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Sci Adv. 2017 Jun 14;3(6):e1700768. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1700768. eCollection 2017 Jun.

Statistical thinking for 21st century scientists.

Author information

1
Nuffield College, Oxford, UK.
2
Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Abstract

Statistical science provides a wide range of concepts and methods for studying situations subject to unexplained variability. Such considerations enter fields ranging from particle physics and astrophysics to genetics, sociology and economics, and beyond; to associated areas of application such as engineering, agriculture, and medicine, in particular in clinical trials. Successful application hinges on absorption of statistical thinking into the subject matter and, hence, depends strongly on the field in question and on the individual investigators. It is the job of theoretical statisticians both to be alive to the challenges of specific applications and, at the same time, to develop methods and concepts that, with good fortune, will be broadly applicable.

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