Terry Speed writes columns for IMS Bulletin and the June 2007 issue has Terence’s Stuff: Data Doctors (p. 7). He quotes Fisher who described a statistician as a post-mortem examiner or a pathologist, but thinks that statisticians (statistical consultants) are doctors who maintain close, active, and alive relationships with their patients.
Nonetheless, I think statisticians working with astronomers are assistants to post-mortem examiners. Most likely, statisticians nor astronomers cannot design experiments with unreachable objects. Astronomers are post-mortem examiners with telescopes and statisticians are assistants with charts which are by products from post-mortem examinations. These assistants may or may not be useful to astronomers.