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Vol. 33 No. 1
January-February 2011


From the Editor

Special

As we embark on the International Year of Chemistry, it is hard to imagine a more fitting symbol of chemistry’s potential, power, and peril than Madame Marie Skłodowska Curie. For this one pathbreaking woman embodies all of the goals of our year-long celebration of chemistry. Her story illustrates the role of chemistry in meeting world needs, it can help encourage interest in chemistry among young people, and can generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry. And, quite obviously, in Marie Curie we have an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women to science and to highlight the benefits of international scientific collaboration.

In preparing this special issue of Chemistry International devoted entirely to Marie Curie, guests editors Robert Guillaumont, Jerzy Kroh, Stanislaw Penczek, and Jean-Pierre Vairon made a point of celebrating not only her scientific achievements, but also the person and the woman. These articles demonstrate how one of the most extraordinary scientists was a most amazing person as well—from overseeing mobile X-ray units during World War I to raising a family to creating a whole new field of medicine to pursuing international peace.

I think that Marie Curie would approve of the IYC motto, Chemistry–our life, our future, since it would be as fitting in her lifetime as it is today. Her future is our history and this issue is an invitation to consider the ways she used chemistry to contribute to the well-being of humankind.

Much has been written about Marie Curie, so we simply hope this special issue will add a spark of motivation for celebrating IYC.

Fabienne Meyers
fabienne@iupac.org

The editor would like to acknowledge all of the authors who have provided images and photos to illustrate this special issue. In addition, special thanks to Professor Jerzy Bartke (Institute of Nuclear Physics, Krakow, Poland) for the numerous images of stamps and medals and to Natalie Pigeard-Micault from the Musée Curie (CNRS/ Institut Curie) in Paris and Ma?gorzata Marciniak from the Muzeum Marii Sklodowskiej Curie in Warsaw for several unique photos.


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