From: "Stuart, Ralph" <Ralph.Stuart**At_Symbol_Here**KEENE.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] 20th century lab safety heroes
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2017 18:49:47 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: 4DAF1ECF-0355-46E0-9F68-087F6B1C780F**At_Symbol_Here**

> >I'm not sure why Marie Curie is a safety hero.

I don't think of her as a safety hero, but she is one of the Top Ten names of 20th Century Lab Science, based on a small amount of Googling I did. This is partially because her daughter and others did a lot of work to burnish Marie's image significantly after Marie's death. There's a fascinating BBC podcast discussion on this at

I agree that Marie's practices and attitude, both toward her own health and those of her assistants (many of who died deaths similar to hers) are reminiscent of the "heroic" age of science and poor examples for modern science.

Fortunately, some scientists learned from our experience with radium, notably Glen Seaborg, as detailed at

Thanks to everyone for their feedback. I suspect that most of the names mentioned would not be recognized by today's students, which is the group I am thinking in terms of reaching, but the names are certainly interesting to think about.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
603 358-2859


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