- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 1 edition (May 1 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805071342
- ISBN-13: 978-0805071344
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 20.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 340 g
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #127,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Lady Tasting Tea: How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century Paperback – May 1 2002
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“Highly readable and well-written. Give it to someone you want to delight.” ―Alcan R. Feinstein, M.D., Sterling Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Yale University School of Medicine
“A fascinating description of the kinds of people who interacted, collaborated, disagreed, and were brilliant in the development of statistics.” ―Barbara A. Bailar, National Opinion Research Center
About the Author
David Salsburg is a retired pharmaceutical company statistician and currently works as a private consultant. He has been a member of the American Statistics Association since 1964 and has taught at Harvard, Connecticut College, the University of Connecticut, the University of Pennsylvania, Rhode Island College, and Trinity College. During his latter years of teaching, Salsburg became Senior Research Fellow at Pfizer, Inc., in the Central Research Department.
Top customer reviews
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So in short, the book tries to do too much with too litle, underestimates (or overestimates) the audience and ultimately fails.
An ILLUSTRATED version of the book might work.
Nonetheless, I found this volume entertaining. I was fascinated by the newness in this field. Certainly nothing in my education led me to believe that virtually every aspect of social science research and statistical analysis is a 20th century invention. Who would have thought that the essence of 21st century social science research would be so well-anchored in agricultural studies and, perhaps most importantly, in the quality control efforts by master brewers at Guinness?
Salsburg intends to write to a non-statistical audience in language that can be understood without mathematic symbols. In this he is only partly successful. He does avoid technical symbols and most technical jargon, but in doing so he is often too vague to make his point clear. Even with three years of graduate statistics (from a social science perspective), I often found myself unsure of his explanations.
In the final analysis, Salsburg's description of the "statistical revolution" in science is really more of a sketch than a portrait. The significances of a shift from certainty to probability cannot be easily explained, but I will give him credit for trying to do so. That he is able to deal with this shift without explicitly commenting on the implications of this shift for religion, values, meaning, and justice is perhaps one of this book's major strengths.
Unfortunately, Salsburg concludes with a critique of the statistical revolution that may weaken the impact of his stories. Those desperately holding onto a Newtonian worldview could use this critique to discount 20th century science, especially social science. If, as Salsburg suggests, we are on the cusp of another paradigm shift, any post-statistical revolution is unlikely to be advanced by those continuing to resist the statistical one.
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Most recent customer reviews
statistics. No formulas but still plenty of math terms explained
as easily as possible.Read more