Celsius and Fahrenheit

  1. Something struck my curiousity today and I wanted to know something...



    The Fahrenheit scale is widely used in the United States. However, American scientists almost always use the Celsius scale in their work? Why is this so and what is your explanation?
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   NursingAgainstdaOdds
    I think I've learned the "real" reason for this, but can't recall it at the moment.

    I know science in general uses the metric system, likely so that published research will make sense to the rest of the world, and they won't look like ethnocentric hold-outs who feel their system is superior to that used by the rest of the world.

    I'm really glad that while in nursing school I finally learned to think in metric terms (except temperature, that one I still don't think metric). It also helps when my husband and I are communicating volumes, because now I speak milliliter (hubby's from Turkey, the term "teaspoon" just isn't the same...).
  4. by   SaderNurse05
    If my memory is working back 30 years ago there was a big push that the US was going to metric. EVERYTHING would be metric. Metric is the language of the science world and this way they could all communicate. But the world underestimated the resistance of the American Public. We must keep our quarts, pints, inches and miles! So I spent a lot of my poor 3rd grade brain learning stuff I would eventually use in my 20's.....
  5. by   czyja
    Quote from punkstar
    However, American scientists almost always use the Celsius scale in their work? Why is this so and what is your explanation?
    Journals require it. Life science protocols use it (ie protein, DNA extraction, various "kits" from manufactures, etc). Physical scientists use it because it converts very easily to the kelvin scale, which they need for various calculations. I think it is the SI unit of temperature - either that or kelvin is.

    Science is such a multi-national endeavor so everybody need to be on the same page. A few years back NASA lost a spacecraft because on of their subcontractors was not using metric Oops.
  6. by   Katnip
    Quote from SaderNurse05
    If my memory is working back 30 years ago there was a big push that the US was going to metric. EVERYTHING would be metric. Metric is the language of the science world and this way they could all communicate. But the world underestimated the resistance of the American Public. We must keep our quarts, pints, inches and miles! So I spent a lot of my poor 3rd grade brain learning stuff I would eventually use in my 20's.....
    Canada did change. I think it would have been good to go metric. It's a much easier system to use.
  7. by   Quickbeam
    If my memory is working back 30 years ago there was a big push that the US was going to metric.
    When I was in high school I remember a "Metric '70!" campaign. Hee! I was a freshman and the tone was that by 1970 everything everywhere would be metric and we'd love it.

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