THE AD-X2 CONTROVERSY highlights a moment in history when scientific integrity came under attack. It all began in the 1940s, when an entrepreneur began selling AD-X2 — a chemical additive that he claimed would extend the life of car batteries. But at a federal agency called The National Bureau of Standards, now known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, scientists had evidence showing that the additive was ineffective. Then the showdown began.
What came next is a story of scientific tests, government hearings, firings, re-hirings, a media firestorm, and much, much more… all, as actor Sean Astin — whose grandfather, the scientist Allen V. Astin, led the agency at the time — put it, “over batteries?”
This is the story of an agency fighting to defend the principle of scientific integrity and of a public servant standing up to do what is right while under attack in politics and the news media — a story that still resonates today.