It was a particular pleasure to receive the Radiation Research Society Failla Award in Warsaw, Poland, the birthplace of Marie Skłodowska Curie. Gioacchino Failla was the first director of my own Institute, now called the Columbia University Center for Radiological Research (CRR). Starting in 1918, Failla was in charge of the Columbia University Center for an astonishing 43 years, before Harold Rossi and then Eric Hall took over the reins. Between them, Rossi and Hall led the CRR for a further 49 years. Perhaps radiation is linked to scientific longevity, if not to increased lifespan ().

Failla was in fact one of Marie Curie's graduate students, and he received his doctorate from the Sorbonne in 1923. Two years earlier, Marie Curie had visited Failla in New York City during her trip to the U.S. The New York Times recorded her arrival (Fig. 1) with the...

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