Celebrating Marie Curie’s 100th Anniversary of Her Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Patricia A. Baisden, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Marie Curie, the Premier Chemist, Co-Discoverer of Radiation and Radioactivity

Julie Des Jardins, Baruch College, City University of New York
The Marie Curie Complex: The Hidden History of Women in Science

Pnina G. Abir-Am, Brandeis University
Historical Perspectives on the Public Memory of Marie S. Curie (2011, 1911)

Three papers presented outlined the technical and social accomplishments of Curie, as well as the impact she had on American women in science. The session is a detailed account of her life and work. Much to much to recount here, so I thought I would share a few of the interesting tidbits:

  • her second paper was the first time the word “radioactive” was used in the literature, and was probably the birth of radio chemistry
  • she chose not to patent her work because she felt all scientific research should be freely available to the public
  • In 1903, Pierre won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, but refused to accept unless Marie was included.
  • In 1910 she applied to the French Academy of Sciences. She lost by 2 votes and then refused to ever publish in their journals again.