Marie Curie – The First Woman To Win A Nobel Prize - KitHub

Marie Curie – The First Woman To Win A Nobel Prize

Marie Curie was born on November 7th, 1867. She was a chemist and physicist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. Here at KitHub we hold a soft spot for Marie Curie because of our partnership with Safecast and their pioneering work on collecting radiation data. Marie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the first person and only woman to win two Nobel Prizes. Additional achievements included techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. She also founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and Warsaw and during World War I she established the first military field radiological centers.

Have no fear of perfection; you'll never reach it. Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood."

Marie Curie

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Pierre and Marie Curie

Pierre and Marie Curie

Factoid: Marie named the first of the chemical elements she discovered, polonium, after her native country of Poland.

She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win a second Nobel Prize, and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences (Physics - 1903 and Chemistry - 1911). 

One of Marie Curie's acquaintances was Albert Einstein. According to Biography.com, Einstein wrote her a supportive letter in 1911 when she was denied a seat in the French Academy of Sciences, possibly because she was a woman, an atheist and for having a scandalous relationship with a married man, fellow scientist Paul Langevin who, at the time, was estranged from his wife.

Letter from Albert Einstein to Marie Curie

Letter from Albert Einstein to Marie Curie

Marie died at the age of 66 from aplastic anemia that she developed from her research. Marie would carry test tubes of radium in her pockets and was exposed to radiation from the mobile x-ray units she set up during World War I.  

Factoid: Marie Curie's research papers and office are still radioactive. 

Mari Curie's Radioactive Notebook

Mari Curie's Radioactive Notebook

I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician: he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale. We should not allow it to be believed that all scientific progress can be reduced to mechanisms, machines, gearings, even though such machinery also has its beauty.

Neither do I believe that the spirit of adventure runs any risk of disappearing in our world. If I see anything vital around me, it is precisely that spirit of adventure, which seems indestructible and is akin to curiosity.

Marie Curie
Marie Curie - the only women at the 1911 Solvay Conference

Marie Curie - the only women at the 1911 Solvay Conference

Learn more about Marie Curie at Musee Curie, a small, free museum tucked into the Institut Curie research campus in Paris.

About the Author

Tara Tiger Brown is a technologist and author exploring the intersection of the environment, education, and wellbeing. As founder and CEO of KitHub, she develops STEAM education programs focused on hands-on learning and environmental monitoring.