Marie Curie Couldn't Legally Attend College, So She Did It Illegally

Marie Curie is the trailblazing scientist known for receiving two Nobel Prizes, one in physics and another in chemistry, among her many other contributions to science. But her achievements were quite close to never happening at all. During Marie Curie's time in Poland in the 1800s, higher education for women was illegal. The country, then controlled by Russian, Prussian, and Austrian powers, strictly limited what could be taught, and banned women from attending college altogether.

But that didn't stop Curie. She attended what was known as the Flying University, a secret organization that began in 1882 in Warsaw, Poland. Polish professors, philosophers, and historians led seminars and lectures for students who were shunned by the current government-controlled education system of the time. To avoid detection from officials, since this type of schooling was illegal, the Flying University sessions jumped from private home to private home. By the 1890s, the school had nearly one thousand students from both sexes. Get a quick recap of Curie's education and career in the video below.

Marie Curie: Everything You Need To Know In One Minute

Get a brief overview of the pioneer's life.

The Great Mind Of Marie Curie

During World War I, Marie Curie drove a portable x-ray machine to assist wounded soldiers.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Marie Curie coined the term radioactivity, and was the first person to win two Nobel Prizes in different disciplines. 00:40

  2. Marie Curie made the groundbreaking observation that radioactivity came from atoms themselves, and not from molecular interaction. 04:31

  3. During World War I, Marie Curie drove a portable x-ray machine to assist wounded soldiers. 07:55

A Biography Of Marie Curie

Curie will forever be remembered as a scientific icon.

Written by Joanie Faletto September 1, 2016

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