The battle of the standards of measurement: metric versus imperial and metrology’s culture wars
Historical, scientific and sociological dimensions of measurement – with James Vincent, author of ‘Beyond Measure’
The talk explored the origins and dimensions of what was known in the 19th century as the Battle of the Standards: the fight for supremacy between the imperial and metric systems of measurement. It focused on the US and UK as the primary sites of conflict, exploring how measurement became an issue of cultural and political supremacy — and why the battle rages on today.
A number of technical hazards meant that the recording of this wonderful talk was not of good enough quality. A ‘clean recording’ is to be made. More news soon.
James Vincent is a journalist and writer based in London who has worked and written for numerous publications, including The Independent, the Financial Times, the London Review of Books, Wired, New Statesman and others. He is currently a senior reporter for The Verge. Beyond Measure is his first book. It was named as one of the Books of 2022 by New Yorker Magazine. James can be found on Twitter at @jjvincent.
‘Vivid, epic, and full of curiosities. This is a book to delight and fascinate.’
TIM HARFORD, bestselling author of How to Make the World Add Up
‘Beyond Measure offers, with much intellectual flair and style, a bracing new history: how the once innocent urge to quantification took over our lives, our sense of ourselves and the world.’
‘The exact value of this book is hard to quantify. Weighty, precise and satisfyingly obsessive, it’s also an absolute pleasure to read.’
SIMON GARFIELD, bestselling author of The Timekeepers
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The 2023 Leeds Phil & Lit Annual General Meeting and Dinner
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