The Polish physicist and chemist Marie Curie (1867-1934), who worked mainly in France, was the first woman to win a Noble prize and the only person in history, so far, to have won the Nobel Prize both in Physics and Chemistry.
She developed a theory of radioactivity and techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes. She also discovered two elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies were conducted into the treatment of abnormal cell growth using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centers of medical research today. During World War I, she established the first military field radiological centers.
As her family was involved in patriotic struggle to gain independence from Russia, it lost all property and fortunes. Hence, her early childhood was spent in severe financial crises. Later, when she was unable to get enrolled in a university being a female she joined a secret teaching institution.
After getting admission in the University of Paris she subsisted on her meager resources, suffering from cold winters and occasionally fainting from hunger. Marie studied during the day and tutored evenings, barely earning her keep.
She was known for her honesty and moderate life style. She gave much of her first Nobel Prize money to friends, family, students and research associates. In an unusual decision, Marie intentionally refrained from patenting the radium-isolation process, so that the scientific community could do research unhindered.
If Marie Curie's work helped overturn established ideas in physics and chemistry, it has had an equally profound effect in the societal sphere. To attain her scientific achievements, she had to overcome barriers that were placed in her way because she was a woman, in both her native and her adoptive country.
She died in 1934 at age 66 due to a disease caused by excessive exposure to radiation.
پاکستان کی حکمران اشرافیہ نے اگر اپنی روش نہ بدلی تو عوام معاملہ اپنے ہاتھ میں لے سکتے ہیں
(تحریر عزیر یونس، ترجمعہ محمّد حارث) یہ مضمون انگریزی میں اس ویب سائٹ پر 27 مارچ، 2023 کو شائع ہوا...