Bill Bryson's Curious Take on Bayes

April 9, 2012

Tags: Alan Turing, Bill Bryson, At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Seeing Further, Bayes, The Theory That Would Not Die, McGrayne

Bill Bryson’s interesting comments about the Rev. Thomas Bayes—comments repeated in two of his recent bestsellers and in a speech before the Royal Society of London—may leave a misleading impression.

Curiously, Bryson says that Bayes’ theorem had “no practical applications at all in his own lifetime.” In fact, Bayes’ theorem was (more…)

Selected Works

Nonfiction
The non-mathematical story of the fight over Bayes' rule and its ultimate triumph.

"A rollicking tale of the triumph of a powerful mathematical tool."
—Nature
"If you are not thinking like a Bayesian, perhaps you should be." John Allen Paulos, New York Times Book Review.
Editor's Choice, New York Times Book Review.
Biographies of 15 women scientists who won a Nobel Prize—or came very close.

“Spellbinding, compelling.”
—The Science Teacher
Biographies of nine chemists whose discoveries solved serious social and technological problems.

“A compelling read… fascinating.”
—Nature

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