Over the centuries, Poland, and its people, have substantially contributed to the world’s knowledge, science, arts, and culture. Let us introduce you to some of the greatest Polish people of all times, and their life stories. You can read about their different backgrounds, and interests. Hopefully, you either have or will refer to some of their works in your projects. The list is long, and we reveal just a small part of it:
Magdalena Abakanowicz, Frederic Chopin, Nicolaus Copernicus, Agnieszka Holland, Marek Kaminski, Tadeusz Kantor, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Roman Polanski, Robert Korzeniowski, Ignacy Lukasiewicz, Czeslaw Milosz, Maria Sklodowska-Curie, Tomasz Stanko, Wislawa Szymborska, Aleksander Wolszczan, Stanislaw Wyspianski… etc.
Marie Sklodowska – Curie, commonly known as Marie Curie, the famous radioactivity pioneer, was Polish-born and has doubtlessly retained Polish identity till the end of her life. She was the first female to graduate with a baccaleurate in physical sciences in 1893 from the Sorbonne, the first woman to have been nominated professor at the Sorbonne, and the first person to be honored with two Nobel Prizes (for Physics and Chemistry). Her most famous discoveries had been radium and polonium, two radioactive elements, the latter of which is named after Sklodowska-Curie’s home country. She was also elected, as the first female member in its 224-years’ history, to the prestigious Academy of Medicine.
Her daughters were Irene Joliot-Curie, and Eve Curie-Labouisse, who, following her mother, retained a Polish identity and a wish to spread Polish culture. Irene, who started her interest with sciences in childhood, was soon discovered as a great scientific talent by professors, including most notable scientists of all times, such as Einstein and Roentgen. She married Frederic Joliot-Curie, and started an extensive researsh on the structure of the atom. In 1935, they jointly won a Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the discovery of induced radioactivity. Her sister Eve, who was more oriented towards Arts, and Humanities, won no Nobel Prize on her own. She however devoted herself to the work on the organization of the UNICEF. She is held to have vastly contributed to the Nobel Peace Prize offered to her husband, Henry Richardson Labouisse, Jr., on behalf of the organization in 1965. The family with most Nobel laureates to date had Polish ancestry. No wonder why the names Sklodowska-Curie, as well as Joliot-Curie, are frequent elements of place-names and names of institutions throughout Poland.