Florence Nightingale: Health Metrics Pioneer

Diagram of the causes of mortality of the army in the east

Nightingale's Coxcomb


Science News recently ran an article on the health statistics work and data visualization work of Florence Nightingale.  It’s fun for me to learn about this history, since I am such a recent immigrant to the land of health metrics. Nice quotes from Nightingale’s statistical mentor in the piece, too:

You complain that your report would be dry.  The dryer the better. Statistics should be the dryest of all reading.

The graphics in the Science News article are from an educational project of the Statistics Lab at the University of Cambridge called Understanding Uncertainty. It seems like Nightingale’s coxcomb it is a well debated form of infoviz over at the Edward Tufte Discussion Board.

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