[LEAPSECS] WP7A status

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Wed Dec 17 10:59:20 EST 2008

On Dec 16, 2008, at 11:52 AM, Steve Allen wrote:

> On Tue 2008-12-16T16:07:30 +0000, Poul-Henning Kamp hath writ:

>> http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/cgsic/meetings/48thmeeting/Reports/Timing%20Subcommittee/48-LS%2020080916.pdf


> That was before the meeting in Geneva, before China objected.

Ah! Thanks for the clarification.

> I am aware that he provided it to journalists from New Scientist

> last week.

Apparently they separately began working on two different articles for
the online and print editions. Likely the need to resolve this turf
battle and the looming holidays have led to some delay. I don't know
whether they were trying to publish before the leap second - it seems
late to write such an article for print.

On Dec 16, 2008, at 2:04 PM, Matsakis, Demetrios wrote:

> I am unaware of URSI having made any official response. As far as


> is concerned, my WG reports are all I know of.


> I hope I don't offend anyone by adding that the most vocal

> scientists I

> know of on this subject, in other venues, do not even attend the URSI

> General Assemblies.

And most astronomers don't attend the IAU General Assemblies.

On Dec 16, 2008, at 10:32 AM, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:

> "Matsakis, Demetrios" writes:


>> On the basis of six years of non-expression of interest from their

>> constituency, the URSI secretariat made a unanimous decision to not

>> respond to the ITU-R's Special Rapporteur Group's letter, and my

>> working

>> group was disbanded.


> Does that non-response leave the earlier response standing ?

This is similar to the non-response (what the stale report referred to
misleadingly as a "neutral" response) from the IAU and AAS. In
particular, the AAS committee contained one of the main proponents of
"read my lips - no new leap seconds", and the committee still decided
to take no position. As far as the IAU, the three year cadence of
General Assemblies ensures a very measured pace of response. Note
that any coordinated action on leap seconds would have been drowned
out in 2006 by the hubbub over the demotion of Pluto. Will there be
any renewed attempt to raise the issue in Brazil in 2009?

The only inference to draw is that more consultation is clearly
needed. I'll renew my frequent call for a holding a well advertised
and well organized conference on civil timekeeping:



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