International Statistical Review

Roles of Statistics in the Life Sciences

Niels Keiding

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Quantitative methodologies have always been central in the life sciences, and some of these belong to the general area of statistics. Other methods of data analysis have their part to play, and it is of ongoing importance for the field of statistics to adapt to these developments.

Besides the role of statistical methods in generating new knowledge, there are also regulatory uses of statistics, particularly in drug registration and in environmental standard setting. These dual roles of statistical methods should not be confused.

Statistical data from official sources and elsewhere play important roles in the life sciences, and often necessitate very careful adherence to confidentiality. The historical role of the ISI towards life sciences has been modulated by the existence of other international organizations in the area.

Article information

Internat. Statist. Rev., Volume 73, Number 2 (2005), 255-258.

First available in Project Euclid: 4 August 2005

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Bioinformatics Biostatistics Clinical trial Design of experiments Epidemiology International Biometric Society Randomized clinical trial Register data


Keiding, Niels. Roles of Statistics in the Life Sciences. Internat. Statist. Rev. 73 (2005), no. 2, 255--258.

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  • [1] Keding, N. & Budtz-Jørgensen, E. (2004). The precautionary principle and statistical approaches to uncertainty. Int. J. Occ. Med. Env. Health, 17, 147-151.