SIPRI mourns the passing of former SIPRI expert Julian Perry Robinson (United Kingdom), who died on 22 April 2020 at the age of 78.
Julian was at SIPRI in its early days and contributed a chapter to the first edition of the SIPRI Yearbook. He went on to be an inspiration and a mentor to two generations of specialists in non-governmental research into the control of biological and chemical warfare (CBW).
Dan Smith, SIPRI Director, said, ‘Julian was an outstanding researcher and a lovely man. For me, he was a personal friend and an early influence. His contributions to the study of CBW are seminal and lasting.’
A chemist and lawyer by training, Julian was a member of the SIPRI research staff during 1968–71 and the focal point of the work on CBW, which included the excellent six-volume series of books The Problem of Chemical and Biological Warfare (1971–76). During this period he was also responsible for groundbreaking reports on CBW issues published by the UN Secretary-General and the World Health Organization. All of these provided essential inputs into the negotiation of the Biological Weapons Convention which was opened for signature in 1972.
He has held research appointments at the Harvard University Center for International Affairs, the Free University of Berlin and the University of Sussex, UK, where he was a professor since 1971 and a Senior Fellow of the Science Policy Research Unit since 1977. He has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization, the United Nations Secretariat, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN Environment Programme. He was a founding member of the International steering committee of the Pugwash Chemical Warfare Study Group, which ran from 1974 to 1992. Julian was also active in the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs since 1968.
SIPRI sends its condolences to his wife Mary, who was also a SIPRI Researcher in the early days and who recently finished serving the Institute as a member of the Governing Board, and to their family.
SIPRI published several volumes written by Julian Perry Robinson such as Chemical and Biological Warfare Developments:1985 (Oxford University Press: 1986), Chemical Warfare Arms Control: A Framework for Considering Policy Alternatives (Taylor & Francis: 1985), Chemical Weapons: Destruction and Conversion (Taylor & Francis: 1980) and two books from the six-volume series The Problem of Chemical and Biological Warfare (1971–76) (Almqvist & Wiksell).