Statistical Science

R. A. Fisher in the 21st century (Invited paper presented at the 1996 R. A. Fisher Lecture)

Bradley Efron

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Fisher is the single most important figure in 20th century statistics. This talk examines his influence on modern statistical thinking, trying to predict how Fisherian we can expect the 21st century to be. Fisher's philosophy is characterized as a series of shrewd compromises between the Bayesian and frequentist viewpoints, augmented by some unique characteristics that are particularly useful in applied problems. Several current research topics are examined with an eye toward Fisherian influence, or the lack of it, and what this portends for future statistical developments. Based on the 1996 Fisher lecture, the article closely follows the text of that talk.

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Statist. Sci., Volume 13, Number 2 (1998), 95-122.

First available in Project Euclid: 9 August 2002

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Statistical inference Bayes frequentist fiducial empirical Bayes model selection bootstrap confidence intervals


Efron, Bradley. R. A. Fisher in the 21st century (Invited paper presented at the 1996 R. A. Fisher Lecture). Statist. Sci. 13 (1998), no. 2, 95--122. doi:10.1214/ss/1028905930.

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See also

  • Includes: D. R. Cox. Comment by D. R. Cox.
  • Includes: Rob Kass. Comment by Rob Kass.
  • Includes: Ole E. Barndorff-Nielsen. Comment by Ole E. Barndorff-Nielsen.
  • Includes: D. V. Hinkley. Comment by D. V. Hinkley.
  • Includes: D. A. S. Fraser. Comment by D. A. S. Fraser.
  • Includes: A. P. Dempster. Comment by A. P. Dempster.
  • Includes: Bradley Efron. Rejoinder by Bradley Efron.