1st Edition

Biostatistics An Introduction and Conceptual Critique

By David Baronov Copyright 2023
    290 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    290 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Without question, biostatistical analysis has contributed to a slew of amazing medical breakthroughs. Yet it also distorts and deforms the holistic and contingent nature of health and medicine. How is it that biostatistics can both sharpen and weaken our understanding of health and medicine? What is unique about the content of health and medicine that so plainly reveals such distortions and deformities? Exploring these questions entails, first, a full survey of the tools and techniques of biostatistical analysis aiding medical breakthroughs. This survey must then be paired with a probe into the conceptual premises of these tools and techniques and how they refashion and reconstitute the inherently qualitative content of health and medicine in preparation for its quantification. We must grasp the statistical machinations at play, both technical and conceptual, that contrive to fit objects to tools rather than fitting tools to objects. This textbook introduces both the procedural methods and the hidden premises of biostatistical analysis.

    1. Just What Is an Introduction and Conceptual Critique?

    2. Regression Analysis: Concepts and Groundwork

    3. Study Designs and Sampling: A Beginning or the End?

    4. Configurations for Biostatistical Analysis – Conceptual Interpretations

    5. Configurations for Biostatistical Analysis – Technical Steps (1)

    6. Configurations for Biostatistical Analysis – Technical Steps (2)

    7. Configurations for Biostatistical Analysis – Technical Steps (3)

    8. Optimal Sample Size—Or Benign Manipulation, the Good Kind

    9. Probability: From Chaos to Nice, Orderly Distributions

    10. And Finally… We Can Now Make Sense of Descriptive Statistics




    David Baronov is Professor of Sociology at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York, where his current research interests include the ontology of social science methods and the quantitative/qualitative divide. Previous publications include Conceptual Foundations of Social Science Methods (2012) and The Dialectics of Inquiry across the Historical Social Sciences (2014).

    This is a unique and thoughtful approach to the use of statistics within a broader, holistic research endeavor.  The text is both sophisticated and accessible. It is clear and even masterful in contextualizing the uses (and misuses) of statistics through an argument that presents  statistical reasoning, method of calculation, and an extensive discussion of the conceptual assumptions these tools require in a broader research endeavor.  --Paul Fuller, Illinois College


    This book takes an innovative and critical approach to teaching biostatistics. The use of variations on a single example (heart rate of high school runners) to illustrate the various statistical techniques is a valuable feature.  IT allows students to see the implications of choice of statistical technique better than using different examples for each technique.  - Harry Murray, Northern Arizona University

    The author has achieved a Goldilocks balance of the conceptual and technical. The level of technical detail is sufficient yet does not overwhelm the reader. The author’s dual approach enables the reader to gain a finer understanding of the mathematical underpinning of statistical methods. A notable feature is the use of regular or everyday examples--from athletics, movies, and other aspects of mundane life – showcasing the principles of biostatistics. The approach also favors more retentive learning, underlining the value as a primer or introductory textbook.


                      --Anand Sridhar, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences - Boston