Maria Skłodowska-Curie, (born 7 November 1867 – died 4 July 1934 )
Honorary Citizen of Warsaw from April 1924.
Born in Warsaw, a great scientist, the co-originator of radioactivity studies.
She spent most of her life in France, where her scientific career developed. She was the precursor of a new branch of chemistry – radiochemistry. Her achievements include the development of the radioactivity theory, techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes and the discovery of two new elements – radium and polonium. Under her personal guidance the first research on treating cancer with the use of radioactivity was carried out. She was twice honoured with the Nobel Prize for scientific achievement, first in 1903 in Physics, and then in 1911 in Chemistry for isolating pure radium. Until today she is the only woman who was twice awarded this prize, and also the only scientist in history honoured with the Noble Prize in two different fields of natural sciences. In recognition of her scientific achievements and her second Nobel Prize, the government of France gave its consent and allotted financial means for the building of a private Radium Institute, which was erected in 1914 and in which research was carried out in the fields of chemistry, physics and medicine.
After WW II Maria Skłodowska – Curie was still the head of the Radium Institute in Paris, while travelling around the world at the same time, where she helped to establish medical institutes for treating cancer diseases. In 1932 with the help of the president of the Republic of Poland Ignacy Mościcki, one of the first such institutes was founded in Warsaw. Today, it is the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Institute of Oncology. The scientist donated to the place a gram of radium which belonged to her. It constituted the foundation commencing the activity of the Institute.
Professor Skłodowska-Curie was honoured with many awards and the title of the Honorary Citizen of Warsaw was awarded after twenty five years of her wonderful scientific career.