The Lady Tasting Tea by David Salsburg
How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century

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At a summer tea party in Cambridge, England, a lady states that tea poured into milk tastes differently than that of milk poured into tea. Her notion is shouted down by the scientific minds of the group. But one guest, by the name Ronald Aylmer Fisher, proposes to scientifically test the lady's hypothesis. There was no better person to conduct such a test. For Fisher had brought to the field of statistics an emphasis on controlling the methods for obtaining data and the importance of interpretation. He knew that how the data was gathered and applied was as important as the data themselves.

In The Lady Tasting Tea, readers will encounter not only Ronald Fisher's theories (and their repercussions), but the ideas of dozens of men and women whose revolutionary work affects our everyday lives. Writing with verve and wit, author David Salsburg traces the rise and fall of Karl Pearson's theories, explores W. Edwards Deming's statistical methods of quality control (which rebuilt postwar Japan's economy), and relates the story of Stella Cunliff's early work on the capacity of small beer casks at the Guinness brewing factory.

The Lady Tasting Tea is not a book of dry facts and figures, but the history of great individuals who dared to look at the world in a new way.


About David Salsburg

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David Salsburg is a former Senior Research Fellow at Pfizer, Inc., and currently works as a private consultant. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and received a lifetime achievement award from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing Association. The author of three technical books and over fifty scientific articles, Salsburg has taught at Connecticut College, Harvard School of Public Health, Rhode Island College, Trinity College, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in New London, Connecticut.
Published May 1, 2002 by Henry Holt and Co.. 354 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Computers & Technology, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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The development of statistical modeling in primary research is the underreported paradigm shift in the foundation of science.

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