Genius Series: The defiant life of Marie Curie

Big Think has launched a line of apparel and goods that celebrate the life and work of four geniuses.

  • Big Think has just launched its Genius Series of tees, sweatshirts, posters and more!
  • We're paying tribute to the first female Nobel Prize winner, Marie Curie.
  • Select Rush or Super Rush Delivery to get your order before Christmas Day!


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

Marie Curie was a trailblazing physicist working in the 19th and 20th centuries, and remains the only person to this day to have won a Nobel Prize in two different sciences: physics and chemistry.

Curie was born in Poland, and although she was a brilliant student she was barred from higher education because she was a woman. Determined to study, she enrolled in a secret institution known as the Flying University, which defied government control of education, then moved to Paris to study physics and mathematics at the Sorbonne.

In Paris, she met physicist Pierre Curie, who became her partner in life and in the lab—and who defiantly fought for her recognition when the Nobel academy did not include her alongside him in the Nobel Prize nomination.

Curie changed the way we understood the structure of atoms, invented a mobile x-ray unit (and trained 150 women to operate them on the WWI battlefields), discovered radioactivity (and coined the term), and discovered two elements: polonium, named after her native Poland, and radium, the Latin word for 'ray'.

Our Marie Curie design pays tribute to this remarkable scientist's life and work. Wear it proudly, and—as Curie says above—have confidence that your gifts can be put to powerful use.

Check out the Marie Curie range of apparel and goods in Big Think's Genius Series.

Select Rush or Super Rush Delivery to get your order before Christmas Day!

ORDER NOW.

Want more genius?

Our Genius Series also includes Nikola Tesla, Isaac Newton, and Erwin Schrödinger!

More From Big Think
Related Articles

Astronomers discover what makes the biggest explosions in space

New study figures out how stars produce gamma ray bursts.

University of Warwick/Mark Garlick
Surprising Science
  • Researchers find out how binary star systems produce gamma ray bursts.
  • Gamma ray bursts are the brightest explosions in the Universe.
  • Tidal effects created in a binary system keep the stars spinning fast and create the bursts.
Keep reading

Are humans hardwired for monogamy?

Evolution steered humans toward pair bonding to ensure the survival of genes. But humans tend to get restless.

Videos
  • Monogamy is natural, but adultery is, too, says biological anthropologist Helen Fisher.
  • Even though humans are animals that form pair bonds, some humans have a predisposition for restlessness. This might come from the evolutionary development of a dual human reproductive strategy.
  • This drive to fall in love and form a pair bond evolved for an ecological reason: to rear our children as a team.
Keep reading

Michio Kaku: 5 fascinating moments from this 1991 interview

From talking about Schrödinger's cat to nuking the South Pole, this decades-old interview shows why Kaku was born to be a science educator.

Harold Channer
Surprising Science
  • Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist and renowned science communicator.
  • In 1991, he sat down for an hour-long interview in which he discussed climate change, nuclear weapons, human evolution, and more.
  • Kaku is a regular contributor to Big Think.
Keep reading