Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Fisher, Ronald Aylmer (England 1890-1962)
genetics, mathematical statistics

Apart from his central role in the development of the field of statistics, Fisher was among the most prominent of twentieth century workers in the fields of genetics and statistical biology, and arguably one of the primary founders of the field of population genetics. His work included mathematical investigations that helped provide a statistical foundation for the emerging neo-Darwinist synthesis: clarification of the notion of degrees of freedom, development of the maximum likelihood estimation concept and analysis of variance technique, and in general the working out of modern statistical principles of experimental design. In genetics his 1930 book The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection, with its ground-breaking treatment of the concepts of fitness and dominance, was a milestone work in that field.

Life Chronology

--born in East Finchley, Middlesex, England, on 17 February 1890.
--1912: B.A. in astronomy, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University
--1913-1915: statistician for the Mercantile and General Investment Co. in London
--1915-1919: works as public school teacher when his poor eyesight prevents enlisting
--1919-1933: statistician, Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden
--1920: elected to fellowship at Caius College
--1920: M.A., Gonville and Caius College
--1926: Sc.D., Cambridge
--1925: publishes his Statistical Methods for Research Workers
--1929: made a fellow of the Royal Society; receives its Weldon Medal
--1930: publishes his The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection
--1933-1943: Galton professor of eugenics, Francis Galton laboratory, University College, London
--1938: receives the Royal Society's Royal Medal
--1943: made Arthur Balfour professor of genetics, Cambridge
--1947: co-founds and co-edits the journal Heredity
--1948: awarded the Darwin Medal of the Royal Society
--1952: knighted
--1955: receives the Copley Medal from the Royal Society
--1956: elected president of Gonville and Caius College
--1959-1962: research fellow at CSIRO, Australia
--dies at Adelaide, South Australia, on 29 July 1962.

For Additional Information, See:

--Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 19 (2004).
--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 5 (1972).
--Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 9 (1963).
--The Life of a Scientist (1978).
--Statistical Inference and Analysis: Selected Correspondence of R. A. Fisher (1989)

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Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights reserved.

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