Is Statistics Everywhere? Some far-reaching case studies in Health and Medical Science
Mardia, Prof. Kanti
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The aim of this talk is to provide various case studies in health and medical science which have come through my international, industrial and interdisciplinary collaborations. The ﬁrst case study is concerned with saving lives by analysing the shape of the brain. Speciﬁcally, the methods have been used on brain images to assess the extent of brain damage in people suffering from fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and in turn our assessments have been used in court cases related to the death penalty for murderers, as well as to eligibility for state social beneﬁts for babies. This work is having a very high societal impact. (Mardia, K.V. et al. (2013) Alcohol, babies and the death penalty: Saving lives by analysing the shape of the brain. Signiﬁcance, Vol 10. The talk will also brieﬂy describe other case studies related to skull implants, hemi-facial microsomia, scoliosis and antibodies. One of the aims of these case studies is to highlight that statistics has really no boundaries, and that interdisciplinary research could be like planting a mango tree which takes a long time to fruit. Such research of high impact has a much broader vision. (Mardia, K.V. and Gilks, W. (2005) Meeting the Statistical Needs of 21st-century Science. Signiﬁcance, Vol 2). Einstein once gave a warning about a fairly well-known physicist engaged in incremental research: ‘He strikes me as a man who looks for the thinnest spot in a board and then bores as many holes as possible through it’.