Articles on Stats History

For biographies of individual statisticians, please visit the ASA's Statisticians in History site or the Book Nook on this site.

The timeline of statistics from Significance Magazine (2014).

Billard, L. (2015). Sir Ronald A. Fisher and The International Biometric Society. Biometrics, 70, 259-265.

Brewer, KRW (2002), Combined survey sampling inference: Weighing Basu's elephants, Arnold: London and Oxford University Press.  (image of Brewer with his book)

Brewer, K. (2005). Anomalies, probing, insights: Ken Foreman’s role in the sampling inference controversy of the late 20th century. Aust. & New Zealand J. Statist., 47(4), 385-399.

Brewer, K., Gregorie, T.G. (2009). Introduction to survey sampling. In C.R. Rao (Ed.) Handbook of Statistics, Volume 29 (9-37). Elsevier.

Brewer, K.R.W. (2014), Three controversies in the history of survey sampling. Survey Methodology, (39)2, 249-262. Statistics Canada, Catalogue No. 12-001-X

Champkin, J. (2011), A life in statistics: C. R. Rao. Significance, 175-178. Available at: 

Fellman, J. (1997). Glimpses at the history of the statistical science in Finland.  Proceedings of the Second Scandinavian - Ukrainian Conference in Mathematical Statistics, Umeå 6-13.6.1997. Theory of Stochastic Processes, vol. 3(19), no. 1-2, 177-182.

Fellman, J. & Eriksson, A. W. (2009) On the history of Hellin´s law. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 12, 183-190.

Fellman, J. (2015). Glimpses at the History of Sex Ratio Studies. Science Journal of Public Health. 3(2), 291-302.

Fellman, J. (2016). Historic demography of Iceland. British Journal of Medicine & Medical Research, 2(1), 1-13. DOI: 10.9734/BJMMR/2016/21965

Fellman, J. (2017). Aspects on the history of twin research: Statistical congresses in the 19th century and Hellin´s law. Twin Research and Human Genetics 21(1), 57-66.

Ghosh, A. (2016). Accepting difference, seeking common ground: Sino-Indian statistical exchanges 1951-1959. BJHS Themes, 1, 61-82. doi:10.1017/bjt.2016.1

Ghosh, K. (1994).  Mahalanobis and the Art and Science of Statistics: The Early Days Indian Journal of History of Science, 29(1), 89-98.

Houston, J.L. (2019). A centennial year (2019) reflection on the life and contributions of mathematician David H. Blackwell (1919-2010). Notices of the American Mathematical Society (66)2, 221-226.

Lee Kennedy-Shaffer (2019) Before p<0.05 to Beyond p<0.05: Using History to Contextualize p-Values and Significance Testing, The American Statistician, 73:sup1, 82-90, DOI: 10.1080/00031305.2018.1537891

Royall, R.M. (1992). The model based (prediction) approach to finite population sampling theory. Institute of Mathematical Statistics Lecture Notes - Monograph Series, 17, 225-240.

Walker, H. (1934). Abraham de Moivre. Scripta Mathematica, 2: 316-333.