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Leap seconds

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 April 2010 15:08
Published on Wednesday, 16 November 2005 00:00
Just a sec!
Consideration of a proposal to redefine everyday timekeeping by scrapping leap seconds - small changes made to clock time - has been postponed
A working party weighing the proposed change to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) has decided more time is needed to build a consensus on the issue ( see Leap Seconds press statement.pdf).

Dr Mike Hapgood, secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) welcomed the decision to defer the discussions until a later date.
"It's what we were seeking, so that's good from our point of view," he told the BBC News website.

The RAS is concerned that this issue has been subject only to a specialist and rather closed debate. There is a clear need for broader debate that involves a wider range of those who will be affected by the proposed change. This should extend outside science and technology – for example, to consider whether civil/legal time should be based on precision time or mean solar time.

The RAS has argued that the proposal to abolish leap seconds should be shelved pending a broader and public debate...which it will now seek to stimulate

Click here for the RAS statement on Leap Seconds