Person: Wood, Frances Chick
Frances Wood was an English chemist and statistician who became a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society in 1913. She was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1917, and an officer in the order in 1918.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- For simplicity we will refer to her as Frances throughout this biography.
- In the 1862 Census, Samuel Chick was an apprentice in Cheltenham, while in the 1871 Census he is described as a lace manufacturer in Marylebone.
- Greenwood had studied with Karl Pearson and was appointed as a statistician at the Lister Institute in 1910.
- Miss Chick's first publications (Trans.
- While working in the biochemical department of the Lister Institute, Miss Chick attended a course of lectures on statistical methods and, before her paper on fermentation had appeared, she decided that her future work should be in the field of statistics.
- Before her marriage, in July, 1911, to Mr Sydney Wood, B.Sc., of the Board of Education, she had begun work in the statistical department, and from October, 1912, when she became Grocers' Research Scholar, she was a regular member of its staff.
- From that time until the Armistice, Mrs Wood was continuously engaged in the public service, first at the Board of Trade and afterwards in the Ministry of Munitions, where her statistical abilities soon won recognition.
- In statistical circles Frances Wood made her mark early; although she joined the Royal Statistical Society so recently as 1913, she was elected to the Council in 1915 and became a member of the Executive Committee in 1917.
- After the Armistice Frances Wood did some statistical work for the National Federation of Iron and Steel Manufacturers, but she never forgot her unfinished research.
- But if faith in the statistical method as an intellectual instrument, skill in its manipulation, confidence never degenerating into rashness, patience never hardening into stolidity are the characteristics of a great investigator, Frances Wood was sealed of the tribe.
- To gain self knowledge in early life, in the full tide of intellectual curiosity, is a priceless boon; it was Frances Wood's good fortune.
- This is not the place to speak of Mrs Wood's other activities, of her interest in social movements, especially those concerned with the higher education of women; in these columns we are concerned with her as a statistician and, merely as a statistician, she will hold an honourable place in the annals of our Society.
- Sydney Wood (1883-1958) was born in Hertfordshire.
- Frances wrote a number of papers, some of which are mentioned in Greenwood's article above but we give details of these and others here: The Course of Real Wages in London, 1900-12, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society 77 (1) (1913), 1-68; The Construction of Index Numbers to Show Changes in the Price of the Principal Articles of Food for the Working Classes, The Economic Journal 23 (92) (1913), 619-626; (with M Greenwood) The Relation between the Cancer and Diabetes Death-Rates, The Journal of Hygiene 14 (1) (1914), 83-118; (with J W Brown and M Greenwood) A Study of Index Correlations, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society 77 (3) (1914), 317-346; (with M Greenwood) On Changes in the Recorded Mortality from Cancer and their Possible Interpretation, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 7 (1914), 119-170; The Increase in the Cost of Food for Different Classes of Society since the Outbreak of War, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society 79 (4) (1916), 501-508.
- Following the death of Frances Wood in 1919, the Royal Statistical Society offered the Frances Wood Memorial Prize.
- In 2011, the Memorial Prize fund was used to found the Frances Wood Medal.
Born 25 December 1883, London, England. Died 12 October 1919, London, England.
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Tags relevant for this person:
Origin England, Women
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive