“Step out of the comfort zone and into the courage zone”


This is honestly the most excited I have felt in a long time. For some strange reason, out of writing all of the other eminent blog posts, this is the one I feel most excited to write.


You can probably tell I am excited.

Anyway, a few weeks before the night, I emailed approximately eight or nine people to interview. I actually found it really hard to find people that were connected with Marie Curie in some way. I tried emailing the museum of Marie Curie that is located in Warsaw, Poland and a few other places in Europe, but had no luck. I then tried emailing creators of websites and other people that could possibly have a

A page inside of "Radioactive" by Lauren Redniss, taken from google images

A page inside of “Radioactive” by Lauren Redniss, taken from google images

connection with her, but still, I had no luck. For some reason, I had completely forgotten that emailing authors of books was a possibility (Thank you Anne if you are reading this you actually saved my life)! I emailed about four authors of Marie Curie biographies. The next day I saw that I had an email from Lauren Redniss, who happened to be the author of the book I had taken out and the Vancouver Public

Library “Radioactive” (see my library post)! I was extremely excited to hear back from her, and we immediately arranged a phone call!

This was the first email I sent to her and this was my basic “template” I guess for my other emails.

Hello there,

I am a grade 10 student from Coquitlam, BC in Canada. I am in a gifted program called the TALONS program which allows like-minded students to learn together in a unique way. For an upcoming project called the “Eminent Person Project”, we were asked to pick a person that we believe is eminent and has made an impact in the world. For my project, I chose Marie Curie, and I was wondering if I could interview you to give me more insight into the life of Marie Curie and the impact she has made. If an interview with you is not possible, it would help me out greatly if you could provide me with phone numbers and emails of people I could contact instead.

Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear back from you soon!

-Christine McCulloch
Grade 10 TALONS student at Gleneagle Secondary


The Questions and Answers

So here is a list of questions I asked her during the phone call. I actually made a few of them up as we were going because I felt they were fitting to the conversation.

  1. What inspired you to write a book about Marie (unfortunately this got cut off in the recording, but I tried to summarize her answer as best I could)
  2. How do you think Marie has influenced the future generations of female scientists?
  3. I noticed that you made ‘relationships’ a main theme/topic of your book. What inspired you to do that?
  4. Do you have a personal connection with science or with Marie in any way?
  5. I love the originality of your book with the use of your drawings and overall, how the book is layed out. Tell me about the process of creating the book and what you wanted your readers to experience with this type of book?
  6. What do you think is the main impact Marie has made on the world?
  7. What is one think interesting and intriguing that you found during your research?


I am still in the process of uploading the footage of the call onto here, but it will hopefully be uploaded by the weekend. Please note that I am extremely phone-shy, so please don’t judge my awkwardness too much. I would have preferred to do the interview over email, but then I realized I would gain more from going out of my comfort zone and doing it over the phone. Of course, the answers she gave during the phone call would not have been as detailed or as long as they would be if I had emailed her as she did not have time to think about them (she also has a two year old son that you might hear in the video 😉 ), but I am still really glad we decided to do the interview over the phone. Also I am really sorry the first part is cut off, I was scrambling to try to start recording, take notes, and talk to her at the same time.

So What Did I Learn?

I found out a lot of useful information with this interview, but I wish I had asked more questions about Marie herself instead of the book. But anyway, Lauren told me that she really wanted to highlight the fact that with science, and love there is power and yet danger with each, which is what she wanted to translate into her book. She said that she wanted to reach a different audience with her book by focusing more on the relationships Marie had instead of focusing mainly on the science and with this making it more fun, intriguing and surprising. (That was mainly question #1 since it was cut out of the video). Lauren also said that part of her legacy is highlighting the point there is still work to be done when it comes to the amount of women in science. I pretty much learned everything that she said from the phone call,

Although I didn’t learn many “facts” about Marie Curie, I had the opportunity to speak to an expert on her and I gained a new perspective on who Marie Curie really is. This interview has helped me understand new ways of seeing Marie, like seeing her for her relationships and not just for her science side.

I am really glad I got to do an interview this year, since I didn’t get an interview until January last year… This interview has helped me gain insight I wouldn’t have gained if it weren’t for this interview and Lauren.

Thanks for reading, and I will see you in my next post!