We’ve come to the end of Women’s History Month and Progressive Women have found it very educational and inspirational! We want to finish with a profile of yet another exceptional woman, someone who arguably has done more for science than any other woman in history. Co-founder of Progressive Women, Caroline Watson, writes about Marie Curie.
Physicist and chemist Marie Curie has left a legacy to science that has improved health care globally. She was born in Poland in 1867. She moved to Paris to study Physics and maths and it was her she met her husband and research partner Pierre Curie who was a Professor of Physics.
Marie and Pierre worked together to investigate radioactivity, first discovering polonium and then a year later radium. In 1903 together they won the Nobel Prize. Tragically Pierre was killed in an accident in 1906 and Marie took over his teaching post. She was the first woman to teach at the Sorbonne in Paris.
In 1911 Marie Curie won the Nobel Prize again, she was the first woman to win the Prize twice.
She trained doctors to use radium for the treatment of scar tissue, arthritus and some cancers. Her work was crucial in the development of the x-ray. In the first world war she helped install ambulances with x-ray equipment.
In 1922 Curie was the first woman elected to membership of th Academy of Medicine.
At 66 Marie died from Leukemia, caused by the radiation she was exposed to through her research. Her life was dedicated to the cause of science and in the end it was this commitment that took her life from her. She was buried in the Pantheon, the first woman to be buried in this exclusive place for her own work.
To read more about Marie Curie see here
If you want to know more about how history is shaping up for women today you might be interested in reading the Fawcett Society’s response to last week’s Budget 2011.