Dept Fish and Wildlife Sciences,
Dept Mathematics and Statistical Science
University of Idaho
Journal Editors Be Warned: Statistics Won’t Be Contained
I heartily second Professor Mayo’s call, in a recent issue of Conservation Biology, for science journals to tread lightly on prescribing statistical methods (Mayo 2021). Such prescriptions are not likely to be constructive; the issues involved are too vast.
The science of ecology has long relied on innovative statistical thinking. Fisher himself, inventor of P values and a considerable portion of other statistical methods used by generations of ecologists, helped ecologists quantify patterns of biodiversity (Fisher et al. 1943) and understand how genetics and evolution were connected (Fisher 1930). G. E. Hutchinson, the “founder of modern ecology” (and my professional grandfather), early on helped build the tradition of heavy consumption of mathematics and statistics in ecological research (Slack 2010). Continue reading