Marie Curie on Curiosity, Wonder, and the Spirit of Adventure in Science

Marie Curie on Curiosity, Wonder, and the Spirit of Adventure in Science


A short manifesto for the vitalizing power of discovery.

“Few persons contributed more to the general welfare of mankind and to the advancement of science than the modest, self-effacing woman whom the world knew as Mme. Curie.” So read the obituary for Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only person to date to win a Nobel in two different sciences, published the day after her death in 1934. Three years later, her younger daughter, Eve Curie Labouisse, captured her mother’s spirit and enduring legacy in Madame Curie: A Biography (public library).

Marie Curie: history’s greatest definitions of science:

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. We should not allow it to be believed that all scientific progress can be reduced to mechanisms, machines, gearings, even though such machinery also has its beauty.

Neither do I believe that the spirit of adventure runs any risk of disappearing in our world. If I see anything vital around me, it is precisely that spirit of adventure, which seems indestructible and is akin to curiosity.

Marie Curie

Fragment de “Mille Plateaux: capitalisme et schizophrénie ” de Deleuze et Guattari

Every milieu is vibratory, in other words, a block of space-time constituted by the periodic repetition of the component. Thus the living thing has an exterior milieu of materials, an interior milieu of composing elements and composed substances, an intermediary milieu of membranes and limits, and an annexed milieu of energy sources and actions-perceptions. Every milieu is coded, a code being defined by periodic repetition; but each code is in a perpetual state of transcoding or transduction. Transcoding or transduction is the manner in which one milieu serves as the basis for another, or conversely is established atop another milieu, dissipates in it or is constituted in it.

Deleuze et Guattari “Mille plateaux: capitalisme et schizophrenie”

Milieu: the physical or social setting in which people live or in which something happens or develops.