Women Scientists-Marie Curie

Avalon Legal Blog

Our blog this month is on famous women that have led change or made a difference to society. Due to our current situation with Covid 19 and the scientists that are working tirelessly to create vaccines for Covid 19, I thought it appropriate to focus on Marie Curie.  

Marie Curie was a scientist and I think it is fair to say most people know what she discovered; and if you do not read on to find out. Marie was born in Poland and later moved to France and met her husband to be, who was also a scientist, called Pierre.

In 1903 Marie and her husband Pierre were awarded the Nobel Prize for their scientific discoveries. They discovered radioactivity and two new elements called polonium and radium. Their ground-breaking work led to the development of radiotherapy and X Rays. Did you know that the first portable X Ray machine was developed and used during World War One, all thanks to Marie and Pierre.  

Then in 1911 Marie was awarded another Nobel prize. This was historically significant with the scientific discoveries and also that Marie was the first woman in history to be awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize; and the only one to be awarded the Nobel Prize twice. Marie became a professor at the University of Paris in 1906 and was the first woman professor at the university.

The Curie institute in Paris was founded in 1920 and in Warsaw in 1932; both medical research facilities are used for medical research today.

Sadly in 1934 Marie died from Aplastic anaemia from the exposure during her scientific experiments. Today we know about radiation and it’s affect on our bodies. We use precautions when using radiation to minimise the risks to the patient and medical and nursing teams.

Today we have developed further technologies, but the X Ray is still used in conjunction with other medical investigations. Without Marie and Pierre’s work in this field none of this would be possible today.

Copyright Avalon Legal 23rd May 2021

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