Marie Curie: An Influential Role In Science

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During an era when women were not known to attend college, let alone, play a major influential role in science, Marie Curie did just that. Born Marie Sklodowska in 1867 in Warsaw, Poland, Marie is best known for discovering the elements radium and polonium, and her study of radioactivity, which led to advances in the treatment of cancer and the development of nuclear power; both of which are still used today. Her work on radioactivity led to her being the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and advancement in the use of x-rays especially in the medical field. In 1903 her and her husband Pierre Curie were jointly awarded, along with Henry Becquerel (a French physicist), the Nobel Prize for physics for the discovery of radioactivity. Marie Curie …show more content…
She was a female in a profession that was known to be generally hostile to her gender, but she lived her life overcoming one hurdle after another with competence and perseverance. Curie is the only person who has ever won Nobel Prizes in both physics and chemistry. Although she was not a doctor, she recognized the value of her discoveries for the field of medicine. The Institute Curie in Paris and the Marie Curie Cancer Care in the United Kingdom were founded on the basis of her inspiration. The Marie Curie Cancer Care puts emphasis on research, with world-class teams of doctors and healthcare professionals studying better ways to provide palliative care for patients, and today is one of the UK’s largest charities. Even the great Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist, said this about Marie Curie, “Not only did she do outstanding work in her lifetime, and not only did she help humanity greatly by her work, a but she invested all her work with the highest moral quality. All of this she accomplished with great strength, objectivity, and judgement. It is very rare to find all of these qualities in one individual.” (Pycior, 1999, p.131). Ironically, Curie died as a result of prolonged radiation exposure, and to this day her belongings including papers, furniture and even cookbooks are still radioactive. Today, her manuscripts are kept at the National Library of France in lead-lined boxes and can only be handled by those wearing protective

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