† The SI is, of course, a living system which evolves, and which reflects current best measurement practice. This 8th edition therefore contains a number of changes since the previous edition. As before, it lists the definitions of all the base units, and all the Resolutions and Recommendations of the CGPM and the Comité International des Poids et Mesures , the CIPM (known in English as the International Committee for Weights and Measures), relating to the International System of Units. Formal reference to CGPM and CIPM decisions are to be found in the successive volumes of the Comptes Rendus of the CGPM (CR) and the Procès-Verbaux of the CIPM (PV); many of these are also listed in Metrologia . To simplify practical use of the system, the text provides explanations of these decisions, and the first chapter provides a general introduction to establishing a system of units and to the SI in particular. The definitions and the practical realizations of all the units are also considered in the context of general relativity. A brief discussion of units associated with biological quantities has been introduced for the first time. Appendix 1 reproduces, in chronological order, all the decisions (Resolutions, Recommendations, Declarations) promulgated since 1889 by the CGPM and the CIPM on units of measurement and the International System of Units. Appendix 2 exists only in the electronic version, which is available at /. It outlines the practical realization of some important units, consistent with the definitions given in the principal text, which metrological laboratories can make to realize physical units and to calibrate material standards and measuring instruments of the highest quality. This † Editors’ note: The 9th CGPM in 1948 initiated the study that led to the formal establishment of the SI by the 11th CGPM in 1960.