Curie Above the Fold: History and Media

On May 11, 1921, the world’s most famous female scientist, Marie Curie, began a 10-week tour of the United States. Curie’s biographers have argued that instead of portraying Curie as a scientist, the American press’ emphasis on Curie’s role as a mother, widow, and healer created a mythic Curie with traditional female virtues that served to make this unconventional woman less threatening to traditional values. This article complicates that approach by considering coverage outside the daily press, such as magazines, which emphasized Curie’s accomplishments as a scientist. Tracing the development of Curie’s story in the press, the article offers insight into the way coverage of Curie’s trip both shaped and was shaped by notions of women’s place in science and American society.

Owens, T. (2010). Marie Curie Above the Fold. Science Communication. doi:10.1177/1075547010379578

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