibit." www.aip.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Jan. 2013. <http://www.aip.org/history/curie/polgirl1.htm>.

 

"Marie Curie- Biography." Nobelprize.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Jan. 2013. <http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1903/marie-curie-bio.html#>.

 

"Marie Curie, ca. 1920." Wikipedia.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Jan. 2013. <http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&sa=N&tbo=d&biw=787&bih=658&tbm=isch&tbnid=9AxgaO9X5e6f3M:&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Curie&docid=rzy3lN9tAN3GGM&imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/71/Marie_Curie_c1920.png/200px-Marie_Curie_c1920.png&w=200&h=300&ei=4MLsUM2bKc7_rAGLlYCoAw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=12&vpy=158&dur=516&hovh=163&hovw=114&tx=72&ty=136&sig=104333343815450936340&page=1&tbnh=159&tbnw=112&start=0&ndsp=17&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:157>.

 

"Woman's History- Marie Curie." Gale Cengage Learning. Gale Cengage Learning, n.d. Web. 8 Jan. 2013. <http://www.gale.cengage.com/free_resources/whm/bio/curie_m.htm>.

 

Women to Women: Barbara Goldsmith, "Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie." Youtube.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Jan. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voWc8ubn0ks&gt;.

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