SHS Web Conf.
Volume 136, 2022MATTERS OF CONTAINMENT. Material approaches to the handling of threats in the modern world. 3rd International Conference of the Quarantine Studies Network (QSN)
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Published online||22 March 2022|
Radioactivity on tour: analyzing the public uses of Eve Curie’s picture at the Portuguese Institute of Oncology (1940)
CIUHCT, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
On January 1940, Eve Curie was pictured at the Portuguese Institute of Oncology (IPO). The shot would be reproduced in IPO’s Bulletin, a monthly journal of anti-cancer propaganda directed to the general public. Addressing Eve’s photograph as a picture, endowed with epistemic value, I seek to understand how it became an important tool for Portuguese anti-cancer campaigns. A second picture is considered – that of Marie Curie receiving her ‘gram’ of radium at the White House (1921) – to show the role that both mother and daughter played in the construction of radioactivity’s ambiguous public image. This paper tries to analyze how the public reproduction of the younger Curie’s photograph at IPO’s Radium Pavilion, the first European facility that followed the safety guidelines of the International Congress of Radiology of 1928, attempted to dismiss public fears over radioactive contamination. Portuguese anti-cancer campaigns needed to gain public support, not only regarding cancer, but also radioactivity, for the latter needed to be trusted if it was to be applied in time to its potential beneficiaries.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2022
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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