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Leap seconds public dialogue in cover story in New Scientist

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One of the members of the Oversight Group for the Sciencewise-supported public dialogue on leap seconds (Michael Brooks) published the cover story in the New Scientist.

The main focus of the article is the nature and challenges of leap seconds, and it refers to the dialogue (often as a consultation) throughout. It summarises that the US, France, Italy and Germany are in favour of ending leap seconds; the UK, Canada and Russia want to keep them. The final decision needs to be made by the International Telecommunications Union of the United Nations (ITU). The ITU requires consensus. The article explains:

"In 2012, at the most recent ITU meeting, David Willetts, then the UK minister responsible for science - and therefore, at the time, time - was challenged to justify his position. He said the British public wanted to keep the traditional link between astronomy and time. He was asked what evidence he had for this. Hence the public consultation. ... Going by the results of that consultation ... the UK is likely to still be defending the leap second. ... As far as the general public were concerned, the report noted that they 'were divided between those who were indifferent to the issue and those who wanted to maintain clocks in time with the sun'".

'Get ready for the leap second - it could be the last one ever', by Michael Brooks, in New Scientist, 23 June 2015.