Marie Curie Has Been Named The Woman With The Most Influential Impact On World History

The poll includes activists, scientists and the first person to win two Nobel prizes

Marie S. Curie
Getty ImagesTime Fashion Pictures

Pioneering scientist and double-Nobel prize winner Marie Curie has been voted the woman with the most significant impact on world history.

created a list of '100 women who changed the world' as selected by 10 experts, and asked readers to rank them - and Curie came up top.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Polish-born Curie became the first person to win two Nobel prizes - one for physics and one for chemistry. Her pioneering research into radioactivity in the early 20th century launched cancer treatments and developed the use of X-rays in surgery.

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks came in second place, followed by suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, Ada Lovelace and Rosalind Franklin.

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (1913-2005), American Civil Rights activist. Booking photo taken at the time of her arrest for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white passenger on 1 December 1955.
Getty ImagesUniversalImagesGroup

Lovelace was a British mathematician who is widely regarded as the first to recognise the full potential of a 'computing machine' and the first computer programmer.

British chemist Franklin was an X-ray crystallographer who made contributions to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA.

Rosalind Elsie Franklin.
Getty ImagesUniversal History Archive

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Patricia Fara, president of the British Society for the History of Science, said: 'She [Curie] was the first woman to win a Nobel prize in physics, first female professor at the University of Paris, and the first person - note the use of "person" there, not "woman" - to win a second Nobel prize.

'The odds were always stacked against her. In Poland her patriotic family suffered under a Russian regime. In France she was regarded with suspicion as a foreigner - and of course, wherever she went, she was discriminated against as a woman.'

BBC History Magazine deputy editor Charlotte Hodgman added: 'The poll has shone a light on some truly extraordinary women from history, many of whose achievements and talents were overlooked in their own lifetimes.'

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Fashion + People