Boost for science and engineering undermined?

A recent report published in the US suggests that the UK Government’s plans to boost science and engineering may be undermined by its muddled policies on measurement units.

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What do imperial traffic signs cost?

One of our regular readers, John Frewen-Lord, a quantity surveyor, has attempted to answer this question. In this article J F-L refers to the junior Education Minister’s suggestion that there would be more teaching of imperial units in the future school curriculum (subsequently played down by Department officials as “no significant change”).

UKMA regards the Minister’s suggestion as a political stunt to appease Eurosceptic critics (not that it has anything to do with “Europe”).  It has still to be formally consulted upon and is unlikely to get any further.  Nevertheless, John’s analysis is a useful demonstration of the order of possible costs of the DfT’s obstinate refusal to join the rest of the world and permit metric units on the UK’s road signs.  This is what he wrote:

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A trip to the Imperial Scrapyard

When consulting a reference book from 1896, we came across an article about imperial measures which provides a timely reminder that, even in its heyday, this ‘system’ was not as straightforward as some would now have us believe.

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UKMA launches Measurement Units Style Guide

In an attempt to bring about some improvement in the sloppy and inconsistent way in which metric units are often written, the UK Metric Association has today (5 July 2012) published a “Measurement Units Style Guide”.  Aimed at anybody who uses metric units in their writing, the Guide is available in both hard copy and as a free download from the UKMA website.

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The generation gap

In his recent article “Why I …”,  Ronnie Cohen looked at the present to explain why he believes the UK should complete the transition to metric units. However, some of those who commented on his article also looked back. In this article, I take another look into the past and then ask if the fading of such memories might prolong the measurement muddle.

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