The Mismeasure of Uncertainty
An original account of willful ignorance and how thisprinciple relates to modern probability and statisticalmethods
Through a series of colorful stories about great thinkers andthe problems they chose to solve, the author traces the historicalevolution of probability and explains how statistical methods havehelped to propel scientific research. However, the past success ofstatistics has depended on vast, deliberate simplificationsamounting to willful ignorance, and this very success now threatensfuture advances in medicine, the social sciences, and other fields.Limitations of existing methods result in frequent reversals ofscientific findings and recommendations, to the consternation ofboth scientists and the lay public.
Willful Ignorance: The Mismeasure of Uncertaintyexposes the fallacy of regarding probability as the full measure ofour uncertainty. The book explains how statistical methodology,though enormously productive and influential over the past century,is approaching a crisis. The deep and troubling divide betweenqualitative and quantitative modes of research, and betweenresearch and practice, are reflections of this underlying problem.The author outlines a path toward the re-engineering of dataanalysis to help close these gaps and accelerate scientificdiscovery.
Willful Ignorance: The Mismeasure of Uncertainty presentsessential information and novel ideas that should be of interest toanyone concerned about the future of scientific research. The bookis especially pertinent for professionals in statistics and relatedfields, including practicing and research clinicians, biomedicaland social science researchers, business leaders, andpolicy-makers.