comScore Marie Curie | The Mary Sue
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Happy Birthday Marie Curie, You’ve Got a Google Doodle!

she blinded me with science

If Marie Curie hadn’t died of radiation poisoning, she probably would have died of something else, but if instead her long exposure to the radioactive material had given her superpowers like it always does in comics, then maybe she would have lived to turn one hundred and forty four today. And she would have gotten to see Google devote it’s Doodle to her.

But lets be fair: everybody is probably already familiar with two things (and possibly only two things) about Marie Curie. One: she studied radium. Two: she died from complications of studying radium. But there’s lots more that’s awesome about Marie Curie.

For example, she’s the only woman to have won multiple Nobels, one for physics and one for chemistry. She also raised a Nobel prize winner, making her a member of the only generational string of hereditary couples to win Nobel prizes. She and her husband Pierre Curie both won Nobels, and so did her daughter and son-in-law Iréne Joliot-Curie and Frédéric Joliot.

Curie also raised two kickass daughters on her own from the ages of nine and two, following the death of her husband. Iréne, as you may have already guessed, became a scientist, and jointly discovered artificial radioactivity with her husband. Éve Curie‘s talents, however, swung towards the humanities, and though she never won a Nobel for her efforts, she did marry a guy who accepted the Nobel Peace prize on behalf of UNICEF, so one can only hope that she didn’t feel left out at family get-togethers. She shouldn’t have, since she began her adult life as a pianist, but after caring for her declining mother switched fields to write an award winning and personal biography of Marie, and from there pursued a career as a journalist.

But as usual, xkcd has the final word on one of the most important things to remember about Marie Curie.

(comic via xkcd.)

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