A theorem for all seasons

As life scientists, it is seldom that we ever get to deal with anything resembling certainty. The systems that we work with are typically nonlinear and chaotic, heterogeneous, non-binary – in a word, messy. In the world of commercial life science, it is common that the real value of an R&D investment of hundred of millions or even billions of dollars, may ultimately ride on such a razor-thin edge between success and failure that it requires the calculation of something like a t-test to determine whether you really have a marketable product or just another placebo – or in the case of a diagnostic, a real indicator versus background noise.

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Gordon Webster