Stats Basterds

fed2

Active Member
#1
i was listening to podcast 'behind the bastards' got to thinking if there are any statisticians who were known bastards but contributed alot to stats theory. I mean reeeeeeeeeeeeal bastards, though, not just through modern eyes.
 

katxt

Well-Known Member
#3
I hate to quote this about one of our great statisticians - "He seemed inhuman sometimes in his lack of consideration for the feelings of others.... Capable of rough handling those who opposed him with ready-made arguments that he treated with contempt: He was sometimes arbitrary and disagreeable: and he was recalcitrant to any form of coercion." Joan Fisher-Box, RA Fisher: The Life of a Scientist'
His work on eugenics and smoking was also somewhat questionable.
 

hlsmith

Less is more. Stay pure. Stay poor.
#4
Yeah they are renaming a lectureship at a Cali uni (maybe Stanford or a UC) from his name to something else.
He also stymied the progression of Bayesian stats and may have been one of those that didn't support Wright Sewell.

I believe Pearson had issues too.
 

hlsmith

Less is more. Stay pure. Stay poor.
#12
I agree - near a time when evolution was just getting figured out and DNA yet to be discovered - the ideas around eugenics must have been fascinating. Though - forced sterilization is obviously a bad idea and I would imagine some may not have been thinking about regression to the mean either.
 

Karabiner

TS Contributor
#13
Racism and fascism is inherent in eugenics, from the very beginning with Galton.
They had a political agenda appearing as a scientific one.

We are not just "product of our times". Personal responsibility and scientific integrity
should guide our choices. The choices have consequences.
 

fed2

Active Member
#15
oh fine. have it your way. So we'll add everyone born before 1972 to the stats bastards list, on suspicion of racist associations or existing in a general millieu of racism. So far the list:

Stats Basterds:
1) The alleged peter-peeper at Tufts.
2) Statisticians born before 1972
3) Spunky (you know what you did last summer)

What about modern bastards though, post 1972 (year racism ended in us).