Beyond Measure review: How measuring the world betrays its human side

Our neat ways of measuring tend to seem like they have always existed. A romp through history shows it is much messier and more human than that


15 June 2022

Ancient Egypt’s systems of measurement were based on the human body

Science History Images/Alamy

Beyond Measure

James Vincent


WE TAKE the certainty of measurements for granted, but their story is as complicated and changeable as any other part of human culture. Journalist James Vincent makes this clear in his new book, which explores the history of calculating things.

Beyond Measure is a pacy romp through time and space, moving from ancient Egyptians with their body-centric measuring systems to present-day scientists seeking to standardise measurement. But it isn’t just the stories of …

Source: Humans -

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