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  {\Large\textbf{STATISTICS AND THEIR USES}} \\
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  {\large\textit{MR WRIGHT'S LECTURE TO THE \\
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  \textbf{How Figures May Be Misused---Needs \\
  of Statistical Study---Classification \\
  and Definition.}

Carroll D.\ Wright, United States Commissioner of Labor, and one of the
most experienced statisticians in this country, talked to a large
audience at the School of Social Economics last evening about
statistics, their use and misuse, and their value as a science.  It was
the first of a series of lectures on the subject which he will deliver
Friday evenings throughout February and part of March.

``Dr.\ Gottfried Achewall, Professor of Philosophy at G\"ottingen,
Germany, in 1750,'' he said, ``is represented as having been the
originator of modern statistical methods.  Statistics is understood as a
collection of facts relating to a part or whole of a country or people,
or classes of individuals or interests; and especially facts which
illustrate social, moral, political, and industrial conditions or
changes of conditions.  But these facts, to come under the general term
of statistics, must be of that nature to admit of numerical statement
and tabular arrangement.

``Statistics may also be called that part of political science which
classifies, arranges, and discusses statistical data.  One of the most
essential primary objects of the method is to secure a simply concrete
statement of a mass of facts to express that which could not be
otherwise expressed, except through long, tedious descriptive language. 

``The German historian, Schl\"ozzer, has said that history is statistics
ever advancing, and statistics is stationary history.  Statistics, it
may be said truly, writes history, and writes it in the most crystalized
form which can be adopted.  It uses symbols, it is true, but with them
it unlocks the facts of a period so that they may be made plaint to all
students coming after it.

``The use of statistics in a scientific way is entirely modern.  In
ancient times there were counts of people, but no scientific use made of
the results.  Censuses were taken in ancient times to assess the
military strength.  David undertook to enumerate the people, and it got
him into great difficulty.  Every man who has taken a census since that
time has had sympathy for David.''

Mr.\ Wright then referred to the dishonest uses sometimes made of
statistics, especially for partisan purposes, and quoted the remarks of
a recent President of Harvard, who said: ``There are three kinds of
lies---lies, damned lies, and statistics.''  Mr.\ Wright thought a
better law would be that figures would not lie, but liars will figure. 
He pointed out the fallacy in quoting partial statistics, and the
possibility of one showing the exact reverse of a truth by doing this. 
Speaking of the subject as understood to-day, he said:

``There are three kings of statistics: first, those secured by the
continuous record of official acts, such as custom house and school
statistics; second, enumeration, like a census where aggregations are
essential to the integrity of the results, and third, investigation
giving a representation of facts.  The practical work of a statistician
is divided into collection, which involves the preparation, tabulation,
and analysis of results, and analysis.  No statistical table should ever
be used without consulting the textual treatment and the accompanying

Mr.\ Wright then gave some amusing illustrations of misuses of
statistical tables, and urged the necessity of statistical study in
order that students might be able to use the methods, either the tabular
or graphic, with greater force, and by more legitimate processes.

  \textit{New York Times}, 25 January 1896, p.\,15.

  Carroll Davidson Wright lived from 1840 to 1909.