Dr. Donna Carroll: “Made to measure: The quest to create universal measurements and the complexity of globalisation”

Einladung zu einem Vortrag in englischer Sprache
Wednesday, 26th October 2022 at 6.30 p.m.

Veranstaltungsort: Der kleine Saal (Raum E 11) der Volkshochschule Essen

We’ve always been driven to measure the world around us. It’s been essential for our societies since the concept of trade arose. You want to know how much corn you can buy and how much your litre of beer will cost. In order to construct buildings you need accurate measures of length and angles. In order to travel you have to develop maps. But it goes beyond this, man’s pursuit to understand the world and the universe has driven us to try to measure the size of the Earth, the speed of light and the pull of gravity. How did our current measurements systems come about? And why do we still live in a world where measurements are not always standard (think of the British or American mile and pint compared to the kilometre and litre)?

In this lecture, Donna will talk about the adventures scientists have undergone to develop the metric system. We’ll go on to discuss the discrepancies we still see across the world and how the historic decisions not to adopt the metric system universally has led to numerous catastrophic errors.


Donna is a lecturer at Maastricht University responsible for courses in mathematics, materials science and electronics. She completed her PhD in experimental physics at the University of Warwick (UK) in 2008, and since then has lectured in the UK and the Netherlands. Donna is passionate about broadening public awareness, interest and understanding of science and mathematics, and gives a wide range of general lectures with this aim.