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Sir Austin Bradford Hill

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Sir Austin Bradford Hill (July 8, 1897 - April 18, 1991), English epidemiologist and statistician, pioneered the randomized clinical trial and, together with Richard Doll, was the first to demonstrate the connection between cigarette smoking and lung cancer in 1950 papers.

A quote by Hill:
"All scientific work is incomplete - whether it be observational or experimental. All scientific work is liable to be upset or modified by advancing knowledge. That does not confer upon us a freedom to ignore the knowledge we already have or postpone the action that it appears to demand at a given time."

Hill Criteria to Determine Causation

  • Strength of association
  • Consistency of findings
  • Biological gradient
  • Temporal sequence
  • Biologic or theoretical plausibility
  • Coherence with established knowledge
  • Specificity of association


Doll, Richard and Austin Bradford Hill. "Smoking and carcinoma of the lung." Preliminary report, British Medical Journal 2: 739-748. (1950)

Doll, Richard and Austin Bradford Hill. "The mortality of doctors in relation to their smoking habits." British Medical Journal 228:1451-5. (1954)

Hill, Austin Bradford. "The environment and disease: association or causation?" Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 58: 295-300. (1965)

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