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Colloquium Mathematics, Prof. Stephen Senn

30 november 2011

Join us for coffee and tea at 14.45 p.m.

Date: Wednesday, November 30th 2011
Speaker: Prof. Stephen Senn
               Competence Centre for Methodology and Statistics
Room: 5161.0267 (Bernoulliborg)


Title: You May Believe You Are a Bayesian
         But You Are Probably Wrong


An elementary sketch of some issues in statistical inference and in particular of
the central role of likelihood is given. This is followed by brief outlines of what
George Barnard considered were the four great systems of statistical inferences.
These can be thought of terms of the four combinations of two factors at two levels.
The first is fundamental purpose (decision or inference) and the second probability
argument (direct or inverse). Of these four systems the ‘fully Bayesian’ approach of
decision-making using inverse probability particularly associated with Ramsay, De Finetti, Savage and Lindley has some claims to be the most impressive. It is claimed, however,
and illustrated by example, that this approach seems to be impossible to follow. It is
speculated that there may be some advantage to the practising statistician to follow
George Barnard’s advice of being familiar with all four systems.

Colloquium coordinators are Prof.dr. A.C.D. van Enter (e-mail : and

Dr. A.V. Kiselev (e-mail:

Laatst gewijzigd:04 juli 2014 21:28

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