Associate Professor Lauren Redniss has a new book out! Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout is an art book comprised of history, love story, and gorgeous imagery. Here’s what Lauren has to say about the book and her creative process:
To research the book, I traveled to Hiroshima to interview atomic bomb survivors, to the Nevada Test Site outside of Las Vegas to talk with weapons specialists, to Warsaw to see the house where Marie Curie was born, to the Curie Institut in Paris to interview the Curie’s granddaughter. I spoke with an oncologist exploring innovative radiation treatment in San Bernadino, California and the Idaho National Laboratory’s Director of the Center for Space Nuclear Research about how nuclear power and propulsion could enable space exploration and crystal cities built on the moon.
I made the artwork for the book using a process called “cyanotype.” Cyanotype is a camera‐less photographic technique in which paper is coated with light‐sensitive chemicals. When the chemically-treated paper is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, it turns a deep blue color. Photographic imaging was critical to both the discovery of X-rays and of radioactivity, so it made sense to me to use a process based on the idea of exposure to create the images in Radioactive.
Lauren will also be taking part in a talk with Nobel Laureate Harold Varmus, MD. They will discuss Lauren’s work, science, and discovery. The talk will be Friday, January 21, 2011 – 7:30 PM EST at the NYPL.
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