3 Pages


WithKaren Fog Olwig, Kristina Grünenberg, Perle Møhl, Anja Simonsen

In an article published in a BBC travel series on ‘Places That Changed the World’, Madhvi Ramani describes the importance of Paris as the place where the metric system was invented in the late 1700s. Ramani describes the metric system as a great achievement because it established a standardized, universal unit of measurement that could replace the approximately ‘250,000 different units of weights and measures’ then used in France. The metric standardization, Ramani concludes, not only ‘formed the basis of our modern economy and led to globalization’; it also ‘enabled high-precision engineering and continues to be essential for science and research, progressing the understanding of the universe’. The metrification of society has therefore not only created a uniform standard of measurement that paved the way for scientific and technological discoveries and made possible human interaction on a supra-local and even global level.