Dicing with Death: Chance, Risk and Health (Paperback)
  • Dicing with Death: Chance, Risk and Health (Paperback)

Dicing with Death: Chance, Risk and Health (Paperback)

Paperback 264 Pages / Published: 20/11/2003
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If you think that statistics has nothing to say about what you do or how you could do it better, then you are either wrong or in need of a more interesting job. Stephen Senn explains here how statistics determines many decisions about medical care, from allocating resources for health, to determining which drugs to license, to cause-and-effect in relation to disease. He tackles big themes: clinical trials and the development of medicines, life tables, vaccines and their risks or lack of them, smoking and lung cancer and even the power of prayer. He entertains with puzzles and paradoxes and covers the lives of famous statistical pioneers. By the end of the book the reader will see how reasoning with probability is essential to making rational decisions in medicine, and how and when it can guide us when faced with choices that impact on our health and even life.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521540230
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 430 g
Dimensions: 233 x 155 x 17 mm

'... thought provoking and rewarding ... whether your taste is for the nitty-gritty of controversies, like the alleged link between childhood MMR vaccination and autism, or for pensive reflection on the philosophy of knowledge, you will find much of value here.' New Scientist
'Senn is urbane, charming, and often funny ... you might need a dictionary occasionally, but otherwise you can read this in bed or on the beach, and it won't be out of place. Bandolier loved it.' Bandolier
'... an entertaining read, and a book to make you fell good about being a statistician? Very much so! ... I defy pharmaceutical statisticians anywhere not to benefit ... a great read. This is the ideal book for the pharmaceutical statistician who wants to broaden their knowledge of their chosen subject.' Pharmaceutical Statistics
'... [a] remarkable achievement ... in a slim paperback that is best read cover to over ... Stephen Senn has attempted to do for medical statistics what Stephen Hawking did for physics in A Brief History of Time ... and Simon Singh did for pure mathematics in Fermat's Last Theorem. I think he has succeeded.' BMJ
'Senn sets out to explain how important statistics is and takes the reader on a wild, thought-provoking and always entertaining ride through biostatistics and beyond ... is often uproariously funny, which is remarkable in a book that covers so much technical, philosophical and historical ground.' Canadian Medical Association Journal
'Dicing with Death is a rarity: a book about statistics for the general public ... Senn certainly seems to have had fun ... there is plenty of solid stuff mixed in with the fun. If you're tired of trying to persuade people that "statisticians count", why not take the easy way out and give them this book?' Journal of the Royal Statistical Society
'The style of the book is discursive and it is very entertaining ... In addition to being excellent for students and practitioners of the subject, it should be made essential reading for all those in public life who make critical decisions in the areas of medicine, politics, law and the media.' Short Book Reviews
'Exciting! Exquisite! Whoever thought reading a statistics book could never be exciting needs to read this book! ... This is a book to recommend to anyone who seeks to learn and understand what statistics is all about and what (medical) statisticians really do. On the scale of 1-5 where 5 [stands for] 'definitely recommended', it rates a solid 5!' Statistics in Medicine
'Dicing with Death is worthwhile reading for just about any statistician. It also clarifies the key role data collection and analysis play in scientific discovery, so this book would be highly recommended as well to non-statisticians who work in fields that are based on data. Historians of science would also find this book enjoyable and informative.' Computational Statistics
'The book tackles a wide range of what to the public are quite difficult problems. However, Senn tackles these with such an elegant manner that even the most complex topics are presented with great clarity. ... Reading the book for this review has been a great pleasure - the enthusiasm of the author for his subject is clear and it rubs off onto the reader. ... the book is suitable for just about any reader - be they interested members of the public or professional statisticians. All that is required is an inquisitive mind and a few spare hours!' Statistical Methods in Medical Research
'This book enthusiastically celebrates the role and contribution of statistics to the life sciences and describes the logic, utility and reasoning behind statistics. ... I recommend the book as excellent reading.' ISCB News

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