In an era when many sneered at Bayes, it took courage to create Europe’s leading Bayesian department [at Cambridge]. Often the only Bayesian at meetings of the Royal Statistical Society and certainly the only combative one, Lindley defended Bayes’ rule like a fearless terrier or a devil’s advocate. In return, he was tolerated almost as comic relief. "Bayesian statistics is not a branch of statistics," he argued. "It is a way of looking at the whole of statistics."([NYT review] - [Talk by author about Bayesian statistics)
Lindley became known as a modern-age revolutionary. He fought to get Bayesians appointed, professorship by professorship, until the United Kingdom had a core of ten Bayesian departments. Eventually, Britain became more sympathetic to the method than the United States, where Neyman maintained Berkeley as an anti-Bayesian bunker. Still, the process left scars: despite Lindley’s landmark contributions he was never named a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1977, at the age of 54, Lindley forsook the administrative chores he hated and retired early. He celebrated his freedom by growing a beard and becoming what he called “an itinerant scholar” for Bayes’ rule.
Thanks to Lindley in Britain and Savage in the United States, Bayesian theory came of age in the 1960s. The philosophical rationale for using Bayesian methods had been largely settled. It was becoming the only mathematics of uncertainty with an explicit, powerful, and secure foundation in logic.
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