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From Poland to ParisLooking for a Laboratory, Finding LoveThe Discovery of RadiumHonors, Disasters, & RenewalRadium Campaigns

Work, a Scandal and Back to Work

arie Curie was busy not only with her teaching, research, and efforts to set up the Radium Institute, but also as a mother. Between 1906 and 1908 she taught physical science once a week at a cooperative school, where her daughter Irène and a few other children got lessons from their parents. Her father-in-law helped raise Irène and Eve, but he died in 1910. A series of Polish governesses was hired, some more successful than others. The next few years were difficult. In 1911 the French Academy of Sciences rejected Curie’s bid to become a member. Later that year, a scandal erupted.

A newspaper trying to show Curie in a bad light. Paul Langevin had been one of Pierre’s brightest students. Now he was in love with Pierre’s widow. Langevin was unhappily married to a woman who could not understand his devotion to scientific research, but some newspapers accused the foreigner Curie of breaking up a good French home. Returning to France from a meeting of scientists, Curie found a mob in front of her house. She scooped up her terrified daughters and took refuge with friends.

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