Statistician Quotes (9 quotes)
Air Chief Marshal Harris [objecting to a change in strategy recommended by statisticians]: Are we fighting this war with weapons or the slide rule?
Churchill [after puffing on his cigar]: That's a good idea. Let's try the slide rule.
During World War II, Britain lost the advantage when enemy U-boats began listening in to the aircraft radar, were forewarned, and would dive. U-boat sinkings fell to zero. Physicist Patrick S. Blackett with his Operational Research colleagues came up with a solution. Concentrate sufficient aircraft in certain areas, causing the subs to dive so frequently their air supply and batteries were exhausted, forcing them to remain on the surface and be vulnerable to attack. The strategy required diverting several squadrons from Bomber Command to Coastal Command. Bomber Harris voiced his objection to Churchill, who made the right choice, proved by successful results. As described by R.V. Jones, 'Churchill and Science', in Robert Blake and Wm. Roger Louis (eds.), Churchill (1996), 437.
A statistician carefully assembles the facts and figures for others who carefully misinterpret them.
In Evan Esar, 20,000 Quips and Quotes (1995), 765.
In India, theres lack of appreciation of the need to cross-examine data, the responsibility of a statistician.
In India Today (2008), 33, No. 9-17, 130
Statistician: A man who believes figures don't lie but admits that, under analysis some of them won't stand up either.
The Dictionary of Humorous Quotations (1949). In Robert Harris Shutler, Mathematics 436 - Finely Explained (2004), 3.
Statistics is, or should be, about scientific investigation and how to do it better, but many statisticians believe it is a branch of mathematics.
In Technometrics (1990), 32, 251-252.
The best thing about being a statistician is that you get to play in everyones backyard.
In David Leonhardt, 'John Tukey, 85, Statistician; Coined the Word Software', New York Times (28 Jul 2000). No citation, except Mr. Tukey once told a colleague.
The investigation of causal relations between economic phenomena presents many problems of peculiar difficulty, and offers many opportunities for fallacious conclusions. Since the statistician can seldom or never make experiments for himself, he has to accept the data of daily experience, and discuss as best he can the relations of a whole group of changes; he cannot, like the physicist, narrow down the issue to the effect of one variation at a time. The problems of statistics are in this sense far more complex than the problems of physics.
In 'On the Theory of Correlation', Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (Dec 1897), 60, 812, as cited in Stephen M. Stigler, The History of Statistics: The Measurement of Uncertainty Before 1900 (1986), 348.
The reason that, having started as a chemist, I became a statistician was that Statistics seemed to me of much greater importance. It was about the catalysis of scientific method itself.
In article Total Quality: Its Origins and its Future (1995), published at the Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement.
Whats the collective noun for a group of statisticians?
In Sharon Bertsch McGrayne, The Theory that Would Not Die: How Bayes Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy (2011), 51. The author cryptically footnotes the source as Tukey, according to Brillinger e-mail. Presumably, these would be John W. Tukey (1915-2000) and his student David R. Brillinger (1937-)