Stigler's law of eponymy

Dr Daniel J Bell et al.

Stigler's law of eponymy states simply that no discovery in science is ever named for its primary originator. There are many examples of this throughout science, including the biomedical sciences. A few, such as Job syndrome or Terry Thomas sign, were deliberately named for someone other than the discoverer.

It is not surprising that across the centuries of bioemedical research that a few eponyms are correctly named after the actual originator of the idea.

Stephen M Stigler (fl. 2020), an American economist at the University of Chicago, first posited his law in an article in 1980 1. He was the first to admit that this "law" was self-consistent in that other individuals had previously stated similar sentiments!

Article information

rID: 73442
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Stigler law of eponymy
  • Stigler's law of eponyms
  • Stigler law of eponyms

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