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The Pasteurization of Marie Curie:: a (Meta)Biographical Experiment
Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Department of Culture Studies – Tema Q. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4116-3469
2015 (English)In: Social Studies of Science, ISSN 0306-3127, E-ISSN 1460-3659, Vol. 45, no 4, 597-610 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Biographies of scientists occupy a liminal space, highly popular with general readers but questioned in academia. Nonetheless, in recent years, historians of science have not only embraced the genre with more enthusiasm and less guilt, they have also turned to the metabiography in order to renew the study and story of scientists’ roles. This essay focuses on Marie Curie, the world’s most famous female scientist, in order to unpack some of the theoretical and methodological claims of the science biography, and especially to address the sexing mechanisms at play in the construction of the biographical subject. Pierre Curie (1923), Marie’s biography of her husband Pierre, paid tribute to her dead husband and collaborator, but also allowed Curie a legitimate outlet to construct her own persona and legacy. Categories such as personhood, person, and persona are not only central to the biography genre but also are essential to the sense of self and self-fashioning of scientists. Looking at how Marie Curie negotiated these categories in Pierre Curie not only gives new insight into Curie’s self-fashioning strategies but may also shed some light on the more general analytical lacunae of the science biography.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2015. Vol. 45, no 4, 597-610 p.
National Category
Cultural Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121069DOI: 10.1177/0306312715589220ISI: 000360797900006OAI: diva2:851408
Available from: 2015-09-04 Created: 2015-09-04 Last updated: 2016-05-04Bibliographically approved

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Hemmungs Wirtén, Eva
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