Actually, science (this book is less for the layman than other scientists) is always done in metric in the US. But getting metric into everyday usage has been impossible. Carter started a metrification program - some metric highway signs even went up. But when Reagan was elected, metric went the way of the solar panels on the white house roof. The obstinate refusal of USAns to metrify is simply a result of the insular-exceptionalist-arrogance that permeates US popular culture. Look at all the other obstinate differences in the us - abbreviation of dates, colors of political parties, locations of controls in cars, electric voltages (ok, Canada goes along with this), urban infrastructure - especially public transportation.
And here a big best-kept secret. As a civil engineer working for a US regulatory agency reviewing engineers plans for safety-critical mine tailings and other types of dams developed by private-sector engineers, I can vouch that the state of civil engineering proficiency and practice in the US is appallingly bad. Presumably this is true of some other fields too, notably mechanical engineering. If the US were to ever get serious about our surface infrastructure notably intercity high speed rail, public transit, we would not even have the engineering skill to do it. We would have to use European or Canadian engineers to do the design. The construction contractors and construction supervision - and even some of the trades, would likewise have to be from Europe - as if the US is Afghanistan ca. the 1950s or something.
And progress in science in general in the US is only surviving on the importation of better-educated people from other countries - notably east and south Asia. I recall seeing coverage of the landing of the Mars Science Laboratory rover from the control room of the JPL in Pasadena, California. Virtually the entire staff was Asian immigrants.
If skilled immigrants stop coming to the US, it will be all over. The USA is on the way down-down-down. The result is not going to be pretty.