When we study the history of a famous scientific figure - especially one that has gone on to become a cultural icon - we are dealing not just with a person, but also with an identity or series of identities that have been constructed over time. Eva Hemmungs Wirten
's new book looks carefully at the work that has gone into the making of Marie Curie (1867-1934) as an individual, a celebrity, an icon, and ultimately a brand. Three motifs that thread through the narrative of Making Marie Curie: Intellectual Property and Celebrity Culture in an Age of Information
(University of Chicago Press, 2015), and they each form the basis for one of its chapters: the impact of intellectual property on science and research; the role of celebrity culture in shaping the image of the scientist; and the "question of how to organize scientific information as part of the modern infrastructure of knowledge." It's a compellingly argued book that's also a pleasure to read.
For videos of two of the duels discussed in the book, check out the following links!: