R.A. Fisher: Some Introductory Remarks

  • David Hinkley
Part of the Lecture Notes in Statistics book series (LNS, volume 1)


R.A. Fisher was without question a genius. He brought statistical science from a collectior of poorly understood, albeit useful, techniques toward a cohesive well-founded discipline. Along the way his strongly-held scientific views and somewhat difficult personality led to disputes, in some of which he was undoubtedly wrong. In almost no avenue of statistical science did he pursue ideas so exhaustively as to leave clear, unambiguous material. His strengths were intuition and inspiration, he spurned mathematical nit-picking. Compared to many of his contemporaries, his writing now appears lucid and surprisingly modern. However, much of Fisher’s work is difficult, at times even exasperating, because of untied loose ends that are important to detailed understanding. In addition, many statistical results of practical importance were developed under Fisher’s initial guidance, by junior colleagues such as Frank Yates.


Statistical Science Royal Statistical Society Junior Colleague Mathematical Intuition Astronomy Journal 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1980

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  • David Hinkley

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