Statistics and plastic surgeons

Statistics and plastic surgeons Eur J Plast Surg (2004) 27:53–54 DOI 10.1007/s00238-004-0604-3 EDITORIAL L. Clodius Received: 12 September 2003 / Accepted: 20 November 2003 / Published online: 27 March 2004 Springer-Verlag 2004 inner reality? And our statistics: outer reality? Goethe, Every investigator stands in need of expert criticism, 200 years ago, said: “We like individuality; hence our for no pursuit runs between so many pitfalls great pleasure in memoirs, confessions, letters, anecdotes, and unseen traps as that of statistics - Francis Galton even of unimportant individuals” [8]. In the operating room, we must base our actions on pro- Statistics, in general, deal with groups, with collec- ven facts: facts that no lawyer or jury will doubt. If we tives. The larger the statistically tested/evaluated group, want a loan, we must prove to the banker the basic facts: the higher the significance of the statistical result. “There how do we pay it back? Are we not living in a fact- can be little doubt indeed, that every science as it pro- minded civilization? Not in a world of imaginations, gresses will become more and more quantitative. Nu- dreams, wishes and whims? Can we simply divide rea- merical precision is the soul of science” [4]. European Journal of Plastic Surgery Springer Journals

Statistics and plastic surgeons

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