RIP Paul Meier, father of the randomized trial

David sez, "Paul Meier, who had an extraordinarily high impact/fame ratio, passed away this weekend. Meier is probably best known for the introduction of randomized trials into the evaluation of medical treatments, though his creation of the Kaplan-Meier Estimator likely had as much of an impact due to its importance in all things actuarial."
As early as the mid-1950s, Dr. Meier was one of the first and most vocal proponents of what is called “randomization.”

Under the protocol, researchers randomly assign one group of patients to receive an experimental treatment and another to receive the standard treatment. In that way, the researchers try to avoid unintentionally skewing the results by choosing, for example, the healthier or younger patients to receive the new treatment.

Paul Meier, Statistician Who Revolutionized Medical Trials, Dies at 87 (Thanks, David (dr at BB))


  1. Awww…the man who invented randomized trials deserves some love and respect (and at least one comment!).
    Thank you  Dr Meier – without you, we wouldn’t know what really worked or didn’t work, in medicine and many other areas.

  2. Paul Meier truly deserves some respect. Not for being the father of the RCT though, but for his creation of the Kaplan-Meier Estimator and for espousal of randomization as an essential element in clinical trials and his criticism of flawed trials. But thanks to Boing Boing, Google now thinks Paul invented the RCT. ;) 
    Anyway, the title intrigued me and I did a little digging of my own. Here is my post:

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