Just watched the movie Radioactive with Rosemund Pike playing the role of Marie Curie – the woman scientist who discovered radioactivity and two new elements. She went on to receive two Nobel prizes in 1903, with her husband, and solely in 1911.
The movie highlights the challenges of women in science and one may make the same parallels a hundred years later in the world today. Many women will also appreciate the challenges of being a migrant.
What is even more profound are the implications for her discovery and how technology can do good or harm depending on who holds it.
The fact that her science and technology could be used during the war to x-ray wounded soldiers to prevent unnecessary amputation; and the treatment of cancer today, are a gift to humanity. On the other hand, the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the global impact of the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident in Russia are examples of how science and technology can really go wrong.
It is a movie that we must all watch and discuss with friends and family. There are many women scientists here in Nepal as well as young aspiring ones who will be inspired by the life and work of Madam Curie. The movie also has the central message that we all need to work together to leverage the good sides of science and technology, for the good of the planet and all its beings, and not for destruction and to profit a few.