Marie Curie quotes

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Marie Curie

Birthdate: 7. November 1867
Date of death: 4. July 1934
Other names: Marie Curie-Sklodowská, Maria Curieová-Sklodowská

Marie Skłodowska Curie , born Maria Salomea Skłodowska , was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, is the first person and the only woman to win the Nobel prize twice, and is the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields. She was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris.She was born in Warsaw, in what was then the Kingdom of Poland, part of the Russian Empire. She studied at Warsaw's clandestine Flying University and began her practical scientific training in Warsaw. In 1891, aged 24, she followed her older sister Bronisława to study in Paris, where she earned her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work. She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and physicist Henri Becquerel. She won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Her achievements included the development of the theory of radioactivity , techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I she developed mobile radiography units to provide X-ray services to field hospitals.

While a French citizen, Marie Skłodowska Curie, who used both surnames, never lost her sense of Polish identity. She taught her daughters the Polish language and took them on visits to Poland. She named the first chemical element she discovered polonium, after her native country.Marie Curie died in 1934, aged 66, at a sanatorium in Sancellemoz , France, of aplastic anemia from exposure to radiation in the course of her scientific research and in the course of her radiological work at field hospitals during World War I.

„I have no dress except the one I wear every day. If you are going to be kind enough to give me one, please let it be practical and dark so that I can put it on afterwards to go to the laboratory.“

—  Marie Curie

Instructions regarding a proposed gift of a wedding dress for her marriage to Pierre in July 1895, as quoted in 'Madame Curie : A Biography (1937) by Eve Curie Labouisse, as translated by Vincent Sheean, p. 137

„I am one of those who think like Nobel, that humanity will draw more good than evil from new discoveries.“

—  Marie Curie

As quoted in White Coat Tales : Medicine's Heroes, Heritage and Misadventures‎ (2007) by Robert B. Taylor, p. 141. The original Source is the last sentence of https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1903/pierre-curie-lecture.pdf
Misattributed

„There are sadistic scientists who hurry to hunt down errors instead of establishing the truth.“

—  Marie Curie

As quoted in The Commodity Trader's Almanac 2007 (2006) by Scott W. Barrie and Jeffrey A. Hirsch, p. 44

„I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.“

—  Marie Curie

Java Connector Architecture: Building Custom Connectors and Adapters‎ (2002) by Atul Apte, p. 69

„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.“

—  Marie Curie

As quoted in Astrophysics of the Diffuse Universe (2003) by Michael A. Dopita and Ralph S. Sutherland
Context: 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. Without doubt, these dreamers do not deserve wealth, because they do not desire it. Even so, a well-organized society should assure to such workers the efficient means of accomplishing their task, in a life freed from material care and freely consecrated to research.

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„I am among those who think that science has great beauty.“

—  Marie Curie

As quoted in Madame Curie : A Biography (1937) by Eve Curie Labouisse, as translated by Vincent Sheean, p. 341
Variant translation: A scientist in his laboratory is not a mere technician: he is also a child confronting natural phenomena that impress him as though they were fairy tales.
Context: 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. We should not allow it to be believed that all scientific progress can be reduced to mechanisms, machines, gearings, even though such machinery also has its beauty.
Neither do I believe that the spirit of adventure runs any risk of disappearing in our world. If I see anything vital around me, it is precisely that spirit of adventure, which seems indestructible and is akin to curiosity.

„Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.“

—  Marie Curie

Response to a reporter seeking an interview during a vacation with her husband in Brittany, who mistaking her for a housekeeper, asked her if there was anything confidential she could recount, as quoted in Living Adventures in Science‎ (1972), by Henry Thomas and Dana Lee Thomas
This is stated to be a declaration she often made to reporters, in Madame Curie : A Biography (1937) by Eve Curie Labouisse, as translated by Vincent Sheean, p. 222
Variant: In science, we must be interested in things, not in persons.

„Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.“

—  Marie Curie

As quoted in Our Precarious Habitat (1973) by Melvin A. Benarde, p. v
Context: Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

„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.“

—  Marie Curie

'La vie n’est facile pour aucun de nous. Mais quoi, il faut avoir de la persévérance, et surtout de la confiance en soi. Il faut croire que l’on est doué pour quelque chose, et que, cette chose, il faut l'atteindre coûte que coûte.'
As quoted in Madame Curie : A Biography (1937) by Eve Curie Labouisse, Part 2, p. 116

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

—  Marie Curie

Pierre Curie (1923), as translated by Charlotte Kellogg and Vernon Lyman Kellogg, p. 162

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