I never knew much about Marie’s life, but she appeared on the pages of my chemistry study when I was at school. This was notable, as she was the only female that ever appeared on the pages of my chemistry study when I was at school.
I was taught that Marie had lived many years ago, in the pioneering days of our collective knowledge about radioactivity. She studied and explored the new world of science with her husband, also a scientist, and was driven by curiosity. She was a woman who had successfully held her own in a field that was almost exclusively male, and she had been honoured based on the merits of her own work.
Marie’s legacy showed me that there had been exceptional women who had refused to play supporting or behind the scenes roles within traditional male domains. That helped me to understand that a sexist status quo need never define nor limit my ideas or aspirations as a woman.
-Sophie de Lautour Kelly