% LaTeX source for Fisher The Author, Preface and Acknowledgements




  \Large{THE AUTHOR} 

\textsc{Sir Ronald A.\ Fisher} has achieved a formidable reputation
amongst statisticians for his pioneer work in this field during the past
forty years.  His particular achievement has been in the development of
statistical methods appropriate to biological research.  During his
brilliant career in academic and research work many honours have come
to him: he has been awarded the Royal, Guy, Darwin and Copley Medals of
the Royal Society of which he is a Fellow; he is a Foreign Associate of
the United States National Academy of Science, a Foreign Member of the
Royal Swedish and Royal Danish Academies of Sciences, and a Foreign
Member of the American Philosophical Society; he holds degrees from the
Universities of Ames, Chicago, Harvard, Calcutta and Glasgow; he is a
Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and a former Arthur
Balfour Professor of Genetics in the University of Cambridge; he has
also been Galton Professor of Eugenics in University College, London.

It is appropriate that Sir Ronald Fisher should have written this
pamphlet because to his scientific reputation he has added a reputation
for frank and outspoken contributions to many statistical debates.  This
pamphlet is a fair-minded assessment of the value of the statistical
evidence relating to the incidence of lung cancer in smokers.



Scientists in many fields have felt the need for canons of valid
inference, and these have been becoming available in what are, properly,
experimental sciences, by the rapid development of interest and teaching
in ``The Design of Experiments''.

Unfortunately, it has become obvious that many teaching departments,
with mathematical but without scientific qualifications, have plunged
into the task of teaching this new discipline, in spite of harbouring
gravely confused notions of the logic of scientific research.

If, indeed, the statistical; departments engaged in university
teaching, were performing their appropriate task, of clarifying and
confirming, in the future research workers who come within their
influence, an understanding of the art of examining observational data,
the fallacious conclusions drawn, \textit{from a simple association},
about the danger of cigarettes, could scarcely have been made the basis
of a terrifying propaganda.

For this reason I have thought that the fallacies must be attacked at
both of two distinct levels; as an experimental scientist, and as a
mathematical statistician.  The lecture on \textit{The Nature of
Probability} was to a non-mathematical audience, on the general question
of the validity of inferences from facts available on lung cancer.

As the subject has developed during the last year or so, it has seemed
important to reprint these letters and addresses strictly in order of
their date.
  \textsc{Ronald A.\ Fisher}



Grateful acknowledgement is made to the Editors of the \textit{British
Medical Journal}, \textit{Nature}, and \textit{The Commercial Review}
for permission to republish material from their pages.  The two lectures
first published in \textit{The Centennial Review} are copyright 1958 by
The Centennial Review of Arts and Sciences, East Lancing, Michigan,