When reviews surfaced that Boris Johnson could be saying the return of imperial measurements to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee, there was some celebration, consternation, and plenty of confusion. Britain already makes use of a mixture of each imperial and metric, and it’s authorized to cost items in kilos and ounces if that is displayed alongside the value in grams and kilograms. So what’s actually behind this rekindled debate over models? Science editor Ian Pattern speaks to creator and metrology historian James Vincent in regards to the rise of metric, the enduring political energy of measurement, and why it’s unlikely we’ll be eliminating pints in pubs any time quickly.
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