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Editor's Note: Eric Jay Dolin is a writer with degrees in environmental science and environmental policy from Brown, Yale, and MIT. His most recent book is A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred-Year History of America's Hurricanes (Liveright), from which this essay was adapted. 

Essay adapted from 10 Women Who Changed Science and the World by Catherine Whitlock and Rhodri Evans (Diversion Books, 2019).

In November 1891, at nearly twenty-four years old, Marie boarded a train for Paris from her native Poland with

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