Monday, April 21, 2014

Metric System of Measurement

The Metric System is a decimal system of measurement that was first devised in the late 1700s as a means of standardizing and simplifying the many weights and measures that existed at that time. It was introduced by France in 1799 as an International System of Units, known by the abbreviation SI, from the French "Système International" Although the Metric System is the International System of Measurement, the United States is one of the only countries (along with Liberia and Burma) that has not adopted the metric system officially. In fact, the U.S. is the only industrialized country that uses Customary Units. 

People use customary units in daily life, while science, medicine, government, and many sectors of industry use metric units. This leads to a huge disconnect between society and science in the U.S. It underscores the need for metrication more than ever.

Many questions come to mind about this disparity of units between society and the scientific world.
  • Is it possible that people are turned off by science and technology because they don’t understand the metric system?
  • Could this make us less scientifically literate as a country?
  • Wouldn’t it make sense for scientists and non-scientists to speak the same language?
  • As a nation competing in a global market, is the US at a disadvantage by not using the International System of Measurement?
According to Scientific American, "Perhaps the most ironic fact about use of our of U.S. customary units is that since 1893, we have been defining our system of units in terms of the meter and kilogram. We have essentially given ourselves the additional burden of converting from the international standard to our own system and then back again." IMO, it is time for the United States to get on board with the metric system. Metrication is essential to our future. I hope to create some metric goodies in the near future. For more information about the metric system, subscribe to my newsletter or take my anonymous poll.