Quotes by George Box
statistical methods appropriate for iterative inquiry can help the investigator not only to answer questions originally asked but also to catalyze the posing of new questions. Thus greatly assisting the subject matter specialist's attempt to understand the phenomenon under study.
What's the collective noun for a group of statisticians?
Statisticians, like artists, have the bad habit of falling in love with their models.
The researcher hoping to break new ground in the theory of experimental design should involve himself in the design of actual experiments. The investigator who hopes to revolutionize decision theory should observe and take part in the making of important decisions.
For the theory-practice iteration to work, the scientist must be, as it were, mentally ambidextrous; fascinated equally on the one hand by possible meanings, theories, and tentative models to be induced from data and the practical reality of the real world, and on the other with the factual implications deducible from tentative theories, models and hypotheses.
The penalty for scientific irrelevance is, of course, that the statistician's work is ignored by the scientific community.
One important idea is that science is a means whereby learning is achieved, not by mere theoretical speculation on the one hand, nor by the undirected accumulation of practical facts on the other, but rather by a motivated iteration between theory and practice.
Remember that all models are wrong; the practical question is how wrong do they have to be to not be useful.
A man in daily muddy contact with field experiments could not be expected to have much faith in any direct assumption of independently distributed normal errors.