For the second feature of mothers we admire we are spotlighting Marie Curie, who was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize and the first person (sadly still the only woman) to win the Nobel prize twice!

She was a scientist who discovered radium and developed the theory of radioactivity. Later on, her daughter Irène Joliot-Curie won the Nobel Prize with her husband for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. When Irène was a child, Marie noticed she was gifted in mathematics, and formed The Cooperative, which was a sort of homeschooling group. It included some of the most distinguished academics in France, and they would gather with their children to teach them in various, specialized academic fields. 

Marie Curie's husband died in 1906, two years after she gave birth to their second child Ève, (who also later became a scientest!) and so she raised her two children as a single mother, and continued to do her research and became the first woman Professor at the University of Paris. It's pretty incredible to see a mother and her daughters both so immersed in the world of science, at such a unique time where it was not common for women to be working in such a field, if working at all. Even today women fight to find their place in science. It's incredible that even in the early 1900s, Marie Curie was able to do her research and be accepted in her field.

Marie Curie's legacy continues still today. Irène had a daughter, Hélène Langevin-Joliot, who later became a nuclear physicist as well! She is 89 years old and is a member of the French government's advisory committee, as well as a Director of Research at The French National Centre for Scientific Research. Pretty dang amazing! She also has actively worked to encourage women to pursue careers in scientific fields. We're super impressed by this lineage of hard working women scientists, and we hope that to the scientist moms out there, this inspires you to continue carving the path for your own daughters, and her future daughters! 

May 09, 2017 — Ainslie Lahey