What is a Statistician?

This Column was written by Terry Speed in 2006 and is reprinted with permission from the IMS Bulletin, http://bulletin.imstat.org In the generation of my teachers, say from 1935 to 1960, relatively few statisticians were trained for the profession. The majority seemed to come from mathematics, without any specialized statistical training. There was also a sizeable minority coming from other areas, such as astronomy (I can think of one prominent example), chemistry or chemical engineering (three), economics (several), history (one), medicine (several), physics (two), and psychology (several).