Ronald Aylmer Fisher (1890-1962)

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using a calculator photograph by A.Barrington-Brown and courtesy of the R.A.Fisher Memorial Trust; you must ask the trust for permission to use it. It shows Fisher at his desk calculator at Whittingehame Lodge in 1952. This picture also appears as the frontispiece of the biography by his daughter Joan.

150x200 jpg is 7K, 300x400 jpg above is 24K.

thoughtful pose courtesy of Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, Herts, England.

150x200 jpg 5K, 300x400 jpg 22K.

[millionaire calculator, jpg]
Millionaire calculator - Fisher is said to have used a millionaire calculator.

  • 1890: Born in East Finchley, London.
  • 1909: Student at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.
  • 1917: Married Ruth E. Guiness.
  • 1919: Started work as a statistician at Rothamsted Experimental Station.
  • 1933: Chair of Eugenics at University College, London.
  • 1943: Balfour Professor of Genetics, Cambridge University.
  • 1957: President of Gonville and Caius College.
  • 1962: Died Adelaide, South Australia.

Fisher was a student at a time when there was still controversy about Darwin's theories and when Mendel's work on genes had just been rediscovered. Fisher made important discoveries in statistics (e.g., maximum likelihood), genetics, selection and (genetic) dominance. It could be said that he invented a large part of modern statistics.

Fisher's daughter Joan wrote an excellent biography: Joan Box Fisher, 'R.A.Fisher The Life of a Scientist', Wiley 1978. Fisher was brilliant, an idealist and in some ways naive. He held strong views; many of them are politically incorrect by present standards but that would not have bothered him at all.

Fisher's ashes lie in St. Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide, South Australia.

St Peters

There is a memorial pew (inscribed: In memory of Sir Ronald Fisher FRS 1890-1962) and


on the floor beside it a brass plaque (Ronald Aylmer Fisher Kt. ScD FRS 1890-1962).


The cathedral is on the corner of King William Road and Pennington Terrace, North Adelaide, a short walk north of the railway station and the CBD.

St Peters

The Sir Ronald Fisher Memorial Committee of Great Britain.

For more information on Fisher contact:
Fisher Memorial Trust, registered charity number 313536.
c2004: [click]
c199x, was
Chairman: Sir Walter Bodmer, Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, P.O.Box 123, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PX.
Secretary: Prof. J. C. Gower, 2 Garden Court, Wheathampstead, Herts Al4 8RE.
Treasurer: Dr. A. W. F. Edwards, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge CB2 1TA.
c2013: was

"The Fisher Memorial Trust is a charitable trust founded in 1965 to perpetuate the memory of Ronald Aylmer Fisher through the establishment of Fisher Memorial Lectures 'by persons distinguished for contributions to natural knowledge or scientific methodology in one of the fields which had been of interest to him'. Eighteen such lectures have been given to date (1994). The trust is also authorised to use its residual income to support research in these fields. The trust acts for Mr. A.Barrington Brown in licensing reproduction of his well-known copyright photograph of Fisher. Application should be made to the Treasurer, from whom copies may also be bought privately."

Note that copyright on the pictures is held by the various sources acknowledged above.

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