Allen V. Astin

Allen Varley Astin (June 12, 1904 – January 28, 1984) was an American physicist who served as director of the United States National Bureau of Standards (now NIST) from 1951 until 1969. During the Second World War he worked on the proximity fuse. He was an advocate for introduction of metric weights and measures to the United States. [1]

Allen Astin is the father of actor John Astin and educator Dr. Alexander Astin, and the grandfather of actor Sean Astin.

The Allen V. Astin Measurement Science Award, first issued in 1984, is presented by the United States Department of Commerce for achievement in metrology. The American National Standards Institute issues the Astin-Polk International Standards Medal for distinguished service in standardization, measurement or certification. NCSL International issues the Allen V. Astin award for best overall conference paper.


  1. Allen V Astin is dead at 79, obituary in The New York Times, retrieved 2015 Jan 28
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