The Scientific Genius of Marie CurieDocumentary
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One Day University presents a series of video lectures recorded in real-time from some of the top minds in the United States. Given by award-winning professors and experts in their field, these recorded lectures dive deep into the worlds of religion, government, literature, and social justice. The brilliant Polish physicist and chemist Marie Curie lived a life of profound personal courage. Her experiences illuminate a culture of pure science now long gone, and they help us understand some of the continuing issues for women scientists. She and her future husband Pierre worked ceaselessly under what turned out to be very dangerous and unwise conditions: they isolated radium and polonium, launched the entirely new science of radioactivity, and basically founded a scientific empire. Curie defended her doctoral dissertation in the spring of 1903 and a few months later she and her husband were awarded the Nobel Prize. After her husband died, she continued her demanding scientific work, going on to win another Nobel Prize for chemical work with radium. She served heroically at the French front during World War I, when Curie and her teenage daughter Irene drove an X-ray truck she had outfitted herself, to help doctors assess the brutal wounds of the First World War. When Curie died in 1934 of a form of anemia brought on by exposure to radiation, she was one of the most famous women in the world. Austere, reserved, and powerful, she became a symbol of female genius, the only female scientist commonly included in children's books and other popular sources. In this lecture, U Penn Professor Susan Lindee will explore her astonishing life and work and its implications for women in science today.