50 Years Ago
It is not without significance that the opening by the Queen of Britain's first nuclear power station has almost coincided with the approval by a conference of eighty-two nations of the draft statute for the International Atomic Energy Agency... The urgent need is for some arrangement whereby the technical skill of Britain and those other nations within reasonable distance of producing nuclear power on a commercial scale can be made available to those less fortunate nations; but it still remains to be seen how widely the new statute will be ratified by governments, and in particular how ready the smaller and undeveloped countries will be to accept the provisions of Article 12 of the statute... The safeguards imposed by that article and the limitations of national sovereignty implied in it have become the more essential and reasonable; yet...in many parts of the world where nuclear power offers the greatest possibilities of benefit to human welfare, the growth of nationalism has made those countries more impatient and suspicious of restraint.
From Nature 17 November 1956.
100 Years Ago
A statement has recently obtained currency that the French people themselves, after a hundred years' use of the metric system, cannot claim that it has been adopted throughout France, and a free translation of a circular issued to chambers of commerce in France by the French Minister of Commerce has been employed to support the statement... [The Minister] makes it clear that the circular is directed only against the use of old names in certain trades, and that the English translation misinterprets its meaning and conveys a wholly wrong impression. It is satisfactory to find, in view of such endeavours to retard the acceptance of the metric system by this country, that it has recently been adopted in the works of Messrs. Joseph Crosfield and Sons, Ltd., and steadily grows in popularity.
From Nature 15 November 1906.