8 Journal of the American Statistical Association, March 2008In 1990 I had the occasion to review for ISI’s Short Book Re- article’s effect on Fisher was clearly important; it surely playedviews the volume “Student”: A Statistical Biography of William a role in exciting his interest in problems of distribution. Gos-Sealy Gosset. The book (Pearson 1990) had been begun by set’s technique (essentially Pearsonian moment calculation andEgon Pearson and was completed after Pearson’s death by curve ﬁtting) had no visible effect on Fisher, who immediatelyRobin L. Plackett and George A. Barnard. In the course of the adopted a totally different approach; what inﬂuence the articlereview, I commented on Gosset’s admirable character and at- had was due to the problem it addressed, not to Gosset’s at-tractive writing style, but ended on a provocative note: tempted solution, I would suggest. Even if Gosset’s guess of the2Gosset possessed excellent statistical insight, and he was surely a catalyst to distribution of s had been wrong, I think the effect would havesome important developments in statistics. But there has long been a tendencybeen the same, and the article gave no hint of any of the magicto exaggerate his achievements, I suspect in recognition of his admirable char-acter, and without a more extensive study it is difﬁcult to judge whether he was that Fisher produced in the beautiful interrelations among thean essential catalyst. distributions of the t-statistic, ...