UK university to honour Maria Sklodowska-Curie
PR dla Zagranicy
The University of Westminster in London is staging a festival in mid-September in tribute to Maria Sklodowska-Curie, the Polish scientist who 100 years ago was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry.
Eight years earlier, together with her husband, Pierre Curie, and Henri Becquerel, she received the Nobel Prize in physics.
The programme of the event is to focus on Marie Curie’s personal life, showing her as a daughter, sister, mother and an attractive and independent woman who loved the arts, poetry and nature, and whose love affairs prompted angry protests and unpleasant media comment.
The programme includes an exhibition on Maria Sklodowska- Curie’s life and a biographical film by Polish director Krzysztof Szmagier. The play ‘Les Palmes de Monsieur Schutz’ by Jean-Noel Fenwick, will also be staged in 21 countries and made into a film by Claude Pinoteau starring Isabelle Huppert, but never shown in the UK so far), a competition for the best essay entitled ‘Women in Science’ and an art contest.
Born in Warsaw in 1867, Maria Skłodowska-Curie spent most of her life in France, where she studied at the Sorbonne. In 1903 she wrote a dissertation which became the first doctorate in science awarded to a woman in Europe. In 1906 her husband was killed in an accident. She devised a method to isolate radium and study its properties, a discovery which later paved the way for cancer therapy.
During World War I, together with her daughter Irene, she fitted ambulances with portable X ray equipment, driving vehicles to the front line.
She died in 1934 of leukaemia, which is supposed to have been caused by her high exposure to radiation. (mk)