Musee Curie, vue intérieure, Paris

Paris Region's women in science

From mathematicians to physicists, from chemists to astronauts... discover the Paris Region’s great women of science.

Though they have received less attention and recognition than female artists, women have been taking on major scientific projects since well before the modern day. Here is a short history of the great women of science.

Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil

Portrait de Gabrielle Emilie de Breteuil Le Tonnelier

Born in the 18th century and a great friend of Voltaire, Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil is now considered as one of the greatest scientists of her time.

A mathematician, physicist and woman of letters, she is famous for her work on kinetic energy and her translations of the works of Isaac Newton and Leibniz.

She is one of the most illustrious ancestors of the Breteuil family, whose chateau to the south-west of Paris can still be visited to this day – an architectural gem where you can see her bedroom and music room.

Façade nord du château de Breteuil

Marie Curie

Marie Curie, an adopted Parisian, is without doubt the most celebrated woman of science.

She was rewarded for her work, becoming the only woman to receive the Nobel Prize twice in two different disciplines: first physics and then chemistry.

Her research on radioactivity and radiotherapy paved the way for a great deal of work, particularly in medicine. Her work was then continued by her daughter Irène Joliot Curie. Learn about their story at the Musée Curie in Paris’s 5th arrondissement.

Musée Curie%252C laboratoire de Marie Curie%252C Paris 2015

Claudie Haigneré

Claudie Haigneré was the first European woman to travel into space.

The brilliant physician and doctor of neuroscience spent 25 days outside of Earth’s atmosphere during two missions, in 1996 and 2001. She also conducted medical and psychological experiments.

Find out about her life in the space hall at the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace in Le Bourget.

Claudie Haigneré pour le Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace

Our selection

Château de Breteuil
Château de Breteuil
Art & culture Strolls
With its huge park, its magnificent gardens and its wax figures, the chateau de Breteuil to the west of Paris offers you a journey through French history and a great outing for the whole family
Bois de Boulogne
Musée Curie
Art & culture
Discover the history and work of Marie Curie and her famous family of scientists in her own workspace in the heart of the Latin Quarter in Paris.
Boeing 747 de nuit au musée de l'air et de l'espace
Museum of Air and Space
Embark on a journey into one of the world’s largest aeronautic museums, and step into the heart of aviation and spaceflight exploration.
  • Copyright image: J.Marthur/Musée Curie