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date: 25 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter charts the origins and consolidation of the English statistical school from the 1860s to the 1930s, with a focus on the school’s chief figures: Francis Galton (1822–1911), Karl Pearson (1857–1936), and Ronald Aylmer Fisher (1890–1962). It begins with a historical overview of the rise of statistics as a study, taking into account the founding of the Statistical Society of London, which became the Royal Statistical Society. It then examines the contributions of Galton, Pearson, and Fisher to the development of modern statistics. It also considers the role played by other figures in the conception of statistics as a branch of applied mathematics in Britain, including Harold Jeffreys. The chapter concludes by discussing the English statistical school’s demise, along with the advance of statistical theory in the United States.

Keywords: English statistical school, Francis Galton, Karl Pearson, Ronald Aylmer Fisher, statistics, Royal Statistical Society, applied mathematics, Britain, Harold Jeffreys, statistical theory

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