Today is the 4th annual World Metrology Day sponsored by the Bureau international des poids et mesures (BIPM, International Bureau of Weights and Measures) and Organisation Internationale de Métrologie Légale (OIML, International Organization of Legal Metrology).
From the press release:
As the world strives to move on from its recent financial problems, and as Governments work to regenerate economies, we shall find that science and technology are the engines of economic growth and prosperity. These, in turn, rely on being able to measure correctly and to refer measurements to the same international reference standards. A world without accurate measurement is a world where science, technology, trade and society can’t communicate and where error and uncertainty would reign supreme.
For an excellent introduction to the subject read, Metrology – In Short by the European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET).