Leading personalities in statistical sciences: from the seventeenth century to the present. (English) Zbl 0878.01018

Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. xxiii, 399 p. (1997).
The editors of the Encyclopedia of Statistical Sciences. Vols. 1-9 + Supplement, Wiley, New York (1982-1989) compiled therefrom the biographies and augmented them by those of Achenwall, Aitken, Anderson, Arbuthnot, Bernstein, Birnbaum, Bol’shev, Bonferroni, Bowley, Cantelli, Cochran, Cox, David, Deming, Deparcieux, Elfving, Engel, Farr, Feller, Finetti, Fisher, Irving, Franscini, Gini, Gnedenko, Goulden, Graunt, Gumbel, Guttman, Hajek, Hannan, Hansen, Helmert, Hill, Hoeffding, Hsu, Jeffreys, Jordan, Kendall, Kiaer, Kitagawa, Konüs, Körösy, Langevin, Linnik, Lüroth, Nemchinov, Nightingale, Ramsey, Scott, ’sGravesande, Sinclair, Smirnov, Suessmilch, Sverdrup, Thiele, Wargentin, Wilson, Winkler, Witt, Wold, Yates and classified them into the following seven categories: 1) forerunners 2) statistical inference 3) statistical theory 4) probability theory 5) government and economic statistics 6) applications in medicine and agriculture 7) applications in science and engineering. So they present a broad introduction to the history of statistics and include various accounts of the lives and achievements of 119 prominent men and women who helped shape the science of statistics in the development of statistical methods and applications over the past 300 years. In the appendix a very interesting statistical analysis of lifelength of leading statistical personalities is provided, and indices of names and of subjects are given.
It seems that the update is not complete: e.g. I miss the contribution of E. Seneta [Modern probabilistic concepts in the work of E. Abbe and A. de Moivre. Math. Sci. 8, 75-80 (1983; Zbl 0528.60003)] to the contribution [E. Seneta, ESS 1, 32-33 (1982)]. Hitherto it seems worth to mention that in 1888, after the death of Carl-Zeiss, Abbe founded the Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung (Foundation) Jena. He divested himself of his holdings in the business and transferred them into the Foundation, a highly progressive social event, in June 1992 it has been renamed into Ernst-Abbe-Stiftung, which is a legally independent, non-profit foundation under civil law. The Ernst-Abbe-Foundation focuses its activities on areas of scientific and social interest, in particular on the promotion of science, research and education at the Friedrich-Schiller-University and other institutions in Jena and the surrounding area. Under Chuprov I miss the entry. O. Sheynin, Alexandr A. Chuprov: Life, work, correspondence. The making of mathematical statistics. Rev. Engl. ed., translated from the Russian by the author. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (Göttingen 1996; Zbl 0845.01011). But in all, this volume is a very instructive and well documented work warmly to be recommended to all students and scholars of statistics.
Reviewer: H.Grimm (Jena)


01A70 Biographies, obituaries, personalia, bibliographies
62-03 History of statistics