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The Curies

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the scientific achievements of the Curie family, Marie and Pierre and their daughter Irene Joliot-Curie, all three of whom won Nobel Prizes.

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the scientific achievements of the Curie family. In 1903 Marie and Pierre Curie shared a Nobel Prize in Physics with Henri Becquerel for their work on radioactivity, a term which Marie coined. Marie went on to win a Nobel in Chemistry eight years later; remarkably, her daughter Irène Joliot-Curie would later share a Nobel with her husband Frédéric Joliot-Curie for their discovery that it was possible to create radioactive materials in the laboratory. The work of the Curies added immensely to our knowledge of fundamental physics and paved the way for modern treatments for cancer and other illnesses.


Patricia Fara
Senior Tutor of Clare College, University of Cambridge

Robert Fox
Emeritus Professor of the History of Science at the University of Oxford

Steven T Bramwell
Professor of Physics and former Professor of Chemistry at University College London

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 26 Mar 2015 21:30


Patricia Fara at the University of Cambridge

Robert Fox at the University of Oxford

Steven Bramwell at University College London

Marie Curie and the Science of Radioactivity – American Institute of Physics

Marie Curie – Wikipedia

Pierre Curie – Wikipedia

Irène Joliot-Curie – Wikipedia

Frédéric Joliot-Curie – Wikipedia



Denis Brian, The Curies: A Biography of the Most Controversial Family in Science (John Wiley & Sons, 2005)

Ève Curie (trans. Vincent Sheean), Madame Curie (First published 1938; Style Press, 2007)

Marie Curie, Pierre Curie (First published 1923; Dover Publications, 2012)

Sarah Dry, Curie (Life & Times), (Haus Publishing, 2003)

Shelley Emling, Marie Curie and Her Daughters: The Private Lives of Science’s First Family (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)

Barbara Goldsmith, Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie (W. W. Norton, 2005)

Maurice Goldsmith, Frédéric Joliot-Curie: A Biography (Lawrence and Wishart, 1976)

Susan Quinn, Marie Curie: A Life (Heinemann, 1995)

Robert William Reid, Marie Curie (Collins, 1974)

John Senior, Marie & Pierre Curie (Sutton Publishing, 1998)



Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Patricia Fara
Interviewed Guest Robert Fox
Interviewed Guest Steven Bramwell
Producer Simon Tillotson


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