This week, Edgy Labs is celebrating one of the most influential scientists of modern times by wishing Marie Curie a Happy Birthday.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” ― Marie Curie (1867 – 1934)
Most famous for discovering what she called “radioactivity” in 1898, Polish scientist Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, is still the only woman to win two, and was the first female lecturer at the University of Sorbonne in Paris – all before women had the right to vote in the U.S. She, in collaboration with her husband and fellow scientist, is credited with the discovery of two elements: Polonium (named in tribute to her birthplace) and Radium (which led to the discovery of radiation). After a lifetime of exposure to radioactive materials in the laboratory and having brought radiation technology to field hospitals during World War I, Curie died in 1934 leaving fundamental contributions to the fields of chemistry and physics.
Curie forged a direct path to her goals in a world characterized by inaccessibility. If a humble yet brilliant girl from eastern Europe can write scientific history over a century ago, imagine what any of us could do today.
She was the last of five children born to two educators, and in addition to her humble beginnings, Curie had an even bigger disadvantage: being a woman.
Today, technology has dissolved previously immovable barriers to entry, reinvented entire status quos, and has given almost anyone direct access to virtually all human knowledge. Change is never easy but almost always feared.
As technology becomes more and more intrinsic in our lives, it won’t be a window into a fearful, dystopian singularity – instead, it will be a mirror for everything that we have learned, and what we have constructed with it. Your ideas are only as good as what you do with them. Be tenacious and use every resource at your disposal because it has never been easier than right now to make them into a reality.