Most quantitative social scientists, myself included, master particular statistical techniques, but have limited understanding of the breadth or history of statistical practice. Academic specialization is necessary, but sometimes we could learn a lot by taking a broader view. I found it interesting to learn a little more about some of the most influential statisticians and their contributions in this article by Daniel Wright: “Ten Statisticians and their Impacts for Psychologists.”
Though I enjoyed Wright’s piece, one thing I felt was missing was a connection to philosophy and sociology of science. What are the goals of empirical research in the social sciences? How have the methods these statisticians invented changed social science, and science more generally?
Wright, D. (2009). Ten Statisticians and Their Impacts for Psychologists Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4 (6), 587-597 DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6924.2009.01167.x