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From Statistics to Statistical Science

John A. Nelder
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series D (The Statistician)
Vol. 48, No. 2 (1999), pp. 257-269
Published by: Wiley for the Royal Statistical Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2681191
Page Count: 13
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From Statistics to Statistical Science
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Abstract

It is asserted that statistics must be relevant to making inferences in science and technology. The subject should be renamed statistical science and be focused on the experimental cycle, design-execute-analyse-predict. Its part in each component of the cycle is discussed. The P-value culture is claimed to be the main prop of non-scientific statistics, leading to the cult of the single study and the proliferation of multiple-comparison tests. The malign influence of P-values on protocols for the analysis of groups of experiments is discussed, and also the consequences of the formation of inferentially uninteresting linear models. Suggestions for action by statisticians include the sorting out of modes of inference, the removal of non-scientific procedures, the offering of help to editors, the promotion of good software and teaching methods built round the experimental cycle.

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