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

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

A history of the discipline of statistics that I found immensely useful. Rather than memorizing by rote what a p-statistic is or what regression does, this book tells the stories behind them. Salsburg tells the why and the how, rather than explaining the what and being done with it. Salsburg tells the stories of the people who invented modern statistical techniques and concepts, their historical context, why their innovations were needed, what types of problems they were built to solve, and what their techniques’ drawbacks and limitations are, as well as their positives. This book was recommended by Michael Munger, who heads Duke University’s Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) program, and I am glad I listened.

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