Visiting Vassar with her daughter and speaking "On The Discovery of Radium," Mme. Marie Curie noted that when “radium was discovered no one knew it would prove useful in hospitals.  The work was one of pure science.  And this is a proof that scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of its direct usefulness. It must be done for itself, for the beauty of science….  There is always," she concluded, "a vast field left to experimentation, and I hope that we may have some beautiful progress in the following years.  It is my earnest desire that some of you should carry on this scientific work and keep for your ambition the determination to make a permanent contribution to science."

Mme. Curie’s address was published as the Ellen S. Richards Monograph No. 2.