Humanity also needs dreamers, for whom the disinterested development of an enterprise is so captivating that it becomes impossible for them to devote their care to their own material profit. Without doubt, these dreamers do not deserve wealth, because they do not desire it. Even so, a well-organized society should assure to such workers the efficient means of accomplishing their task, in a life freed from material care and freely consecrated to research.
--Marie Curie, scientist, Nobel laureate (1867-1934)
(160:4.10) It requires intelligence to secure one's share of the desirable things of life. It is wholly erroneous to suppose that faithfulness
in doing one's daily work will insure the rewards of wealth. Barring the occasional and accidental acquirement of wealth, the material rewards
of the temporal life are found to flow in certain well-organized channels, and only those who have access to these channels may expect to be
well rewarded for their temporal efforts. Poverty must ever be the lot of all men who seek for wealth in isolated and individual channels.
Wise planning, therefore, becomes the one thing essential to worldly prosperity. Success requires not only devotion to one's work but also
that one should function as a part of some one of the channels of material wealth. If you are unwise, you can bestow a devoted life upon your
generation without material reward; if you are an accidental beneficiary of the flow of wealth, you may roll in luxury even though you have
done nothing worth while for your fellow men.
Marie Skłodowska Curie born Maria Salomea Skłodowska was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted
pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, the only
person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences, and was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first
woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon
She was born in Warsaw, in what was then the Kingdom of Poland, part of the Russian Empire. She studied at Warsaw's clandestine
Floating University and began her practical scientific training in Warsaw. In 1891, aged 24, she followed her older sister Bronisława to study
in Paris, where she earned her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work. She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with
her husband Pierre Curie and with physicist Henri Becquerel. She won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Her achievements included the development of the theory of radioactivity (a term that she coined), techniques for isolating
radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies were conducted
into the treatment of neoplasms, using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres
of medical research today. During World War I, she established the first military field radiological centres.
While a French citizen, Marie Skłodowska Curie (she used both surnames) never lost her sense of Polish identity. She taught
her daughters the Polish language and took them on visits to Poland. She named the first chemical element that she discovered—polonium,
which she isolated in 1898—after her native country.
Curie died in 1934, aged 66, at a sanatorium in Sancellemoz (Haute-Savoie), France, due to aplastic anemia brought on by exposure
to radiation while carrying test tubes of radium in her pockets during research, and in the course of her service in World War I mobile X-ray
units that she had set up.