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William Gemmell Cochran: The influence of Rothamsted and designed experiments on his research. (English) Zbl 0547.01021
This is a lucid contribution to Cochran’s intellectual portrait. It traces the impact of designed experiments on his statistical research, and conversely. His main themes like the analyses of count data and sample surveys were developed at Rothamsted and Woburn Stations, and in turn helped design new experiments. The close contact with agriculture, and the rise of biometrics in general, are sometimes seen as representatives of a more scientific approach to problems whose very magnitude first alarmed the politician and people alike between the two great wars. But although the same apprehensions of economic depression, totalitarism and aftermath of industrialism were felt by all, the contemporary response was far from uniform. Cochran alone remained a scientist, applying eugenics on crop instead of race and combining theory with praxis instead of tampering with both. The reviewed paper assumes more weight from this historical background than most other biographies of Cochran’s (1910-1980) colleagues.
Reviewer: E.Maula

MSC:
01A70 Biographies, obituaries, personalia, bibliographies
62-03 History of statistics
Biographic References:
Cochran, William Gemmell
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