London nuclear medicine event to feature scientific and musical tribute to great Poles


31 March 2011

Two Polish geniuses will be commemorated at an event blending readings about Marie Curie with live music composed by her compatriot Frederic Chopin.

To be staged at King's College London on 4 April, the evening, titled "From Polonium to Polonaise", is sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). 

It will  follow a one-day symposium covering metals, peptides and nuclear medicine, organised by King's College London and the RSC.

Chopin and Curie

The event will additionally mark the lifetime achievements of Professor Helmut Maecke, who will be presented with the Royal Society of Chemistry Becquerel Medal.  

The symposium will also celebrate the centenary of Marie Curie being awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911. 

The year 2011 was designated by UNESCO as the International Year of Chemistry to commemorate the achievements of Curie who discovered radium and polonium, the latter named by her to honour the country of her birth, which had been partitioned by Russia, Prussia and the Austro-Hungarian empire.  

The science conference will be directly followed by a piano performance by chemist and concert pianist David Di Censo in homage to Marie Curie, setting relevant extracts from the book Madame Curie, written by her daughter, to the music of Chopin.  

Dr Robert Parker, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, who will attend, said: "Marie Curie is a supreme example of the dedicated scientist, selfless in pursuit of new horizons. 

"Although she performed her research work in Paris - eventually dying of leukemia caused by radiation exposure - her heart was always in Poland which she loved. 

"The other Pole revered worldwide, from about the same period, was Chopin. That their work is being combined in this novel fashion is very fitting and the RSC is delighted to be associated with the event." 

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