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Today in Lansing: MSU and Abrams Planetarium celebrate Marie Curie’s 151st birthday


Marie Curie Celebration


6 to 7 p.m.

Abrams Planetarium

755 Science Road, Michigan State University, East Lansing


WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7 — Nearly 84 years since her death, the papers of Marie Curie’s laboratory will still be radioactive for another 1,500 years.

You can learn about the French scientist who dedicated her life in pursuit of understanding the radioactive elements with a presentation of “Humanity Needs Dreamers: A Visit from Marie Curie,” and remarks from Abrams Planetarium director Shannon Schmoll to commemorate her 151st birthday.

“She was a very prominent female scientist when women were not really allowed to be scientists,” Schmoll said. “The work she did was groundbreaking in understanding radioactivity, chemistry and the periodic table.”

Schmoll said she first encountered Curie’s work and story in high school.

“It was awesome to have a role model and someone who worked really hard and fought against sexism to do some amazing work. It was inspiring to me as a young woman in a classroom with mostly guys.”

As part of her presentation, Schmoll will show the periodic table on the planetarium dome — highlighting the two additions to the periodic table of elements Curie contributed: polonium and radium.

The feature film will be a one-woman show based off lectures Curie gave in the United States, as well as her personal story of practicing her work under Russian-occupied Poland.

Living history actor Susan Marie Frontczak plays Curie for the film. Inspired by Curie, Frontczak pursued higher education in the STEM field, working in engineering for 14 years with Hewlett-Packard while acting.

The film provides a glimpse into the human side of Curie outside her work.

“It is based off of talks she used to give. She was given money by folks to tour in the U.S. on how she discovered radium and polonium,” Schmoll said.

Curie died at age 66 from aplastic anemia due to her work with radioactive elements — the effects of radiation were unknown at the time.

She was the first woman to be named a professor at Paris’ Sorbonne university and win two Nobel Peace Prizes in physics and chemistry.

The presentations are done in association with the MSU Science Festival.

Other events in Lansing:

Coffee and Yoga! Duh

7 to 8 p.m., $10 suggested donation, The Crafted Bean, 800 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing

November 2018 Brew Run

5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Lansing Brewing Company, 518 E. Shiawassee St., Lansing

“The Joe” at East Lansing Film Festival

7 p.m., East Lansing Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road, East Lansing


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