Allen V. Astin, A Legacy of Integrity
In 1930, a young Ph.D. physicist named Allen V. Astin secured his first position at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), now known as NIST. By 1951, he had risen through the ranks to become the director of NBS. It was Astin’s leadership of the bureau through the tumultuous AD-X2 battery additive scandal that solidified his and NIST’s reputation for honesty and integrity.
Hear his sons, John Astin and Alexander W. Astin, share their stories about NBS in the mid-20th century and what it was like as college students to experience having their father fired and then reinstated for his refusal to alter NBS results. John is known for his iconic role as Gomez Addams in TV’s “The Addams Family” series. He is now at Johns Hopkins University as Homewood Professor of the Arts and director of the Theatre Arts and Studies Program. Alexander is the Allan M. Cartter Distinguished Professor of Higher Education Emeritus and Founding Director of the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. This was recorded July 31st, 2018.