Statistical Science

Fisher in 1921

Stephen Stigler

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Ronald A. Fisher’s 1921 article on mathematical statistics (submitted and read in 1921; published in 1922) was arguably the most influential article on that subject in the twentieth century, yet up to that time Fisher was primarily occupied with other pursuits. A number of previously published documents are examined in a new light to argue that the origin of that work owes a considerable (and unacknowledged) debt to a challenge issued in 1916 by Karl Pearson.

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Statist. Sci., Volume 20, Number 1 (2005), 32-49.

First available in Project Euclid: 6 June 2005

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R. A. Fisher Karl Pearson Kirstine Smith maximum likelihood minimum chi square sufficiency history of statistics


Stigler, Stephen. Fisher in 1921. Statist. Sci. 20 (2005), no. 1, 32--49. doi:10.1214/088342305000000025.

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