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Marie Curie Quotes

Marie Curie (1867 - 1934)


Marie Curie in Nobel Prize portrait, 1903

Marie Curie in Nobel Prize portrait, 1903

Getty Images / Hulton Archive

With her husband, Pierre, Marie Curie was the pioneer in researching radioactivity. When he died suddenly, she refused a government pension and instead took his place as a professor at the University of Paris. She was awarded a Nobel Prize for her work, then became the first person to win a second Nobel Prize, and she is the only Nobel Prize winner who is also the mother of another Nobel Prize winner -- daughter of Marie Curie and Pierre Curie, Irène Joliot-Curie. More: Marie Curie Biography

Selected Marie Curie Quotations

• I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.

Another version:
One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.

• Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.

• We must not forget that when radium was discovered no one knew that it would prove useful in hospitals. The work was one of pure science. And this is a proof that scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of the direct usefulness of it. It must be done for itself, for the beauty of science, and then there is always the chance that a scientific discovery may become like the radium a benefit for humanity.

• I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician: he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale.

• A scientist in his laboratory is not a mere technician: he is also a child confronting natural phenomena that impress him as though they were fairy tales.

• You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end each of us must work for his own improvement, and at the same time share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.

• Humanity needs practical men, who get the most out of their work, and, without forgetting the general good, safeguard their own interests. But 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.

• I have frequently been questioned, especially by women, of how I could reconcile family life with a scientific career. Well, it has not been easy.

• We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.

• I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy.

• Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.

• Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.

• I am one of those who think like Nobel, that humanity will draw more good than evil from new discoveries.

• There are sadistic scientists who hurry to hunt down errors instead of establishing the truth.

• When one studies strongly radioactive substances special precautions must be taken. Dust, the air of the room, and one's clothes, all become radioactive.

• After all, science is essentially international, and it is only through lack of the historical sense that national qualities have been attributed to it.

• I have no dress except the one I wear every day. If you are going to be kind enough to give me one, please let it be practical and dark so that I can put it on afterwards to go to the laboratory. about a wedding dress

Quotes About Marie Curie

• Marie Curie is, of all celebrated beings, the only one whom fame has not corrupted. - Albert Einstein

• That one must do some work seriously and must be independent and not merely amuse oneself in life -- this our mother has told us always, but never that science was the only career worth following. - Irene Joliet-Curie

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About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis 1997-2005. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Marie Curie Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/marie_curie.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)

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