- Capa comum: 448 páginas
- Editora: Da Capo; Edição: Reissue (12 de março de 2001)
- Idioma: Inglês
- ISBN-10: 0306810387
- ISBN-13: 978-0306810381
- Dimensões do produto: 12,7 x 2,5 x 20,3 cm
- Peso de envio: 562 g
- Avaliação média: Seja o primeiro a avaliar este item
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Madame Curie: A Biography (Inglês)
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Like other 19th century's pioneering scientists, which include Faraday and Cajal, Marie Curie was a self-educated visionary scientific genius of the first order, but was unique in overcoming the obstacles of poverty, social and political oppression, isolation and finally deprivation of opportunity and recognition due to the misogyny and xenophobia of her time and location. Her research was done without salary or funding, four years in the mud on the floor of a shack into which the rain poured through a leaking roof, separating milligrams of radium from tons of pitchblende, using an iron rod as pounding tool to crush the ore, as similar to the technology of Amazon Indians. In France she went unrecognized for many years even after two Nobel prizes in physics and chemistry and she was still referred to (e.g. in the New York Times during the 1920's) only as "Pierre Curie's wife". She refused most honors and offered the gold of her Nobel medals to be melted down to aid the war effort. She had her wedding dress made out of blue cotton so that afterwards it could serve her in the laboratory. During World War I she outfitted 200 mobile radiological units, constructed some 20 hospitals, and of the former, drove one of the cars herself (or with a driver), serving in turn as driver, crank operator, mechanic, tire changer, nurse at the front lines and radiological technician. According to her biographer, Eve Curie, this was the only recognition she hoped for - but never did receive. Because she refused to patent the chemical processes she discovered in the separation of polonium and radium (for which she received her Nobel Prizes) she remained relatively poor to the end of her life. In photographs of participants of the world-famous Solvay Conferences (funded by a Belgian industrialist of that name), she was always in the place of honor next to Einstein, Lorentz and Poincare. Einstein said of her that she was the only person he had ever met, "who was totally unaffected by fame", and he referred to those who tried to defame or refuse her the recognition she deserved as "reptiles".
While the author was not a scientist (I believe she was trained as a musician) her descriptions of the science are surprisingly accurate and complete, if not insightful enough that I can recommend the book to any student of physics or chemistry, or for that matter of the social sciences. Just as Santiago Ramon y Cajal demanded of his students that they be familiar with all the original works of the great scientists of his age, no matter what their field, he placed psychology first on his list, so one cannot but be impressed by the relevance of this book to the status of women in society and also the importance of science generally in a world of climate-change deniers and universities (some, anyway) where denial of the existence of an objective reality is taught to the masses.
As it is a biography, Curie's novel is entertaining as well as informational. Complete with information on Marie's childhood, work, accomplishments, and personal life, the book is a great resource for any research relating to the famous scientist or her studies. Readers with limited scientific knowledge are also able to understand this book because Curie provides the necessary background information in order to understand Marie's research on a basic level without going to in depth to the point of boredom.
Through reading this novel, you can't help but admire the accomplishments and amiable traits that Marie Curie possesses. I would recommend this book to anyone is researching Marie Curie or to anyone who is interested in the accomplishments of inspirational women.