The Lady Tasting Tea
How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century
Author: David Salsburg
An insightful, revealing history of the magical mathematics that transformed our world. The Lady Tasting Tea is not a book of dry facts and figures, but the history of great individuals who dared to look at the world in a new way.
At a summer tea party in Cambridge, England, a guest states that tea poured into milk tastes different from milk poured into tea. Her notion is shouted down by the scientific minds of the group. But one man, Ronald Fisher, proposes to scientifically test the hypothesis. There is no better person to conduct such an experiment, for Fisher is a pioneer in the field of statistics.
The Lady Tasting Tea spotlights not only Fisher's theories but also the revolutionary ideas of dozens of men and women which affect our modern everyday lives. Writing with verve and wit, David Salsburg traces breakthroughs ranging from the rise and fall of Karl Pearson's theories to the methods of quality control that rebuilt postwar Japan's economy, including a pivotal early study on the capacity of a small beer cask at the Guinness brewing factory. Brimming with intriguing tidbits and colorful characters, The Lady Tasting Tea salutes the spirit of those who dared to look at the world in a new way.
In The News
“Highly readable and well-written. Give it to someone you want to delight.” —Alcan R. Feinstein, M.D., Sterling Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Yale University School of Medicine
“A fascinating description of the kinds of people who interacted, collaborated, disagreed, and were brilliant in the development of statistics.” —Barbara A. Bailar, National Opinion Research Center