Decolonising science

Martin Vlietstra, an occasional contributor to Metric Views, considers Britain’s policy of retaining, for as long as it could, the use of imperial measurements in its Empire. He notes that the consequences continue to this day.

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The UK’s metric conversion – a comedy of errors?

Ronnie Cohen looks at the story of the UK’s metric changeover during the half century following the establishment of the Metrication Board in the late 1960s. If any other country needs a lesson in how not to do the job, this is it.

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Early parliamentary debates on metrication

Hansard provides many insights about the ideals of and the prevailing attitudes to metrication. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see where the actual course of events has fallen short of those ideals and the mistakes that got us into the current measurement muddle.

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1819 – a massacre and a missed opportunity

This article looks at the first report of the Commissioners appointed early in the nineteenth century to consider weights and measures. It gives examples of the reasons why the Commission was appointed, comments on some of its recommendations, and then speculates on an alternative outcome had the Commission taken a different view.

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Watch “Decimalisation (1970)” on YouTube

Our last article, on the subject of the decimal currency changeover in 1971, attracted several comments from our readers, one of which drew to attention to a film relating to the event. For technical reasons, it is not possible to post this after the original article, and so the Editor has decided to feature it in a new post.

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