Marie Curie

Born: 1867
Died: 1934

Why We Should Care: We all vaguely remember hearing about the Godmother of radioactivity in ninth grade science, but it’s awesome that the first person ever honoured with two Nobel Prizes was a woman. This physicist and chemist created the theory of radioactivity, isolated radioactive isotopes, and discovered two new elements (polonium and radium.) She also pioneered the idea of treating cancer with radioactive isotopes.

Family Ties: Both her husband, Pierre Curie, and her two children were Nobel Laureates as well. Them’s good genes.

Three Traits We Admire: Just three? In a time before Women’s Liberation, Curie was a pioneer in her field, academically revered, and the founder of two namesake institutes in Paris and Warsaw. We admire her drive, intelligence, and her commitment to the things she cared for: Her homeland, her family, and her husband.

For Her Biopic, We’d Cast: Rachel McAdams. Smart, sassy, and confident.

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