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Hilda Mary Woods MBE, DSc, LRAM, FSS (1892–1971): reflections on a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society

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Summary.  We have previously described the content of a text by Woods and Russell, An Introduction to Medical Statistics, compared it with Principles of Medical Statistics by Hill and set both volumes against the background of vital statistics up until 1937. The two books mark a watershed in the history of medical statistics. Very little has been recorded about the life and career of the first author of the earlier textbook, who was a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society for at least 25 years, an omission which we can now rectify with this paper. We describe her education, entry into medical statistics, relationship with Major Greenwood and her subsequent career and life in Ceylon, Kenya, Australia, England and South Africa.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge, UK 2: Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit, London, UK 3: Palmerston North, New Zealand

Publication date: 2012-07-01

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