19 December 2023

120 years ago, Maria Skłodowska-Curie and Peter Curie were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Also 2023 is a year of 125th anniversary of the discovery of polonium and radium. To mark both occasions, the Polish Academy of Sciences is presenting a short documentary film directed by Paweł Cichoński about our outstanding scientist’s three-week journey through Italy.

“Madame Skłodowska-Curie arrived alone from Paris to Pisa by train on July 30, 1918, at 3:30 a.m.” This is how the extraordinary journey of the two-time Nobel laureate began, during which she travelled with Italian scientists, investigating natural radiation in thermal waters, fumaroles and rocks. She has travelled extensively around the world including Spain, England, Sweden, twice in the USA and once in Brazil. However, the research trip to Italy in the summer of 1918 is probably the least known of the Polish Nobel laureate’s travels, even though it lasted three weeks.

An extremely important element of the film is the unique source material, articles, publications that relate to this research expedition and which are presented for the first time. It also highlights the social aspects of the journey, such as the attitude of the local community towards the Polish scientist and her influence on Italian science policy.

So.. How did the research tour proceed during such a difficult period for Europe? What places did the Nobel laureate visit? Was the scientist also interested in touring Italy? How is she remembered today? You can find answers to these and other questions by watching   short documentary  “Marie Skłodowska-Curie in Italy in search of radium.” Additionally, it is  an excellent opportunity to take a short walk around Warsaw in the footsteps of Skłodowska-Curie and to talk about the phenomenon of natural radioactivity, which thanks to her pioneering research, revolutionized the perception of matter.

The film is already available in Polish, Italian and English language versions on the official YouTube channel of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Enjoy watching!

This movie  is the result of cooperation among:  Scientific Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Rome (Agnieszka Stefaniak-Hrycko), Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw (prof. Marcin Górecki), Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry of the University of Pisa (prof. Lorenzo Di Bari, prof. Gaetano Angelici, prof. Valentina Domenici), Museum of Maria Skłodowska-Curie in Warsaw (Miłka Skalska) as part of activities to disseminate and promote science.