The Art and Science museum in Singapore quoted Marie Curie as saying:

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood

I was trying to lookup the source of that quote, it's sourced from Our Precarious Habitat from 1973 on wikiquote, but that in turn is just an unreferenced quote. That's where the trail ends for me.

Is there any evidence that the quote is from her?

  • Did she say it in English? (doubtful). Maybe in French, Polish, Russian, or German? – GEdgar Dec 29 '15 at 17:03
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    So in French it is even a play on words. – GEdgar Dec 29 '15 at 22:57
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    @GEdgar - There is no more play on words in the French quote than in its quite accurate English translation. – Graffito Dec 29 '15 at 23:30
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    @GEdgar: Even if both words have common letters (i.e. "c_r__ndre"), "no native speaker would identify an association between the two. The only correspondence is in the "parallelisation" of "rien n'est à" and "tout est à", i.e. "nothing is to be (feared)" and "everything is to be (understood)". – Graffito Dec 31 '15 at 13:40
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    This quote is often attributed to Marie Curie (even in France), but never with a reliable source, if at all. I took some time to look up some records, and all I can say is : this quote isn't from any of her nobel-related speeches, nor is it in the biography made by his daughter Eve Curie (Madame Curie, Gallimard 1938). This last point may a strong point against the attribution of the quote, since such a memorable quote should probably appear in her biography. – Aralicia Jan 28 '16 at 19:59

I was looking for the same quote. I found this page:


It states this:

The first sentence, alone, appears in French as «On ne doit rien craindre dans la vie—il suffit de comprendre,» in Université Laval, Faculté de médecine, Société medicale des hôpitaux universitaires de Québec, Laval médical (1951), 16, 569. This French source gives as context Marie Curie's discovery that she had cancer.

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