The Nobel Prize is awarded in three science categories: physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine. In 2012 each science prize was shared by a pair of researchers. Among this year's six laureates in these categories is the usual number of women: zero.
Celebrities in the United States typically include singers and film stars and sports heroes. They also usually include people like Kim Kardashian who are simply famous for being famous. But -- once upon a time -- scientists used to be celebrities as well.
Sure, you're thinking, everyone has heard of Marie Curie. But what do you really know about her? Perhaps you vaguely recall that she was the first person to be honored with two Nobel Prizes -- or that she was the first to use the word "radioactivity."
Birds, dolphins, elephants, mice, pre-historic human beings... Do any creatures other than modern-day people possess what we call consciousness? Brain researchers from around the world are set to explore that question this summer.
It may seem frivolous to talk about loving Marie Curie, as though I insist on seeing her in a personal way. But for those of us who are not scientists, yet hunger to understand science more deeply, the personal, the human, is our doorway.
When Lauren Redniss is asked why she created Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout, her reply is as striking as her work: "I wanted to create a visual book about invisible forces."