Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.

Marie Curie

Happy birthday, Marie Curie! The Nobel Prize-winning scientist (born November 7, 1867) was awarded the coveted medal not once but twice—for physics and then chemistry. She was the first woman to win a Nobel, and she wrote about her life and work with her scientist husband, who shared the first Nobel with her, in the biography/memoir Pierre Curie. They discovered the elements polonium (which she named after her native Poland) and radium. However, her long-term exposure to radiation while working on her groundbreaking discoveries of radioactivity would ultimately claim her life.


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