The Monthly Scientist: Miss August

Hello, this year is disappearing so fast! Today we’re celebrating a fantastic scientist, without her research we might not know as much about cancer as we do today. Of course today we are honouring…

Marie Curie

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Born: 7 November 1867 in Warsaw, Poland

Died: 4 July 1934, age 66.

Noted for: First research into the treatment of tumours with radiation and the discovery of radium and polonium.

Why scientist of the month?

Curie began life as a teacher but her scientific career started when she moved to Paris and met her future husband Pierre Curie. In July 1898, the Curies announced the discovery of a new chemical element, polonium. At the end of the year, they announced the discovery of another, radium.

Pierre died in 1906 and Marie took over his teaching post, becoming the first woman to teach at the Sorbonne. The Curie’s research was crucial in the development of x-rays in surgery. During World War One Curie helped to equip ambulances with x-ray equipment, which she herself drove to the front lines.

If all that wasn’t enough she is also the only person who has ever won Nobel Prizes in both physics and chemistry. As well as her research into the treatment of tumours with radiation was essential to what we know about cancer and how we treat it now.

Yet again, Curie is among the wonderful scientists that know how to perfectly turn a phrase so to conclude this is my favourite Marie Curie quote.

“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.”

ThatBiologist Everywhere!

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