irene curie

Irène Joliot-Curie (1897-1956) was a French scientist who was awarded the 1935 Nobel Prize for Chemistry – just like her mother, Marie Curie, in 1911. She received the distinction for the discovery of artificial radioactivity.

After completing her education at the Sorbonne, she continued studying at the Radium Institute, which had been built by her parents. Along with her husband, she discovered methods to create radioactive material cheaply and easily, for use in medical environments.

The Curies just kept winning freaking Nobel Prizes. Marie’s daughter Irene Joilot-Curie bagged a Nobel for discovering that we can actually create elements in a lab instead of having to go out and mine them. You know how, back in the really olden days, alchemists used to think they could turn lead into gold? Yeah, Curie’s daughter figured out how to do that.

Meanwhile, her sister, Eve, the intellectual black sheep of the family, decided to become a reporter instead of a physicist. But not just any reporter – she did it Curie style, visiting some of the most dangerous places in the world as a war correspondent before volunteering in the Medical Corps, because apparently being a war correspondent was too dull. Then she dedicated the rest of her life to working with her husband to help children through UNICEF – a career that won him the Nobel Peace Prize.

Meanwhile, Irene’s children continue to make us all look like failures. Helene is a nuclear research scientist who advises France on how to handle anything radioactive, while Pierre, a biologist, isDirector of Research for the French National Center of Scientific Research. By the way, the Curies hold the most Nobel Prizes out of any family. At this point they’re just handing it out to them by default.

The 6 Most Badass Families of All-Time

Women in Science

For International Women’s Day, I want to share information about a topic near and dear to my heart- Under-recognized women in science. These are all women who you should have heard of, who have been vitally important to the field of science, but sadly, they’ve been slowly erased from, or just never included in, the history books. Here’s three of them- I may post more throughout the day.

Rosalind Franklin

25 July 1920 – 16 April 1958

If you’ve ever learned about DNA, you’ve probably heard of Watson and Crick, two of the men who were awarded the Nobel Prize for proving that its structure is a double helix. Tragically, Rosalind Franklin’s work is all but erased from textbooks. Franklin was an X-ray crystallographer, who photographed DNA. Watson and Crick used one of her photographs, shown to them without her permission, as the basis their double helix model.  Franklin received very little recognition during her lifetime, and died of ovarian cancer, quite possibly from radiation exposure. As the Nobel Prize is never awarded posthumously, it was instead shared by Watson, Crick, and Franklin’s colleague Wilkins, with Franklin’s role being all but forgotten.


Irène Joliot-Curie

12 September 1897 – 17 March 1956

Of course most people have heard of Marie Skłodowska-Curie, the fantastic physicist and chemist  who developed the theory of radioactivity. Lesser known is her amazing daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie. Irene focused on radioactivity and nuclear physics. Together with her husband, Joliot-Curie managed to create radioactive isotopes of usually stable elements, for which the pair was awarded the Nobel Prize. Joliot-Curie was a professor at multiple institutes and helped lead to the development of nuclear fission. She also fought for gender equality and was a member of the Comité National de l'Union  des Femmes Françaises.


Maria Mitchell

August 1, 1818 – June 28, 1889

In Nantucket, Massachusetts, Maria Mitchell is a bit of a local hero. She was a professional astronomer, the first female one in America, and in 1847 she discovered Comet 1847 VI, today known as C/1847 T1. This made her only the third woman in history to discover a comet. She was given a medal by King Frederick VI of Denmark as the comet’s first discoverer. Mitchell was elected to a wide variety of science organizations, and became an astronomy professor at Vassar University. When she learned that she was being paid less than her male colleagues, she fought for a pay raise- and got it! Mitchell was strongly anti-slavery and also helped found the American Association for the Advancement of Women.


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The Curies just kept winning freaking Nobel Prizes. Marie’s daughter Irene Joilot-Curie bagged a Nobel for discovering that we can actually create elements in a lab instead of having to go out and mine them. You know how, back in the really olden days, alchemists used to think they could turn lead into gold? Yeah, Curie’s daughter figured out how to do that.

Meanwhile, her sister, Eve, the intellectual black sheep of the family, decided to become a reporter instead of a physicist. But not just any reporter – she did it Curie style, visiting some of the most dangerous places in the world as a war correspondent before volunteering in the Medical Corps, because apparently being a war correspondent was too dull. Then she dedicated the rest of her life to working with her husband to help children through UNICEF – a career that won him the Nobel Peace Prize.

The 6 Most Badass Families of All-Time

anonymous asked:

What are your favorite female scientists? I only know like 5 lady scientists at the top of my head.

Rosalind Franklin and Barbara McClintock are my bitter science moms

Both Marie and Irene Curie are up there too, and I have a soft spot for Lise Meitner as well. Obvs Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper too. Honestly everyone in my awesome lady scientists tag probably.

Irene Curie Joliot (1897-1956), the elder daughter of Pierre and Marie Curie, followed in her parents’ footsteps into the lab. She received a Nobel Price in chemistry in 1935.

The Granger Collection, New York