You are here

Dawn Hawkins

Oxford University Press, £27.99

As a young graduate in the late 1950s, I was sent on a course in biostatistics. Unfortunately, the course was taught by a mathematician who was more concerned with explaining the niceties of statistical derivation than with the application of statistics in the life sciences. If only I'd had access to this statistics primer at the time.

This third edition of Biomeasurement provides a student oriented introduction to the use of statistics in the biosciences. However, it is not just an undergraduate student primer, as it also has relevance to graduate students and researchers who need to improve their comprehension of statistics.

The book extends the approach of earlier editions in that the key focus is the need to obtain appropriate bioscience data to apply statistical analysis that will aid interpretation of the data. Biological considerations are the focus of the analysis, and statistics is simply a useful tool that enhances understanding of biological observation and measurement. The text and its companion website are a near perfect combination for an introductory course in biostatistics.

New to this edition is the support for use of statistics software 'R' through help sheets and screencasts on an online resource centre, a chapter on the generalised linear model for logistic and log-linear models, an introduction to the concept of 'effect size' from a biological perspective, author screencasts outlining key statistical techniques, and use of software on the online resource centre. Online resources are only accessible to registered academics and students.

Professor Basil Jarvis FRSB