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20. May: World Metrology Day

A poster goes round the world

16.05.2007

Whether the drinking water is pure, the air clean or the soil loaded with contaminants is not visible to the naked eye. Also climate change, radiation exposure or harmful noise can only be determined with the aid of suitable measuring technology. "Measuring for our environment" is thus the subject of this year's World Metrology Day.

As every year, there will be, in addition to numerous commemorative and informational events, also a motto poster in order to illustrate the importance of metrology to as many people as possible, not least to the small- and medium-sized businesses of the emerging and developing countries.

On the initiative of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures BIPM (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures) in Paris, the motto poster will for the first time be translated into all the important languages of communication: It will be available in English, in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian and Arabic, naturally in German and even in the Japanese as well as the Albanian language.

The decision to create a poster for the whole world is based on the great success of the poster campaigns in the past years. Thereby, the posters were always designed and distributed by the South African National Metrology Institute NMISA and the PTB. Last year, for example, they showed a hand-painted picture story in which "Sam" the talking stethoscope explains the medical measuring technology at the hospital. Even today it still hangs in many African medical practices, nursery schools and schools.

The current posters can be downloaded here. [4 MB]

The History of World Metrology Day

In October 1999, the 21st General Conference on Weights and Measures CGPM (Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures) appointed 20th May as "World Metrology Day", a day which has been celebrated since then annually. The background: On 20th May 1875, the 17 state representatives from all over the world signed the so-called Meter Convention in Paris, and thus committed themselves to unifying weights and measures internationally and to creating the organisational forms necessary for it. Meanwhile, more than 50 countries have ratified the Meter Convention.