LOUIS, P. Ch. A.; SHATTUCK, G. C. (trans.)
Pierre Louis (1787-1872), French statistician and physician, is best known for an approach to medicine known as the "numerical system." Louis has been credited with establishing medicine as an exact science by demonstrating the value of the statistical method in diagnostics and therapeutics. For example, by systematically testing the effectiveness of therapeutic blood-letting, Louis demonstrated that the timing and quantity of bloodletting had no impact on the course or mortality of the diseases for which it was used. Little wonder that this report on an 1828 yellow fever epidemic contains so much observation and description; he was radically in favour of empirical research, not theory-based medicine.