May 20 Is World Metrology Day

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Basseterre, St. Kitts – 20 May is World Metrology Day, commemorating the anniversary of the signing of the Metre Convention in Paris, in 1875. This treaty provides the basis for a worldwide coherent measurement system that underpins scientific discovery and innovation, industrial manufacturing and international trade, as well as the improvement of the quality of life and the protection of the global environment.

The theme for World Metrology Day 2024 is Sustainability, chosen for its relevance to various measurement opportunities crucial for fostering a sustainable global economy and environment.

Examples include measuring energy use in industries, buildings and transportation, managing resources in agriculture and forestry, identifying pollution sources, and setting targets for environmental protection. Accurate measurements of vehicle emissions and fuel consumption are vital for regulatory compliance and designing sustainable transportation options. The assessment and management of manufacturing processes and waste streams, facilitated by accurate measurements, contribute to improved environmental stewardship.

Across the world, national metrology laboratories continually advance measurement science by developing and validating new measurement techniques at the necessary level of sophistication. The national metrology institutes participate in measurement comparisons coordinated by the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) or by the Regional Metrology Organizations, to ensure the reliability of measurement results worldwide.

The International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) develops International Recommendations, which aim to align and harmonize requirements worldwide in many fields. The OIML also operates the OIML Certification System (OIML-CS) which facilitates international acceptance and global tradeof regulated measuring instruments.

These international metrology systems provide the necessary assurance and confidence that measurements are accurate, providing a sound basis for global trade today and helping us to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow.

World Metrology Day acknowledges and honors the contributions of individuals working in
intergovernmental, regional, and national metrology organizations and institutes year-round. In November 2023, a significant milestone was reached as the UNESCO General Conference, during its 42nd Session, officially recognized the celebration on 20 May annually. Underscoring its pivotal role in advancing global scientific cooperation, this endorsement opens up new avenues to promote metrology, aligning with UNESCO’s mission to build a better world through science and education.

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