Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium by Carla Killough McClaffertyMarie Curies story has fascinated and inspired young readers
decades. The poor Polish girl who worked eight years to be able
to afford to attend the Sorbonne in Paris became one of the
most important scientists of her day, winning not one but two
Nobel Prizes. Her life is a fascinating one, filled with hard work,
humanitarianism, and tragedy. Her work with her husband,
Pierre - the study of radioactivity and the discovery of the
elements radium and polonium - changed science forever. But
she is less well known for her selfless efforts during World War
to establish mobile X-ray units so that wounded French soldiers
could get better care faster. When she stood to profit greatly
from her scientific work, she chose not to, making her methods
and findings known and available to all of science. As a result,
this famous woman spent most of her life in need of money,
often to buy the very elements she discovered.
Marie Curies life and work are given a fresh telling, one that
also explores the larger picture of the effects of radium in world
culture, and its exploitation and sad misuse.
Marie Curie Documentary
Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium
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Marie Curie's story has fascinated and inspired young readers decades.
making of walking with monsters
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Farrar, [p] illus. Newton experienced his annus mirabilis at twenty-four, the age at which Marie was finally able to enroll in college. While Newton worked as a sort of lone wolf, Marie and husband Pierre collaborated so closely they shared notebooks and carefully credited each other's efforts in their public lectures. While Newton hoarded his work, jealous of retaining appropriate credit for his discoveries, the Curies never patented their work, believing that the element radium was the "property" of humankind. In her smooth-moving text, McClafferty not only covers expected biographical data but also contrasts Curie's dedication to the study of radioactive elements with the exploitation of radium by the established medical community and a host of quacks and snake-oil salesmen as a silver-bullet cure for most ailments. As applications moved in advance of understanding, reputable scientists the Curies included as well a gullible public freely placed themselves in the path of debilitating or even lethal exposure to radiation.