Recognition of Marie Curie
Although today is a busy day for me and I had not intended to divert my attention to my blog, I couldn't resist noting that Google has recognized Marie Curie's accomplishments in a "Google Doodle" today, on the 144th anniversary of her birthday on November 7, 1867.
As the earliest and still most preeminent woman scientist in the nuclear field, she certainly was an inspiration to me in choosing my career, and I know she has similarly inspired other women as well. There are many articles and books that cover her stellar career, as well as the challenges she faced at a time when women were not accepted in the professional world. I will not try to write my own summary here, but rather will refer the reader to the summary of her career on the Nobel Prize page, the site referenced above, the Wikipedia site, and others.
For me, what is most important is the model she provided for all those who followed her. The fact that she managed not only to succeed, but to excel, in the academic and professional environment that prevailed in her day continues to awe me. Despite the fact that I faced some challenges in my career, they pale in comparison to what Dr. Curie and other early female scientists faced. I can't even begin to contemplate how I would have fared in the world and times in which she lived.
Therefore, I am particularly pleased at Google's choice of today's doodle--and I am charmed by their choice of the 144th year (12 x 12) instead of waiting for something more "traditional," like the 150th.
One reason for the urgency of producing this blog is that the Doodle will grace Google's search page only today. For those who read this entry today, enjoy the doodle as you look for more history of this icon of nuclear science. For those who read this entry too late to see the doodle in its original setting, I have copied it above.