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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. 

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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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