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Is Statistics a Science?

M. J. R. Healy
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (General)
Vol. 141, No. 3 (1978), pp. 385-393
Published by: Wiley for the Royal Statistical Society
DOI: 10.2307/2344809
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2344809
Page Count: 9
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Is Statistics a Science?
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Abstract

A distinction is drawn between science and technology. The former has been studied by Karl Popper and his ideas are widely accepted; the latter has had less attention. The inter-relations of the two are considered and it is pointed out that neither can be said to underlie or dominate the other though practitioners of each are often intolerant of the alternative approach. Statistics may have a more important role to play in technology than in science; it may itself best be considered as a technology rather than as a science. These ideas are discussed in the context of the teaching and practice of statistics in general and medical statistics in particular.

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