Stigler’s Law of Eponymy and Marey’s Train Schedule
Did Serjev Do It Before Ibry, and What About Jules Petiet?
Stigler’s law of eponymy: No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer.1
In the 1878 edition of his book La Méthode Graphique dans les Sciences Expérimentales et Particuliérement en Physiologie et en Médecine, French scientist E. J. Marey (1830–1904) reproduced a marvelous graphic train schedule whose design he attributed to Ibry (see Figure 1). The vertical axis is geographic, showing the train stations between Paris and Lyon spaced proportional to their physical distance. The horizontal axis represents one day of time spaced in one-hour intervals. Drawn on this framework are slanted lines that represent trains. Trains from the top left to the bottom right are those going from Paris to Lyon; those with the opposite slope go from Lyon to Paris. Faster trains have a steeper slope. An entire train schedule can be seen and understood in a glance.Some content is only viewable by ASA Members. If you are an ASA member, log in to Members Only and look for CHANCE under your publications.