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Peter Fraser

Eugenicist and statistician. A cousin of Charles Darwin, Galton's interests in statistics (he founded the science of biostatistics) and genetics led him to the idea that selective breeding to improve the human race would lead to the development of ‘a galaxy of genius’. He first set out these thoughts in an article published in 1865 but at the same time demonstrated that his views on the differences between ‘races’ was conventional: to him Africans were lazy, stupid, and cruel. The basic theory that underlay his political eugenics programme was that, heredity being more important than environment, selective breeding was the only way to improve humanity.

His lasting legacies were his use of statistics and his research into heredity but he is best known for his eugenics programme Though his own interpretation of eugenics tended to be fairly benign focusing on research into hereditary disease or supporting the intelligent ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

president of Niger, was born to a Hausa family in Zinder (a city dominated by the Hausa ethnic community) on 20 January 1950. After completing primary school, he attended secondary school in Niamey, the capital of Niger. He passed his baccalaureate examinations in 1969, and then went to France to continue his studies. Ousmane received a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Nantes in 1974, and continued his studies by turning to economics. Ousmane graduated in 1978 with two advanced degrees, in statistics and economics. Later, he moved to Canada, where he received two different business management degrees from schools in Quebec City and Montreal.

In the 1980s Ousmane was not involved in politics Instead he worked as an economic analyst for the government and helped develop and maintain development projects as well as coordinate census activities Ousmane briefly lived in Gabon where he worked ...

Article

Elizabeth Heath

A statistician and economist by training, Mahamane Ousmane was not involved in Niger’s politics until he founded the Convention Démocratique et Sociale-Rhama (CDS) in Zinder. With the support of the town’s wealthy Hausa merchants, he was able to organize a coalition of opposition parties, the Alliance des Forces du Changement (AFC), and defeat the ruling the Mouvement National de la Société de Développement (MNSD) in 1993 presidential elections.

As president, Ousmane eventually alienated many of his allies because of his lack of political finesse and charisma. He also faced a number of problems familiar to his predecessors: state bankruptcy, unrest among the Tuareg labor protests and severe droughts In order to obtain vital funding from international donors Ousmane was forced to enact structural adjustment austerity measures which only increased popular discontent Although his government both helped stabilize the economy and signed a peace treaty with Tuareg rebels opposition ...