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TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Shohini Ghose
  • Director Anna Nowakowska
  • Script Editor Mia Nacamulli
  • Composer Matthias Runge
  • Producer The Animation Workshop
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Julianna Zarzycki


Additional Resources for you to Explore
Dr. Marie Curie transformed science and society with her discoveries. Her scientific partnership with Pierre Curie and the story of their heroic efforts that led to the discovery of polonium and radium are legendary. Despite her scientific contributions and winning her first Nobel prize in 1903, as a woman and an immigrant, she was not elected to the French Academy of Sciences in 1911. She also faced vicious and xenophobic attacks from the press for an alleged affair with the scientist Paul Langevin. That year she won her second Nobel prize, but she never again applied for membership in the Academy. Read her Nobel lecture here.

When war broke out in 1914, Dr. Curie and her daughter Irène helped to equip vans with X-ray technology for medical use, and she herself drove one of the vans, which soldiers called ‘petite Curies’. After the war, she worked for the rest of her career at her Radium Institute, which became a world-leading centre under her leadership. She visited the US twice and in 1921 she received a gift 1 gram of radium, worth a small fortune, from US President Warren Harding on behalf of the women of America. Watch a video of the event here. Dr. Curie’s studies of radioactivity laid the foundations for modern cancer treatment.

The Curie family was truly distinguished. Not only were Pierre and Marie Curie Nobel laureates, but their daughter Irène and son-in-law Frédéric Joliot also shared a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1935 for their synthesis of new radioactive elements. Their younger daughter Eve wrote a bestselling book about her mother’s extraordinary life. A movie based on the book was released in 1943, but for a slice of real history, watch Dr. Curie at work in her lab here.

Find out more about the elements Radium and Polonium in these TED Ed lessons about these elements.

Font (typeface) used in the animation: Neacademia by Rosetta Type.

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Lesson Creator
New York, NY
05/24/2017 • 
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