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Marie Curie And The Discovery Of The X Ray

1194 words - 5 pages

When defining the greatest scientist, it is considered someone who thinks out of the ordinary to find answers and explanations to determine the forces of science and their course of action. To prove their scientific excellence, a scientist may receive various awards to show public recognition. Marie Curie is considered the greatest scientist in European history because of her work and commitment to science that has left an impact on all of Europe. Despite the work of other great scientists, namely Antoine Becquerel, Marie Curie proved to be the greatest scientist in European history by earning many awards, becoming the first female scientist, and assisting in the discovery of the X- Ray. Curie’s work has imprinted modern day science and medicine that has made an impact on millions.
Throughout her scientific career, Marie Curie won numerous awards and recognitions, naming her the first of many. After years of conducting lab studies, Curie won a Nobel Prize in physics for her study of radiation, in 1903, which titled her the first woman to ever receive this prize (Crawford-Brown). Her work was noticed by the public, and recognized despite her gender, proving to the public that Curie had a strong commitment to science. Curie didn’t stop after receiving her first Nobel Prize, she continued her lab work and in 1911, Curie was granted another Nobel Prize in chemistry for being able to prove the existence of radium and its properties. Her second prize titled her the first person to receive two Nobel Prizes. As summarized by Henderson in his biography: “Winning one Nobel Prize is remarkable. Winning two, and in different fields at that, is extraordinary,” (Henderson 55). Attributing to her numerous titles of the “first”, Marie Curie became the first female professor at the Sorbonne University in Paris (Henderson 30), this submission to Curie’s career meant the Sorbonne saw her worthy of this teaching position. Accepting this offer proved to the community she had the knowledge and qualifications to teach despite the Sorbonne’s history of only male professors. Curie’s awards named her the first in many areas, striving to go to great heights in the science field.
In addition to her significant awards and recognitions, Curie’s discoveries were found at a time when women were held inferior to society. At the time of her early career, society held ideals that did not include scientists to be women. However, Curie disproved them, although it was difficult. The inferiority began early in her life; being born in Poland, in 1867, when the Russian Czar was in control, and didn’t allow women to attend a university (Marie Curie). Overcoming this setback, Curie attended a “floating university,” or an illegal, secret school where she could learn limited things (Henderson 7-8). Marie Curie went against the government in order to learn the little science the “floating university” offered. She took advantage of every opportunity she could that would make her a great...

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