I recently read the book "The secular ark" by Janet Browne on the history of plant geographical studies.
In the chapter "A Science of Patterns", a subsection entitled "Tabellenstatistik" is included, that tries to answer, why people were so enamored with numerical surveys of plants.
On page 75 in this subsection she writes:
"Later, this preoccupation with figures was derisively called Tabellenstatistik, after a similar episode in German political economy where, for a short period, theory was disregarded in favour of numerical data alone."
Does anybody know what Browne is referring to here? It would be very interesting to know the context a little bit better in which this was said and of course by whom it was said. So far my own searches didn't bring anything up. I have also wrote a message to Browne herself in August, but thought it won't hurt to ask here as well.