born 1867

Two-time Nobel Laureate Marie Sklodowska Curie is known as the trailblazing First Lady of Science. Growing up in occupied Poland, educational opportunities were limited due to her nationality and sex. That didn't stop Marie from working and studying on her own. It took her years to pass the entrance exam at Paris's Sorbonne. With the help of her husband and collaborator Pierre, Marie became the university's shining star...its 1st female science PhD, professor and lab head whose hard-won insights earned international acclaim.

Marie + Pierre initially bonded in the lab over magnetism. Their renowned contributions to the study of radioactivity gave us everything from x-rays to cancer treatments to carbon dating!

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Marie Curie (15)

"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained."

in Eve Curie's biography, Madame Curie | january 1894

"In science, we must be interested in things, not in persons."

Eve Curie's Madame Curie | january 1904

"Stability can only be attained by inactive matter."

Nobel Lecture: Radium and the New Concepts in Chemistry | december 1911

"We must not forget that when radium was discovered no one knew that it would prove useful in hospitals. The work was one of pure science."

On the Discovery of Radium | may 1921

"Scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of the direct usefulness of it. It must be done for itself, for the beauty of science, and then there is always the chance that a scientific discovery may become, like the radium, a benefit for humanity."

On the Discovery of Radium | may 1921

"Our society, in which reigns an eager desire for riches and luxury, does not understand the value of science. It does not realize that science is a most precious part of its moral patrimony."

Pierre Curie | 1923

"Science is at the base of all the progress that lightens the burden of life and lessens its suffering."

Pierre Curie | 1923

"It is easy to overlook those who have not the active support of influential persons."

Pierre Curie | 1923

"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child."

Autobiographical Notes: Marie Curie | january 1923

"I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy."

Autobiographical Notes: Marie Curie | january 1923

"We took no copyright, and published without reserve all the results of our research."

Pierre Curie | 1923

"One of our joys was to go into our workroom at night...The glowing tubes looked like faint, fairy lights."

Pierre Curie | 1923

"I shall never be able to express the joy of the quietness of this atmosphere of research and the excitement of actual progress with the confident hope of still better results."

Pierre Curie | 1923

"The School of Physics could give us no suitable premises, but the Director permitted us to use an abandoned shed which had been in service as a dissecting room. It was in this miserable old shed that we passed the best and happiest years of our life, devoting our entire days to our work."

Pierre Curie | january 1923

"Humanity needs practical men, who get the most out of their work, and, without forgetting the general good, safeguard their own interests. But humanity also needs dreamers, for whom the disinterested development of an enterprise is so captivating that it becomes impossible for them to devote their care to their own material profit."

Eve Curie's Madame Curie | 1937
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curated with care by Alicia Williamson {october 2014}