"Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas."

Nov 2015
? Marie Curie

Saturday (7 November) would have been the famous scientist Marie Curie's 148th birthday. A remarkable woman, she was a pioneer for 20th and 21st century science and holds some very impressive titles. What better way to honour her birthday than to brush up on our knowledge and remind ourselves exactly why she is such a worthy role-model.

  • She was born Maria Salomea Sklodowska on 7 November 1867.

  • With a passion for learning, Marie left home aged 23 and went to study physics, chemistry and mathematics at the University of Paris.

  • In 1895 she married fellow physicist Pierre Curie, and they went on to have two daughters together.

  • She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in 1903. She shared this accolade with her husband and Henri Becquerel "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena."

  • After Pierre's tragic death in 1906, Marie took over his teaching post, becoming the first woman to teach at the University of Paris.

  • She won a second Nobel Prize in 1911 for her discovery of the chemical elements Radium and Polonium.

  • She named the chemical element Polonium after her native country Poland.

  • She is the only woman in history to win the Novel Prize twice.

  • Her research was crucial in the development of x-ray machines, and during World War One she established an x-ray service on the battlefield, where she trained staff and even drove the x-ray vans to the front lines.

  • She died in 1934 aged 66 from a blood cell deficiency caused by long-term exposure to radiation.

  • The Marie Curie charity was set up in 1948 in honour of her huge contribution to the fight against cancer.

Marie's legacy will forever live on; in the scientific discoveries and technologies of tomorrow, and through the lives of those her research has already, and will continue to save.