Madame Marie Slodowska Curie, most commonly known as an inspirational scientist or a ‘genius’, but less famously known for being a deep lover, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a patriot, and once a servant.
The whole world knows that she was the first and only woman to receive two Nobel prizes, but much less is known about the nights Marie had to sleep on a cold floor and skip meals to pay her tuition fees; the nights she filled her empty stomach with enthusiasm for science and the days when her words were shushed before they left her mouth because according to society, her words were only meant to sing lullabies to her children, not to describe the wonders of our universe. This woman was not an ordinary woman meant to become an idealistic housewife or live within the social norms of society or bake pies for her husband; she was born to be struck as a lightning bolt that would revolutionise the world of radioactivity and create scientific history. Continue reading Marie Curie
Barbara McClintock won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1983, for her discovery of transposable elements in genetic material. She is the only woman to receive an unshared prize in that category.
They called them “jumping genes.” McClintock, a plant geneticist, discovered that genes could slice themselves out of one place and move to another, thus changing how genes were expressed. Now we know that our predispositions to things ranging from illness to weight gain or loss all depend on how our genetic material decides to express itself. But in 1950, someone said that McClintock’s discovery was like being told that your kitchen could jump into your attic.
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Irène Joliot-Curie was a Nobel Prize winning chemist, and daughter of famed scientist Marie Curie.
When it comes to great women from history, almost everyone has heard of Marie Curie, the great scientist who won two Nobel Prizes. Less well known is her equally brilliant daughter, Irène.
Irène was born on 12th September 1897 in Paris where her famous parents Marie & Pierre lived. She went to school when she was 10, but only stayed for a year; her parents had noticed how clever she was, especially at maths and wanted to develop her gift. Marie and other scientists living in Paris at the time formed an educational group which they called ‘The Cooperative’. The scientists took it in turn to teach one anothers children in their homes, it was an amazing start for young Irene. As well as teaching them science at a higher level than at school, they also encouraged creativity, self-expression and play.
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Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin was born on 12th May 1910. She was a scientist & peace campaigner, and winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
Born in Egypt to British parents, Dorothy developed an interest in chemistry at the young age of 10. At school she and one other girl were allowed to join the boys for their chemistry lessons; when no further science education was offered to her she took private tuition to enable her to gain entry to Oxford University.
The work for which she is known, and which earned her the Nobel Prize, was her development and use of X-ray crystallography, which enabled her to discover the molecular structures of natural substances. She helped confirm the structure of penicillin, worked with insulin for over 34 years studying insulin and revealed the structure of vitamin B12.
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