Curie, Marie

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Curie, Marie

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  • Curie-Skłodowska, Marie
  • Skłodowska, Maria Salomea

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Maria Salomea Sklodowska was born in Warsaw in 1867. She began her studies at the Flying University, a clandestine Polish university that allowed women to study, before enrolling in the faculty of sciences in Paris in 1891 where she took up a degree in physics. In 1894, she joined Gabriel Lippmann’s laboratory for physics research, where she got to know Pierre Curie, an instructor at the School of Physics and Chemistry. The couple married the following year. Between 1895 and 1896, Marie Curie prepared her examination for the teaching of mathematics, then worked on her doctoral thesis on the study of the influences of uranium following the discovery of X-rays by Wilhelm Röntgen in 1895. In 1898, together with her husband, she discovered polonium and, a few months later, radium. In 1900, Marie Curie began to teach physics education at the Ecole normale supérieure. In 1903 Marie Curie received, together with Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel, the Nobel Prize in Physics. She was the first woman to receive this award, and went on to become the first woman to receive the Médailles Davy the same year.

At the Solvay Conference in 1911, she met future collaborators of intellectual cooperation, including Paul Langevin, Max Planck and Albert Einstein. She received her second Nobel Prize (in Chemistry) the same year, in recognition of her discovery of polonium and radium.

Known internationally, Marie Curie was much in demand and traveled a lot during her life. In 1922 when the IICIC was founded, she represented France alongside Henri Bergson at the Organisation of Intellectual Cooperation. However, Curie remained apolitical and neutral towards intellectual cooperation. In 1926, she suggested several projects for the field of scientific cooperation under the auspices of the IIIC: on 16 June 1926, for example, she proposed to form an international funding system for post-graduates and for gatherings of these scholars in their various research labs (“sur la question des bourses internationales, pour l’avancement des sciences et le développment des laboratoires”). In November 1926, she attracted the attention of the IIIC on the disadvantages of mixed scientific publications, i.e. academic journals bringing together several disciplines. She underscored the inconvenience this meant for specialised libraries and for researchers who had to buy entire volumes for individual articles, and she thus proposed to review the form of publications. In July 1928, she was elected Vice-President of the ICIC alongside Jules Destrée, with Gilbert Murray as President. In 1932 she presided over the interviews organised by the Committee on Arts and Letters in Madrid, published the next year under the title “L’Avenir de la Culture”. She worked for the ICIC until 1933.


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Created by Marie Caillot 26/10/2011. English translation by Jan Stöckmann 11-08-2015.




  • UNESCO Archives, Archival Group 1: IICI / 19. Société des Nations, L’Institut international de Coopération intellectuelle. Paris : Presses universitaires de France, 1927. P. 19 [Brochure de présentation de l’IICI, 32 pages].
  • UNESCO Archives, Archival Group 1: IICI / 01. IICI. Bulletin de la Section d'Information et de Documentation, août 1928, p. 3
  • UNESCO Archives, Archival Group 1: boîte 110. IICI. C. XIV. 5. Organisation des bourses internationales (Mémoires de mme Curie et de M. de Halecki. (1926-1930), 83 pièces, dont le texte de la proposition de Marie Curie "sur la question des bourses internationale, pour l’avancement des sciences et le développement des laboratoires", présenté à Genève le 16 juin 1926 (3 pages) ; "Observations de M. O. de Halecki […] sur la question des bourses internationales" (16 pages).
  • UNESCO Archives, Archival Group 1: boîte 115. IICI. D. I. 25. Publications mixtes (Proposition de Madame Curie). (1927-1929), 57 pièces.
  • UNESCO Archives, Archival Group 1: boîte 6. IICI. A. I. 39. Correspondance avec Mme Curie-Sklodowska, membre de la CICI. (1929-1930), 8 pièces.
  • UNESCO Archives, Archival Group 1 : IICI/2/2. IICI, L'Avenir de la Culture. Paris : IICI, 1933. P. 209-217, 249-250, 258, 274-281, 320-323.
  • UNESCO Archives, Archival Group 1 : IICI/ 01. Intellectual Co-Operation, monthly Bulletin, vol. II, n°7, August-September 1934, "Madame Curie-Sklodowska". P. 228-229.
  • "Marie Curie. Biography". Site du Prix Nobel. Retrieved from Accessed 25 October 2011.
  • Concasty, M.-L. (1967). Pierre et Marie Curie : catalogue de l'exposition tenue à la Bibliothèque nationale de France, [octobre-décembre] 1967. Paris : BnF, 1967. 102 pages. Sur la "coopération intellectuelle" : cf. P. XIX, 33, 54, 69, 81-82. Retrieved from: Accessed 25 October 2011.
  • Pinault, M. , une intellectuelle engagée ?" in Clio, n°24-2006, Variations. Retrieved from: Accessed 25 October 2011.
  • Renoliet, J.-J. (1999). L'UNESCO oubliée. La Société des Nations et la coopération intellectuelle (1919-1946). Paris : Publications de la Sorbonne. P. 26, 35-37, 79, 98, 184, 253, 265.

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