I have started a book by Sharon Bertsch McGrayne entitled The theory that would not die. It is about Bayesian statistics, about which I know next to nothing, but which I am told were important to crack the Enigma code during the second world war, hunted down Russian submarines and have recently become respectable following two centuries of controversy.
My son works in central London close to the Dissenters Cemetery where the Rev Thomas Beyes, Fellow of the Royal Society and amateur mathematician, is buried. He also lives in Tunbridge Wells where Bayes was a Presbyterian minister, so my interest is raised. Since my son's job is to do with statistics I am ensnared.
As far as I can tell Bayesian statistics might be a short cut for those statistical imponderables endemic in very large clinical trials; they allow you to change your assumptions as you accumulate data. The purists insist that you don't look at your data until you cross a pre-determined threshold and I remember orthodox statisticians dismissing Bayes with contempt. So I will be interested to read the book. I am only on page 21 and already Bayes has been replaced as the hero by Frenchman Pierre Simon Laplace.