Friday, September 10, 2010

Experimental Design--Where in the Hell Did it Come From?

Lately, I've been interested in learning something about the history of statistical experimental design. This has led me to Stigler's The History of Statistics: The Measurement of Uncertainty Before 1900. Interesting book. Apparently Legendre introduced Least Squares in 1805, quite some time after the rise of Francis Bacon's experimental philosophy. I'm under the impression that the first book in experimental design was Ronald Fisher's The Design of Experiments (1935). The lag between developments in the logic of experiment and experimentalism is pretty astounding.