The urge to use the Metric System

"In 1875, the United States solidified its commitment to the development of the internationally recognized metric system by becoming one of the original seventeen signatory nations to the Metre Convention or the Treaty of the Metre. The signing of this international agreement concluded five years of meetings in which the metric system was reformulated, refining the accuracy of its standards. The Metre Convention established the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (Bureau international des poids et mesures, BIPM) in Sèvres, France, to provide standards of measurement for worldwide use."

"On February 10, 1964, the National Bureau of Standards (former name of National Institute of Standards and Technology) issued a statement that it will use the metric system except where this would have an obvious detrimental effect."

"In 1968, Congress authorized the U.S. Metric Study, a three-year study of systems of measurement in the U.S., with emphasis on the feasibility of metrication. The United States Department of Commerce conducted the study. A 45-member advisory panel consulted and took testimony from hundreds of consumers, business organizations, labor groups, manufacturers, and state and local officials. The final report of the study concluded that the U.S. would eventually join the rest of the world in the use of the metric system of measurement. The study found that metric units were already implemented in many areas and that its use was increasing. The majority of study participants believed that conversion to the metric system was in the best interests of the U.S., particularly in view of the importance of foreign trade and the increasing influence of technology in the U.S."

"The U.S. Metric Study recommended that the United States implement a carefully planned transition to the principal use of the metric system over a decade. Congress passed the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 "to coordinate and plan the increasing use of the metric system in the United States". Voluntary conversion was initiated, and the United States Metric Board (USMB) was established for planning, coordination, and public education. The public education component led to public awareness of the metric system, but the public response included resistance, apathy, and sometimes ridicule. In 1981, the USMB reported to Congress that it lacked the clear Congressional mandate necessary to bring about national conversion. Because of this ineffectiveness and an effort of the Reagan administration — particularly from Lyn Nofziger's efforts as a White House advisor to the Reagan administration, to reduce federal spending — the USMB was disbanded in the autumn of 1982."

"The effort toward national metrication is based on the premise that the U.S. industrial and commercial productivity, mathematics and science education, and the competitiveness of its products and services in world markets would be enhanced by the adoption of the metric system. Gerard Iannelli, director of the U.S. Metric Program, gave the opinion that Americans have so far not done so because of the effort it takes to "translate" from customary to metric units when both measurements are not shown. He also cited what he perceived to be ineffective attempts at public education and awareness."


Some things that have gone wrong due to the lack of use of the metric system are for example that the Mars Climate Orbiter crashed because Lockheed used the imperial system when they shouldn't have...
The urge to use the Metric System The urge to use the Metric System Reviewed by Kanthala Raghu on April 22, 2014 Rating: 5

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