In a talk titled Kilogram and mole: Definitions, standards and artifacts given today at the ACS national conference, Paul Karol argued passionately for the removal of the mole from the base set of units from the International System of Units. As it currently stands there are 7 base units: meter, kilogram, second, ampere, kelvin, candela, and mole.
The crux of his argument is that all basic physical quantities are defined as a numerical value times a unit. While a mole is just a numerical value, and has as much physical meaning as the term dozen. Karol’s arguments might have some validity but it will probably tick off many chemists who tirelessly lobbied for the mole’s inclusion to the SI base units in the ’70s.
His proposal could be to the chemistry community what the International Astronomical Union’s demotion of Pluto’s planet status did to the astronomy community. Anyone up for making shirts saying, “moles are units!”