Muriel Bristol

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Muriel Bristol
Born (1888-04-21)21 April 1888
Croydon, Surrey, England
Died 15 March 1950(1950-03-15) (aged 61)
Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Other names Blanche Muriel Bristol-Roach
Nationality British
Fields Mycology
Known for Being able to determine whether the tea or the milk came first

Muriel Bristol (21 April 1888 – 15 March 1950), Ph.D., was a phycologist who worked at the Rothamsted Experimental Station in 1919.[1] Her research focused on the mechanisms by which algae acquire nutrients.[2]

Scientific career[edit]

Bristol was a Ph.D. scientist established the Rothamstead Experiment Station in 1919. This was the place that Fisher was later to make famous.

Statistics and tea[edit]

In addition to her scientific work, she was the woman whose claim to be able to tell whether the milk or the tea was poured into a cup first prompted Ronald Fisher to devise Fisher's exact test to assess the statistical significance of such claims; see lady tasting tea. The test was actually performed, and Bristol-Roach successfully identified "more than enough ... to prove her case".[3]

Family life[edit]

Bristol married William Roach in 1923.


  1. ^ Daniel F. Jackson, Algae, Man, and the Environment: Proceedings of an International Symposium (1969) [1]
  2. ^ B. Mureil Bristol-Roach, On the Carbon Nutrition of Some Algae Isolated from Soil. (1927) Annals of Botany 41, no. 163 (1927): 509-17. [2]
  3. ^ Sturdivant, Lt. Col. Rod. "Lady Tasting Tea" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2004-07-10.