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Ronald Fisher

Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher FRS (17 February 1890 – 29 July 1962), who published as R.
A. Fisher, was an English statistician and biologist who used mathematics to combine Mendelian genetics and natural selection. This contributed to the revival of Darwinism in the early 20th century revision of the theory of evolution known as the modern synthesis. He was a prominent eugenicist in the early part of his life. He worked at the Rothamsted Experimental Station (now Rothamsted Research), for 14 years from 1919, where he developed the analysis of variance (ANOVA) to analyse its immense data from crop experiments since the 1840s, and established his reputation there in the following years as a biostatistician. He is known as one of the three principal founders of population genetics. He outlined Fisher's principle as well as the Fisherian runaway and sexy son hypothesis theories of sexual selection. He also made important contributions to statistics, including the maximum likelihood, fiducial inference, the derivation of various sampling distributions among many others. Anders Hald called him "a genius who almost single-handedly created the foundations for modern statistical science", while Richard Dawkins named him "the greatest biologist since Darwin": Not only was he the most original and constructive of the architects of the neo-Darwinian synthesis, Fisher also was the father of modern statistics and experimental design. He therefore could be said to have provided researchers in biology and medicine with their most important research tools, as well as with the modern version of biology's central theorem. Geoffrey Miller said of him: To biologists, he was an architect of the "modern synthesis" that used mathematical models to integrate Mendelian genetics with Darwin's selection theories. To psychologists, Fisher was the inventor of various statistical tests that are still supposed to be used whenever possible in psychology journals. To farmers, Fisher was the founder of experimental agricultural research, saving millions from starvation through rational crop breeding programs.