As part of ERA’s commitment to helping licence holders make best use of the material available to them, we have decided to start highlighting our ‘top pick’ each week.
This Tuesday (18th August) BBC4 is showing a repeat of the 2013 documentary The Genius of Marie Curie: the Woman Who Lit Up the World. The film examines the life and legacy of the two time Nobel Prize winner, and considers the lasting impact of her work.
Over 80 years after her death, Marie Curie remains by far the best known female scientist. In her lifetime, she became that rare thing: a celebrity scientist, attracting the attention of the news cameras and tabloid gossip. They were fascinated because she was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize and is still the only person to have won two Nobels in two different sciences. But while the bare bones of her scientific life, the obstacles she had to overcome, the years of painstaking research, and the penalty she ultimately paid for her discovery of radium have become one of the iconic stories of scientific heroism, there is another side to Marie Curie: her human story.
Whilst the programme may seem to be of immediate relevance to any science teacher, it may also be of use to those teaching Sociology or History: it could be used to demonstrate the shift in cultural attitudes regarding women – especially those who are in the public eye.