Theoretical studies in the shell model have led to the conclusion that the shape dependence of the liquid-drop part of the semi-empirical mass formula of the Weizsaecker-Bethe type should contain terms proportional to the volume, the surface, and the mean-total curvature of the surface of the drop, respectively. Now the surface tension beta_e and the curvature tension gamma_e are fitted to the experimentally known fission barriers of 35 nuclei. Furthermore, the parameters of the liquid-drop part of the mass formula are roughly fitted to the ground-state masses of about 600 beta-stable nuclei. For the elementary radius r_e, the value 1.123 fm ( determined by Elton ) is used. As a result, gamma_e should be in the range 6-8 MeV, with the value 6.8 MeV being the most probable, thus beta_e=17.85 MeV. For sufficiently large values of the curvature tension ( e.g. gamma_e=13.4 MeV ), a small double-hump fission barrier occurs in the region of Ra.