Visionary sci-fi writer uses metric

The late Arthur C Clarke who died this month (March 2008) wrote what may be regarded as his most memorable non-fiction article in 1945. He was the first person to propose the use of satellites in geostationary orbit to form part of a global communications network.

It was quite fitting that his orbital calculations and other details were entirely in metric in recognition of the future as seen from early post-war England.

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Metric and the decline of UK manufacturing industry

Metric Views’ attention has been drawn to an article recently posted on the “Weekly Gripe”. This links the decline in the 1980’s of the UK’s engineering and manufacturing industries to their failure to embrace metrication in the decade before.

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Metric and Wilkins compared – not quite deja vu

A feature of the metric system, which distinguishes it from customary systems, is the use prefixes for decimal multiples and submultiples as well as the use of symbols for units. These were not part of Wilkins’ proposals of 1668. Roddy Urquhart compares these with the modern metric system (SI).

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BBC1 Six o’clock News launches a “stunner”

New research suggests that the principles of the metric system may have been outlined originally in England. The BBC launched this discovery on an unsuspecting British public during the Six o’clock  News on 13 July. Here is the  transcript of the broadcast (obtained by Robin Paice). Continue reading “BBC1 Six o’clock News launches a “stunner””

A ‘Voyage of Discovery’ into the origins of the metric system

A recent programme in the ‘Voyages of Discovery’ series on BBC4 described the meridian expedition to the Andes between 1735 and 1744. During the programme, the presenter suggested that the metric system owes its origins to the Enlightenment, and partly to this expedition. [article contributed by Derek Pollard] Continue reading “A ‘Voyage of Discovery’ into the origins of the metric system”