Apr

23

 One of the most beautiful things I've ever read is the biography of Marie Curie by Eve Curie, Madam Curie. It shows true scientists at work. It's the portrait of one of finest marriages ever. It is a model of what a good biography should be. It provides a great depiction of emigre life in Paris in the 19th century. It shows the force of an indomitable will to discover. It makes you cry when Pierre Curie is killed by onrushing horses on a crowded Paris street. It shows how chemists had to work when they needed to weigh, and touch and bottle and see everything in order to make discoveries. It shows how two new elements plutonium and radium were discovered. It shows the ossification of science in France. It amazes one as everyone connected with the Curies won Nobel Prizes or became Presidents of Poland even though they were the most self effacing scientists that ever lived, refusing all awards (she got two Nobels, and she deserved it, not like Linus Pauling.) I keep going back to it to see what a loving scientific family should be like. The father read literature to them every Saturday and spoke 11 languages.


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