I would like to seek an answer to the following question but am not sure if my question will be considered as off topic:

I read that bond angles are almost always measured in degrees instead of radians. A scientist told me that in his research, they always measure the temperature in Celsius instead of Kelvin. In the scientist world there are some other units that are preferred over units from the International System of Units.

Now the question is, since there is a International System of Units, why should people, especially professionals, respect them?

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    $\begingroup$ Sorry but this seems rather off-topic (as "primarily opinion based") to me. You can try in the chat though, the question will probably be very welcome there. Cheers! $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2018 at 14:57

1 Answer 1


We do occasionally take questions of this type (for example, this question was well received), but they're on the edge of topicality as being primarily opinion-based. Questions whose answers are intrinsically subjective can be a good fit for the Stack Exchange Q&A engine, but they need to be pitched correctly for them to work; in that regard, the main reference for guidance on writing questions that work well is the SE blog post Good Subjective, Bad Subjective.

For the specific examples you give, I would tend to say that they are too localized, and the difference between two different forms of accepted SI units is not strong enough to merit a meaningful answer on this site. As for the overall sociological question of why some fields of science retain the usage of non-SI units despite the overall shift to SI (and indeed, as in my first link, despite specific pressure from field-specific institutions to change to SI units), that's definitely not on-topic here, but it may be a good fit for Academia Stack Exchange.

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    $\begingroup$ There is however a physics question hidden in what the OP says, which highlights a misunderstanding: many people think that the degree Celsius and the kelvin are two units for the same quantity, the temperature, and that the degree Celsius is not an SI unit. This is wrong: the degree Celsius is the unit of measurement of Celsius temperature, and the kelvin is the unit of thermodynamic temperature. These are two different quantities, and both units are within the SI. The passage from kelvin to degree Celsius is not a conversion of units. $\endgroup$ Feb 8, 2018 at 15:18

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