Profile of the Day: Irène Joliot-Curie

Posted September 12, 2019 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1897, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Irène Joliot-Curie was born in Paris, France.

Profile of the Day: Irène Joliot-Curie

Image: Irène Joliot-Curie / Smithsonian Institution, Flickr

The eldest daughter of renowned scientists Marie and Pierre Curie, it was almost inevitable that Joliot-Curie would follow in her parents’ footsteps. After her father’s death in 1906, Joliot-Curie was raised by her mother, who emphasized the importance of education in the home. She developed an early interest in science, but the outbreak of World War I interrupted her academic studies. During the war, she served as a nurse radiographer in mobile field hospitals alongside her mother. They used new X-ray equipment developed by her mother to locate shrapnel to treat wounded soldiers.

After the war, she returned to school to complete her education and begin working at the Radium Institute, which had been built by her parents. In 1926, she married physicist Frédéric Joliot and both changed their surnames to Joliot-Curie. In 1935, the couple was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. Their discovery would make a significant impact in the fields biomedical research and cancer treatments.

Explore Irène Joliot-Curie’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re connected to the groundbreaking scientist.

View Irène Joliot-Curie’s Geni Profile


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