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Making Marie CurieIntellectual Property and Celebrity Culture in an Age of Information$
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Eva Hemmungs Wirtén

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226235844

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226235981.001.0001

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Epilogue

Epilogue

Chapter:
(p.145) Epilogue
Source:
Making Marie Curie
Author(s):

Eva Hemmungs Wirtén

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226235981.003.0005

This chapter synthesises and draws together the main themes of the book in a new light, contrasting them more directly with contemporary developments and tendencies in science. It is argued that the continuous circulation of Marie Curie the person/persona rests on a complex interplay between divergent economies, legalities, and values that remains only partially acknowledged. Curie was skilled in navigating the border between science and non-science and between formal and informal modes of control and ownership. In the last decade of her life, she was not only a fully formed international celebrity, but also someone who had the capacity to set in motion networks across three intersecting arenas; the American, the International, and the French. The book concludes that we have made substantial investments in having Curie remain on a pedestal, but been less willing to understand her as an institution-builder, a networker of the highest order, the kind of modern scientist that built alliances, attracted other scientists around her AND protected her investments. To embrace a more complex and even contradictory Curie does not make her any less of a role model, or her achievements any less impressive, on the contrary.

Keywords:   Curie family, patenting, publishing, personhood, branding, biotechnology, Madame Curie

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