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First Briefing for the DRUM Ambassadors

The first briefing meeting for ‘Ambassadors’ to the DRUM initiative was held on Thursday 1 October, at 11:00 UTC.


Meeting Objectives

  • To inform ambassadors of the purpose of the DRUM activities.
  • To inform ambassadors of the landscape and in particular the Digital SI process.
  • To request ambassadors to identify and prepare examples and case studies which the DRUM team can describe and document.
  • To provide answer to ambassadors’ questions about the content and the process.



  1. Welcome and Agenda (Simon Hodson, 2 minutes)
  2. Introduction to the session and the objectives of DRUM (Bob Hanisch, 5 minutes)
  3. The World of Units (total 20 minutes)
    1. The complex landscape of units and why they are important (Bob Hanisch)
    2. The Digital SI Process (Stuart Chalk)
    3. Digital representation of units (Stuart Chalk)
  4. Request for involvement from the Ambassadors and Unions (Documents and Discussion)
    1. Examples, case studies, pain points.
    2. Participation in the Digital SI Workshop
  5. Q&A
  6. Close and next steps



  1. Agenda.
  2. Units of Measure for Humans and Machines: Making Units Clear for Machine Learning and Beyond.
  3. List of Ambassadors and Observers for the first meeting.
  4. One page briefing note.
  5. One page FAQ document.
  6. The World of Units Diagram (Presentation, Bob Hanisch)
  7. The CIPM Task Group on the Digital SI (Presentation, Stuart Chalk)


Recording of the Meeting

DRUM Ambassadors Briefing Session Recording from Asha CODATA on Vimeo.


Meeting Preparation

Participants were requested to read the document ‘Units of Measure for Humans and Machines: Making Units Clear for Machine Learning and Beyond’ which provides a lot of the background information and context for this meeting.

Please also reflect on how you and your colleagues might contribute to the initiative, to DRUM and to the Digital SI. Specifically, DRUM aims to develop greater understanding of the use of units in different domains and the issues around definition, digital representation and conversion. What are the phenomena that are measured in various branches of research, what the units of measurement are and how these are defined and expressed in data? What are the challenges in relation to units, e.g. caused by any variations in a domain in relation to units (making data sets incommensurable, un-interoperable). Finally, please reflect and identify whether there are any examples, case studies and pain points which you could describe and document. DRUM will aim to publish a collection of such case studies to raise the profile of the issue and call for action.