ForeverMissed
This page was created in memory of Julian as a way for the CBW community to collectively say goodbye and to pay tribute to him. You are invited to view the page, and to add and share your own memories. Please leave tributes below, and upload photos under the 'gallery' tab.

We were deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Julian Perry Robinson. 

Julian is possibly best described as the grandfather of non-governmental research into the control of biological and chemical warfare (CBW). 
A British citizen, he was born in Jerusalem, mandated territory of Palestine, in 1941. He graduated from Oxford University with an honors degree in chemistry in 1964, his dissertation being on certain aspects of chemical warfare during World War II.
Julian was the focal point of the work at SIPRI in the late 1960s and early 1970s on CBW which included the excellent six-volume series of books on the subject that are still required reading for anyone entering the field. During this period, he was also responsible for ground-breaking 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.

From SIPRI, Julian moved to the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, which became the base from which he carried out the rest of his life's work. He formed the Harvard Sussex Program (HSP) with his long-time collaborator Matthew Meselson from Harvard University. HSP remains the repository of Julian's substantial archive -- perhaps the best research resource on these issues outside of any government.


Julian was a key coordinator of Pugwash activities in the CBW area. He was a co-convenor of the Pugwash Study Group on Implementation of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions. The study group proved to be an extremely useful method of bridging differences in approaches to the multi-faceted problems of CBW control by different governments. The negotiations of the Chemical Weapons Convention benefited hugely from these Pugwash activities as did negotiations to strengthen the BWC which were brought to a halt in 2001.


Julian never really retired, continuing work in recent years on the use of chemical weapons in Syria and on novichoks following the Salisbury poisonings.


There are never adequate words to describe the loss of someone of his calibre.  He will be sadly missed by so many of us.
Brian Balmer, Richard Guthrie, Filippa Lentzos & Caitriona McLeish
Further tributes to Julian were published by SIPRI on 24 April, John Hart and CNS on 24 April, Nicholas Sims in The Bulletin on 30 April,  Richard Guthrie in The Guardian on 8 May,  Jean-Pascal Zanders in The Trench on 13 May, The Times on 19 May, Caitriona McLeish in Nature on 21 May, and Daniel Feakes in Arms Control Today on 1 June.
Posted by William Sigmund on June 14, 2020
I have just learned that Julian has died. He was a kind, gentle and lovely man. My wife Elizabeth and I came to know Julian during the 1970s, after she started what was then called a 'grass-roots' campaign to raise awareness about the UK's involvement with CBW. He gave so much encouragement to Elizabeth during those early years, and later enthusiastically agreed to join her informal working party on CBW together with Alastair Hay, Patricia Lewis, Andrew Herxheimer, Rob Evans, Richard Guthrie and others. He was a wonderful support during the following years and spoke (slightly reluctantly) at meetings we arranged. He remained a great friend until Elizabeth died in 2017. He visited our house in Cornwall where we talked about his love of food and cooking, cats and old cars and butterflies. I remember our visit to the open day at CBDE Porton Down where, bouncing around in the back of a Landrover on a tour around the estate, Julian was more excited to talk about the unique butterfly population there than anything else that day. During the final few years Elizabeth and he had many lovely, warm telephone conversations, sometimes sharing the trials of the gentle decline into decrepitude. He was a wonderful, exceptional man.
Posted by Robert Lovsin on June 9, 2020
Catherine and I were shocked and deeply saddened to have learned of Julian’s passing. While Julian's work in the CBW world is well-known and highly-respected, it was his decency, humility and kindness that we remember so fondly. We have many pleasant memories of our time at Sussex and Julian was central to all of them. He was one of the most important and influential figures in our lives for years and to say that he will be missed is an understatement. Both Catherine and myself moved away from the CBW field a number of years ago and on to different ventures. We were in contact with Julian late last year, Christmas Eve in fact, about attending the annual HSP Christmas/New Years party they were planning. He was excited to hear from us and was looking forward to catching up, as were we. It is upsetting to realise that we will no longer have the chance. We cannot imagine how difficult this has been for the family and we extend our sincerest condolences.

Posted by Mary Kaldor on June 5, 2020
This is a speech given by George Papandreou, the former Prime Minster of Greece, to members of the Symi symposium, an annual political gathering, which Julian and I have attended every year.
Dear Symi family,
>
> Dear Mary, dear Oli, dear Josh,
>
> So many of us have wanted to be with you, together, by your side, in these trying moments. 
> Yet this pandemic has kept us apart, at a distance.
> Even more painfully this pandemic has taken the life of our dear friend, your beloved father and husband, Julian.
>
> In the strangest of times, our family lost a very special human being. If we were with you now we would all give you the biggest and warmest of hugs.
> But today, from a distance we can only express our pain, our grief through our words. 
> Yet we are together.
> Sharing this moment together.
> As we have shared so many moments before, with Julian amongst us.
>
> We have all wished to honor his life and his legacy.
> To attempt, in these virtual moments, to capture the essence of who Julian has been, what he has stood for, his remarkable achievements, yet never forgetting his soft smile and quiet composure ever-present in our wider family of friends.
>
> Julian Perry Robinson.
> Born in Jerusalem in 1941.
> The year that Hitler began Operation Barbarossa - the invasion of Russia.
> The year where the Blitz targeted Britain's major cities.
> When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the US entered the War.
>
> Julian Perry Robinson, left us, in 2020, just as the world was hit - paralyzed by the worst catastrophe since the second World War, the pandemic of COVID 19.
>
> Julian’s life was associated with big moments of history.
> But in many ways he was also a prometheus, one with forethought, of what is to come.
>
> He devoted his life work to protect humanity from the destruction that could be wrought by biological and chemical weapons.
>
> As key advisor to the WHO his report was a strong voice for the strengthening of disease surveillance in public health as well as highlighting the need for a robust global health system.
>
> Yet in an irony suited only for greek tragedies he was one of the many victims of this malicious virus.
>
>
> I must make a confession.
> I've been both deeply impressed and moved by Julian's achievements, commitment and struggle to better humanity.
> Yet his soft-mannered presence at our gatherings gave me no clue as to his remarkable work.
>
> Today, as he has left us, he emerges as a role model, one of an anti-hero, in the academic world.
>
> Key for the negotiations on the Biological Weapons Convention and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.
>
> His colleagues in SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) stated that he had ‘an unparalleled influence in the shaping and implementation of the international conventions that have helped prevent chemical and biological warfare from breaking out during our lifetime'.
>
>
> He wrote a master piece, a six volume study on 'The Problem of Chemical and Biological Warfare'.
>
> And he first warned of the creeping use of chemical weapons by military establishments as well as in the conflicts experienced in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Africa and recently in Syria.
>
> Aristotle might have concluded that he had the three elements of the best of politics:
> Scientific knowledge on the one hand,
> a rational yet wise approach to enforcing the implementation of international law, as in a famous incident of the "yellow rain" as he was able to diffuse a conflict between US and Soviet Union,
> but also emotion, pathos, a courage in expressing his indignation and sense of injustice, as he pushed for dialogue and international cooperation.
>
> I can see how, in his fight for the common good, so many similar values and practices bonded him with Mary, his life companion.
>
> He was considered for a Nobel Prize in 2013 but he suggested it would be better to give this Award to the 'Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons'.
> A rare example of selflessness, avoiding the hubris of those caught up in their narcism or sense of genius.
> What a contrast to so many who today like to call themselves leaders in this world.
>
> We of course, our Symi family recognized this humility.
> Always wanting to listen to others.
> I remember his sense of humor, his pertinent observations, his empathy.
>
> I regret we did not hear more of his voice, not only on the all-important subject of warfare but also of his special hobbies, such as classic sports cars, English pubs and cooking.
>
> I myself, I am sure all of us, have had time to reflect during the time of this pandemic.
> The small things in daily life, the deep friendships, the simple things we often overlook, took on more beauty and more meaning in my life.
>
> Lives so fleeting in the eons of time.
>
> Somehow, thinking back at our shared moments with Julian, it seems he knew these meanings, and this, long before the pandemic took him away - from us all.
>
>
>


Posted by Filippa Lentzos on June 5, 2020
Posted on behalf of Francesco Calogero:
The death of Julian Perry Robinson is a very sad event; associated for me to the feeling of a lack of proper order in history when I read that somebody much younger than me dies; and more unpleasantly so in this case since this might have been due to the unwise initial reaction of the Conservative British government to the CoronaVirus epidemic. 

Julian Perry Robinson and Matt Meselson were the two main protagonists of the Pugwash activity on the control/elimination of Chemical and Biological Weapons -- of course, together with several others, including in particular Martin Kaplan, my predecessor as Secretary General of Pugwash. Pugwash was awarded the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to diminish the part played by nuclear arms in international politics and in the longer run to eliminate such arms.” But the Pugwash activity was also quite influential in other arms control contexts, indeed it played a significant role in bringing about and promoting the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). And the dual team constituted by the somewhat senior Harvard professor Matt Meselson -- a distinguished American biologist -- and the somewhat younger Julian Perry-Robinson, specially knowledgeable both on chemistry and international law -- played the key role in these activities: many Pugwash Workshops, most of them held in Geneva in the weekend between two weeks of official negotiations on these matters. These Pugwash workshops featured the eager participation of the official negotiators (as in the Pugwash tradition, in their strictly personal capacity): who evidently considered useful to meet informally a significant group of outsiders, scientists and influential individuals in their respective countries; and who took happily advantage of the Pugwash rule allowing them to speak their mind rather more freely than in the official negotiations, without the risk of being personally quoted. During my tenure (1989-1997) as Secretary General of Pugwash I essentially delegated all the substantive decisions about these activities to Julian and Matt, limiting my involvement to the provision of the required logistics, and to chair occasionally a session when they thought appropriate that I do so in order to allow them to play a more active role in the discussion. I think this Pugwash activity was quite important for the achievement of these conventions; perhaps, most significantly, for the CWC, by managing to involve in these activities the leadership of the American “Chemical Manufacturer’s Association” (“CMA”; renamed in 2000 “American Chemical Council”). The American chemical industry did not have much of a vested interest in the manufacture of chemical weapons: even though the arsenal of chemical weapons developed and stockpiled over time in the USA was absurdly enormous, the economic relevance of this activity was quite marginal in comparison to the entire chemical industrial output of the USA. But for the chemical industry -- and even more so for the pharmaceutical industry, relevant to the BWC -- the issue of the protection of the secrecy of industrial patents and practices is of paramount importance. Hence the idea to accept an international treaty with the associated verification procedures -- implying the prospect to be open to outside (international!) inspections -- sounded a priori to them quite unacceptable. Yet without the support -- or at least a tacit acceptance -- by the CMA it would have been hardly possible for the USA to negotiate, and then to sign and ratify, the CWC. I do believe that the personal involvement of the top leadership of the CMA in the Pugwash workshops in Geneva was instrumental to convince them of the necessity of the CWC, and therefore to overcome their natural initial skepticism; and that without this development it is unlikely that the CWC would have been achieved. And the preeminent merit for this monumental achievement goes, in my opinion, to Julian and Matt.

This is not the only activity in which I personally had the fortune to collaborate closely with Julian and with Matt. Another specific one was the Pugwash project to produce a book entitled “VERIFICATION (Monitoring Disarmament)” covering all the aspects of arms control requiring verification, with each of its 12 chapters co-authored by more than one author, at least one of them living to the East, and at least another one to the West, of the Iron Curtain. The idea of this book was conceived at the Pugwash Annual Meeting in Gmunden (Austria), 1-6 September 1987; of course after the advent in 1985 of Gorbachev as Secretary General of the Soviet Communist Party, an event which was then recognized likely to make such a project perhaps feasible. The book was eventually edited by Marvin L. Goldberger (USA), Sergei P. Kapitza (USSR) and myself (FC, Italy): the chapter entitled “Verification and Chemical-Warfare Weapons” was co-authored by Karlheinz Lohs (GDR), Julian P. Perry Robinson (UK) & Nikita P. Smidovich; the chapter entitled “Verification of Biological and Toxin Weapons Disarmament” was co-authored by Matthew Meselson (USA), Martin M. Kaplan (Switzerland/USA) and Mark A. Mosulsky (USSR). The project was originally conceived by Catherine Kelleher, John Holdren (both of whom were also involved as co-authors), and myself; I took a leading role in its accomplishment (it was perhaps the main cause of my then becoming, in 1989, the Secretary General of Pugwash); it was eventually funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York; it involved 3 international meetings of all the authors, and a lot of personal negotiations among each subset of authors. Julian took of course a leading role in the drafting of its chapter, he had the competence to do so and moreover the appropriate personality to foster an agreement. The specific text of only one of the 12 chapters could not be eventually agreed in a reasonable amount of time, and I had to take the unpleasant decision to publish the book with only an Abstract of that particular chapter. The book was published in English in 1991 by Westview Press, and in Russian in 1992 by Mir.

Of course it did play a significant role in promoting arms control achievements in various areas, not only because of its eventual publication, but because it had involved in a cooperative enterprise many influential protagonists of these developments in several relevant countries.

There were other opportunities for me to meet Julian: at Pugwash Conferences and Workshops, and also with his wife Mary Kaldor in the more relaxed atmosphere of some ISODARCO meetings (the International School On Disarmament and Research On Conflicts: which more or less coincides with the Italian Pugwash Group, and provides the teaching dimension of Pugwash; still continuing to this day its activity under the leadership of one of its founders, Carlo Schaerf). So, I feel I might say that we had become personal friends; although several years have passed since the last time we met.

It is therefore very painful for me to write this message.

And my thoughts go to Mary.

Peace

Francesco Calogero
Rome, 24 April 2020
Posted by Filippa Lentzos on June 4, 2020
To me, Julian was the heart and driving force of the British CBW community. He set the standard and the atmosphere. In my foreign eyes, he represented the best of the British. A deeply knowledgeable and critical thinker, an absolute gentleman, modest, encouraging, suave, always that bemused smile. Many have already mentioned his love of cars, cooking and pub lunches. I vividly remember one of the earliest gatherings of the CBW academic and policy communities that I participated in, where Julian completely disarmed the audience, prefacing his insightful argument about what academia can bring to policy by painting a picture of how he had sat in the bath that morning, with a cup of tea, pondering that very question. I first met Julian in my formative student days. He warmly welcomed me into the community – connecting me with Caitríona, Daniel and Emmanuelle, inviting me to Harvard Sussex Days, introducing me to Pugwash, Matt & Jeanne, and the BWC world in Geneva. I last saw Julian in 2016, at my book launch at King’s, his presence continuing the quiet support and encouragement he had always given me. I treasure the photo I took of him then, with Nicholas, Steven and Alastair. How fitting you were born in Jerusalem Julian. May you Rest in Peace in a green and pleasant land. I remember you fondly.
Posted by Emmanuelle Tuerlings on June 1, 2020
I was so sorry to hear about the passing away of Julian. I had the privilege of being one of his students. He was a wonderful supervisor and mentor. Being a non-English speaker and new to the United Kingdom, he welcomed me with kindness, enthusiasm and expert academic guidance in what was for me a new academic and research environment He impressed me by his way of teaching, by guiding me through the differences between the Latin and Anglo-Saxon academic approaches and most of all by his extensive and expert knowledge on chemical and biological weapons arms control. He has always been of great support, proving precious guidance and advice. His kind heart and modesty will be forever remembered. I am deeply grateful to have had the chance to meet him, to have been one of his students, and to have shared great moments with such a wonderful and inspiring person. All my thoughts are with his family and his beloved ones in these difficult times.
Posted by Donald Clagett on May 21, 2020
It was with great sadness learned of Julian's death. I am johnny -come-lately to his circle of acquaintances, having only met him in the late 80s, when I got involved with the Chemical Weapons Convention. In the ensuing years I grew to appreciate his intense desire to rid the World of chemical and biological weapons, while at the same time being a wonderful human being with wit and compassion. I and, for that matter, the World will miss him. May he rest in peace.
Posted by Ron Manley on May 21, 2020
It was with great sadness that I received the news of Julian’s untimely death. Like many others my exchanges and discussions with Julian go back many years. In my case it’s almost 50 years since we first came into contact with each other. His dedication to his chosen subject is with out doubt unmatched and he leaves behind an unrivalled source of information on the history and use of chemical weapons. He will be greatly missed both as a colleague and a friend
Posted by Mary Kaldor on May 15, 2020
Olly Robinson
Tributes to Dad
May 6 2020

Due to this strange situation, only a few people could attend today but we have received 100s of tributes and letters from his friends and colleagues. Many have commented on the brutal irony that Dad, who had spent his life in a struggle against chemical and biological poisons, would be taken by the Coronavirus. I will try and relay some of their messages on their behalf and bring together several of the themes that repeatedly cropped up.
He was recognised as a man, sometimes of few words, but who paid lots of attention to the needs of others. He was known to wear his deep knowledge lightly. He was modest about his achievements and shunned the limelight and honours. Yet to so many, his soft-spoken presence was wisdom incarnate. He was a perfectionist, particularly with cooking, that inspired others to attempts similar dishes.
Everyone enjoyed his company greatly. His understated humour. witty, a bit self-deprecating, the stories told with a twinkle in his eye. His friends remember that quizzical lift of the eyebrow- ‘Do you really think that?’ How he could be critical in a collegial way that deepened not detracted from other people’s understanding. Many remember being welcomed into his research group over a drink after meetings, particularly in the Swan Pub near campus.
To many of his international friends and colleagues, he epitomised the best, endearing traits of “Englishness”. He was seen as the quintessential English gentleman driving up to the conference centre in his classic car.
I will now read part of a message from Harriett, Julian’s sister, about his early life
There were just the two of us. I am four years his junior and by the time l was on my feet, I was devotedly following my brother around. By the time he had gone on to his senior school we moved out of Horsham to a place with space for our parents to put up a Nissen hut. So around his early teens our parents must have seen he needed the space for his chemical experiments. In this wonderful hut Julian had his lab where he constructed elaborate glasswork visions in which things bubbled away. There were swathes of reddish rubber tubing and chiefly those strange smells. I kept a quantity of white mice at my end of the shed and was startled to find them all dead one day. My first thought was how could they die just by air. I was sad but strangely not cross with my brother. Even at that age l was in awe of him. He would make us all stand back while he let off wonderful coloured smoke bombs out in the paddock. His progression through school and university was a-glow with success. I typed his dissertation and was astonished that one chemical word could take up a whole line and a half…
Mum’s oldest friend Emma Rothschild said:
Julian has been such a luminous figure for more than half a century; so impossibly handsome and intelligent and silent and charismatic when you first "brought him home," and exactly the same ever since, except so much happier.
Many colleagues noted that he had an ability to move almost seamlessly between establishment settings, academia, military men, grass-roots activists, journalists, “people on the funny side”, and to secure the trust of each. The tributes have come from both people in Government and from Greenham Common activists.
Patrick Lamb of the UK Cabinet Office said:
I got to know Julian - initially as a wily academic adversary - when I became Head of the CBW Section in FCO from 1997 onwards. These were in retrospect great and optimistic days. There was nevertheless a lot of polite but serious sparring over RCAs and even the unmentionable FGAs. Indeed, and to my shame, I once summoned Julian into the Foreign Office for a formal dressing down on the latter subject - flanked by MOD and someone who shall remain anonymous. I wondered even then, judging by the mischievous smile that never left his face, whether he took this quite as seriously as we did and who exactly was right. I tend now to think he was! I used to joke in Whitehall about the 'CBW Community' but there is such a thing and Julian was unquestionably its intellectual and moral leader.​
He was known as someone who helped create equally enthused scholars over three generations.
One of his students Kai Ilchmann said:
He never gave me a quick answer, as much as I wanted it. Rather, he would place the question into context, reframe it into a sensible question, address all angles, and highlight the policy relevance. I was incredibly fortunate to have worked with him, learned from him, and to have become part of his team. His door was always open; the walk to, the time at, and the walk back from the pub was always a delight.
I owe a great debt to him, like many others, that can only be repaid by endeavouring to strengthen the norms against CBW, to identify more than the most common butterflies, to make a better fish pie, and to avoid long rambling sentences. He was the quintessential scholar gentleman, sharp, incisive, humble, but also mischievous, and really, really suave.
Of course, he was widely perceived as an extraordinary scholar. The ideal of the perfect scientist - wise, dispassionate, considerate of a layman's ignorance, always interested. A dedicated, determined and meticulous researcher, addressing a vitally important but difficult-to-research area of study. He was a role model for us all to aspire to.
His lifelong colleague and co-director of HSP, Prof Mathew Meselson:
We have lost a great man. Through his leading role in the diverse community of those seeking to achieve effective prohibitions against the hostile exploitation of chemistry and biology, his masterful stewardship of the quarterly CBW Conventions Bulletin during 23 critical years, his unparalleled scholarship in recording and documenting the events whose understanding was essential to the formulation of sound policy, his selfless help to colleagues and his lifelong mentoring of students, Julian must be credited as a principal force for achievement of the biological and chemical weapons conventions.
Julian saw before most of us that humanity has reached an inflection point in which emerging threats to all of us and to our humanity must take increasing precedence over less universal concerns. We have lost a great man, and like many others I have lost a best friend.
I will finish with a tribute from my best friend Simon, who has known Dad as long as me and who worked for him before undertaking his own PhD:
Today I have been remembering your Dad: The rides in the passenger seat in the Morgan. An adventure in search of 100-acre wood. Cooking dinner to Grappelli and noting down a pinch less salt. “oh, sweetie poppet” (exasperated, but with affection). Pub lunches in the Swan in Falmer with a pint of Harveys. But mostly his quiet warmth and broad smile.
Posted by Mary Kaldor on May 15, 2020
From Josh Kaldor Robinson

Eulogy for Julian Perry Robinson
May 6 2020


I would like to talk for a little bit about Dad.

He never spoke much about his childhood or school days, except for often talking about the summers he and his sister Harriett spent in North Wales with his beloved Aunt Poppy although we do know he was a keen athlete, playing for the England school boys hockey team and the Sussex junior county cricket team, and academic winning scholarships to both his school Camford and to Merton College where he read Chemistry, after Oxford he spent a brief period as a patent lawyer before moving to Sweden to work at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), where he began his life’s work working to prevent the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons and met mum.
There are many people much more able than me to discuss Dad’s work and the impact it had, what I want to talk about is Dad as an inspiration. Both personally and in the way he instilled his values in his family, friends, colleagues and wider society.
In some ways both of my brothers owe their careers to Dad. It was building model aeroplanes with Dad that started Charlie’s love of model making and in turn his architectural career and olly certainly wouldn’t be an epidemiologist if he hadn’t wanted to be a scientist like his dad. Mum credits Dad’s work ethic as inspiring her own and giving her the motivation to achieve so much. It was also amazing how, in so many of the tributes we received people from all over the world said that Dad had inspired them to be more like him. Another key way he inspired so many of us was in his love of cookery, he took cooking incredibly seriously and treated it almost as chemistry and there were certain recipes, particularly his fish pie, and of course the Soupe au Pistou that he spent his life refining and trying to perfect, while never being satisfied with the final result.
As well as inspiring people to be like him, his values inspired so many of us, particularly through his love of nature and his belief in what I would term civility.
The Perry Robinsons have been keen nature lovers for generations and Dad was no exception, according to Harriet, when he was young he seriously contemplated becoming a farmer, he was always much loved by any animals he encountered as well as keeping cats for most of his life, indeed Lilly and Snowball, just like the rest of us, seem bereft without him, they are definitely becoming more feral without his stabilizing presence.
A country walk with him would take at least twice as long as one would expect owing for the need to stop every five minutes to examine an interesting insect or leaf.
Butterflies and moths were Dad’s particular passion, he was never happier than when we were in La Garde Freinet, particularly at Easter where he could look forward to great food and the chance of seeing large numbers of butterflies. The quality of every walk he went on was measured by the
By Josh Kaldor-Robinson

number of different butterfly species we managed to see, although no walk I ever went on with him matched his legendary 27 butterfly walk in the hills around La Garde.
Indeed, none of us will ever be able to see a butterfly without both remembering Dad and trying to identify the butterfly.
When I talk about Dad’s belief in civility, I don’t just mean treating each other in a polite and civilised manner, although Dad certainly did this, he was unfailingly polite and rarely got angry with anyone outside of his close family, or that he was interested, or at least gave the appearance of interest to everyone he met and would engage them keenly in conversation regardless of the subject and his own interest in it.
But also his civility meant that he believed that it was a moral imperative for everyone to treat each other both equally and well.
This, I think, was the motivation behind his life’s work. As a scientist he couldn’t bear to see the hard won knowledge of biology and chemistry misused and turning into indiscriminate and barbaric weapons. This civility also inspired his politics, he had a deep distrust of the British establishment, despite a background and education that meant he could have easily been at the heart of it, he felt that the establishment could never be trusted to behave in a civilised manner without external pressure holding it to account.
This belief in civility as an imperative to treat each other equally and well also led to his 50 years of membership and support of the Labour Party, 10, probably deeply exasperating, years as a school governor at the difficult comprehensive Olly and I attended, far too much time on the over argumentative and slightly ridiculous Board of Directors of our building in Sussex Square and in the last 4 years going on far more demonstrations than someone whose mobility had become so limited would be expected to manage.
A very fond memory for me is that, the day after Trump had been elected, a demonstration was called in Brighton to protest, Dad had found out, I’m not sure how, possibly from his favourite shop Seed and Sprout, or as he insisted on referring to it, leaf and stem. And he was adamant that the two of us had to go and join the demo. I then got to see the sight of Dad and two of the crustiest Brighton Anarchists you can imagine all chanting “Whose Streets? Our Streets”, definitely something I will never forget.
As well as being a source of inspiration, dad was also happy to be inspired. The biggest inspiration in his life was of course Mum, even after 52 years, they were still utterly devoted to each other, I don’t think I ever heard Dad call Mum by any other name than Sweetie poppet, regardless of where they were, who they were talking to (indeed when they taught together it apparently caused much mirth amongst the students hearing these terms of endearment from such a proper English Gentleman during seminars) or even when they were arguing. The love they shared was so palpable and she certainly encouraged him to get over his social shyness. He would dread every social event Mum

organised, whenever we had a dinner party, he would exaggerate the numbers coming and stress out about it for the whole day until the event arrived at which point he would transform into the perfect host and no one would realise his previous anxieties.
Dad was also often inspired by art and culture, he was a voracious reader of both poetry and prose, a lover of the theatre and art galleries. He also relied on a whole range of cookery writers for inspiration in his cooking, always happy to discover new writers and adjust his cooking accordingly.
Dad, undoubtedly leaves the world in a better place than it would have been without him, he leaves a glorious legacy behind, his 3 children, 5 grandchildren, the transformation of the field of CBW, generations of colleagues inspired by him and of course the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. He also leaves behind a massive archive of several million documents that we as a family are determined to digitise and make available for future generations of researchers.
Dad, the world will never be the same again without you, but we will always love you. The way you inspired us and countless others will ensure your legacy lives on.
Goodbye Dad, we love you.
Posted by Susan Martin on May 9, 2020
Many of the tributes to Julian mention his gentleness, his kindness and his astounding knowledge and work on CB weapons. All of this was reflected in my interactions with him. My knowledge of CB weapons was shaped by Julian long before I knew him, through his published work. Whenever I set out to research an aspect of chemical weapons, I still find that Julian was there before me, providing useful insights. It wasn’t until I moved to the UK that I had the opportunity to meet Julian and to appreciate him more fully. He was always willing to share his ideas, his knowledge, and his time, and by doing so he sustained the CBW community in the UK. He will be--he is--missed.
Posted by William Wyndham on May 9, 2020
                  
                  Angels (for Julian)

Yes - even in crowds I now spot angels. They never speak,
  Born blind to us. By their benevolence
  I know them. They smile - not friends, and yet I sense
Our need for them, responding to their conscience seek

  Mine own. In wonder at what they see, I look
Around, the more alive for terror. The green I find
Turns brown; blue, grey. There robots replacing mind;
  There weapons, tools; all empty talk, a book.

Abuse of science demeans; inventions make us weak.
  Things made to kill unused shame by presence;
  And Adam in Eden's end the apple took.
Seeing this, not us, blest angel's made for blessing blind.
Posted by Michael Crowley on May 7, 2020
I am very sad indeed to hear of Julian’s recent death. And my condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues.

Like so many other people, I owe a huge debt to Julian. Many, many debts in fact.

I first really came to know Julian personally when I belatedly began researching my PhD on tear gas and incapacitants, as a mature student. Along with my Bradford supervisor, Malcolm Dando, Julian was crucial in shepherding me into this complex and contested area, enthusiastically showing me how to uncover, understand and begin to unravel the often-tangled webs of historical and contemporary State policy, research, development and use of these weapons. He was so generous with his time, his knowledge, and in sharing the unique wealth of primary materials he, Matt Meselson, and everyone at HSP had so painstakingly gathered and saved for the benefit of us all, in their archives. I always very much looked forward to, and now treasure, my treks to SPRU not least because of Julian’s hospitality and our extended “lunches” at the Swan.

But I also want to acknowledge and thank him for his personal gift of encouragement and practical support to a far from confident academic, which meant so much to me. He (along with Malcolm) gave me the self-belief to actually begin to conduct my own research in this area, and the “permission” to keep asking my often naïve questions and to develop my own ideas (although many of them were, quite rightly, met with his famous amused/bemused/confused half smile and a “well Michael you may also wish to look at it this way…”). Julian was such a generous and kind man – he helped open many doors for me (as he did for so many other researchers) during and after my PhD, to State officials, OPCW experts, Pugwash chemical and biological scientists, industry, etc. Basically, without Julian (and Malcolm) I would never have completed my thesis and would not be working on these issues today. Thank you, Julian. I will miss you very much indeed.
Posted by Harriett Wyndham on May 3, 2020
Julian’s sister here. There were just the two of us. I am four years his junior and by the time l was on my feet, devotedly following my brother around, according to our adored Mother. Probably very annoying for Julian and over all these years l’ve lived very much at the edge of his world fretting about his health and much else. Is it the lot of sisters to feel particularly protective of their elder brothers, l wonder? To read of his early years: those l can remember, might this be a distraction from the sadness that he has died and praise for all the encouragement he gave, so that his CBW struggles will be carried on. As children we spent holidays at our Aunt’s farm in North Wales and for awhile he wanted to be a farmer. At his school at the end of a year there’s a photograph of him in front of a cache of prizes he’d won. He was a considerable all rounder. Keen sportsman – have you spotted his broken front tooth – and a dab hand at carpentry, no stranger to classical literature and poetry. His chosen subject though would be moths and butterflies, as many of you all know. You also all have heard of his passion for classic cars. I remember driving with him to Silverstone and never getting further than the car park, while he closely checked out those magnificent beauties. So how did chemistry in particular become his passion? By the time he had gone on to his senior school we moved out of Horsham to a place with space for our parents to put up a Nissen hut. So around his early teens our parents must have seen he needed the space for his chemical experiments. In this wonderful hut Julian had his lab where he constructed elaborate glasswork visions in which things bubbled away. There were swathes of reddish rubber tubing and chiefly those strange smells. I kept a quantity of white mice at my end of the shed and was startled to find them all dead one day. My first thought was how could they die just by air. I was sad but strangely not cross with my brother. Even at that age l was in awe of him. He would make us all stand back while he let off wonderful coloured smoke bombs out in the paddock. We are talking of the fifties here. His progression through school and university was a-glow with success. I typed his dissertation and was astonished that one chemical word could take up a whole line and a half…

Thinking as l do of my dearest brother and while we all wish his life could have gone on longer, it’s helpful, I think, to tell you that he was such an early starter. Most youngsters now carry on with more studies, dissertations and the PhD. Julian left Oxford, didn’t sign up for that five-year Patent Agency course and became a Father. He had written an article for the Science Journal (now morphed into something else) in 1963/4 and the rest you all can read about. Julian was still only in his mid-twenties.

“Ah well, well Fanny…” l can hear him say (that was his nickname for me).




Posted by Henrietta Wilson on May 2, 2020
The fact that I know so many of the people writing here is entirely due to Julian. I worked for him for a couple of years in the mid-1990s. It was an exciting time; the CWC was entering into force, calls to strengthen the BWC were growing, etc. Julian was right in the middle of these processes and more, tracing and understanding developments, and engaging with and informing political decision-making. In amongst this extensive work, people from all around the world would make the journey across the Sussex Downs, up Boiler House Hill, up flights of stairs, to the end of the corridor of the Mantell Building at the University, which at that time housed Julian’s half of the Harvard Sussex Program. They came to consult Julian, and to mine the extensive files of his CBW archives. Academics and other researchers, government officials, journalists, members of the peace movement – the variety and volume of visitors are tributes to Julian’s expansive aspiration to collect, curate and disseminate information, and also to his generosity in sharing his expertise through chatting with visitors and commenting on drafts of their work.

Despite the reverence and respect that these people gave him, he was extremely modest – almost shy – about his achievements and reputation. I remember that he was sent an invitation to the ceremony awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the Pugwash Conferences in 1995, no doubt because of his work through the Pugwash CBW Study Group. Julian didn’t attend the ceremony; he was too busy finishing an edition of the CBW Events Bulletin. I know several researchers who are strongly, if not solely, motivated by the thought of possible public honours and glory, and it is striking that while in this case the honours had been rightfully earned, they didn’t particularly interest him.

Like everyone else here, I will miss him, and feel badly about his premature death brought on by the global pandemic. Sending all love to Mary and his sons.
Posted by Kai Ilchmann on May 2, 2020
I am deeply saddened by Julian’s passing. He was outstandingly generous with his time, hours discussing my dissertation, meticulously exploring the etymology of curiously chosen terms. He never gave me a quick answer, as much as I wanted it. Rather, he would place the question into context, reframe it into a sensible question, address all angles, and highlight the policy relevance. I was incredibly fortunate to have worked with him, learned from him, and to have become part of his team. His door was always open; the walk to, the time at, and the walk back from the pub was always a delight.

I owe a great debt to him, like many others, that can only be repaid by endeavouring to strengthen the norms against CBW, to identify more than the most common butterflies, to make a better fish pie, and to avoid long rambling sentences. He was the quintessential scholar gentleman, sharp, incisive, humble, but also mischievous, and really, really suave. I will, as many others, profoundly miss him.
Posted by Terrance Long on May 1, 2020
We are all profoundly sad at the International Dialogues on Underwater Munitions (IDUM) with the pasting of Julian. He was a friend and colleague who will be missed by everyone at IDUM. We spoke on occasions about the impacts from sea dumped weapons and how to move forward for change. He was a Champion on issues related to Chemical and Biological Weapons and wrote many publications on the topics. Our thoughts and prayers are with Julian and his family. He will be missed and never forgotten. 
Posted by Forrest Frank on April 30, 2020
I just learned of Julian's passing this evening while trying to track down more information regarding allegations of Chinese laboratory error or manipulation of the coronavirus. Having worked with Julian in the early 1970s, I knew if there was anyone with a clear understanding of what could have happened to result in this pandemic, it would he. He was a great friend, tutor, mentor, and intellectual leader. He was a hell of a good guy, too. We are all diminished by his passing.
Posted by Neil Davison on April 30, 2020
I’m sad to hear of Julian’s death. He was a great mentor to many of us working in arms control, myself included. I found him to be a generous man – a great listener and supporter of younger voices with a wonderful sense of humour, not to mention an encyclopaedic knowledge matched only by his modesty in deploying it. When I was starting out he shared with me his infamous, then unpublished, ‘chronology’ (if you know, you know) to help me along the way. It was with great pleasure some ten years later that I watched him – at an ICRC-convened meeting overlooking Lake Geneva – use this same research to demolish myth with simple fact. (Although he would surely never have described it – or even seen it – like that, given his utmost respect for nuance). Julian’s brilliantly understated, and mildly mischievous, style could not have been more fitting on that occasion (or many others). I’ll miss our rare and warm chats – over a cup of tea in the margins of a meeting or a pint afterwards – about niches within niches of disarmament and beyond.

My sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
Posted by Filippa Lentzos on April 30, 2020
Posted on behalf of Lorraine Bowsher:
As a child, I remember visiting Julian's home in Sussex one sunny day in the 1950s. In the garden there was a shed and in the shed was Julian with what I was told was a 'chemistry set'. Suddenly there was a loud bang. Everyone seemed to take it in their stride but it has remained with me to this day.
Much later, as an 'A' level student in Oxford in the early 1960s, I accompanied the undergraduate Julian on a few memorable outings in his Morgan. Although he never displayed his knowledge in a showy way, I think now that I knew myself to be in the presence of someone who was going to go far.
On a visit to stay with Julian's sister, Harriett, in Lewes some years ago, we went for a meal at Julian's home in Brighton and I saw the playful, relaxed, humorous side of his nature. He has been described as gentle and modest - rare qualities - and that is exactly how I remember him.
Posted by Stefan Mogl on April 30, 2020
When I started as a junior inspector for the OPCW, his CBW bulletins were my preferred source of information. He was a true expert and lifelong supporter of CBW disarmament. Our paths crossed during the Swiss initiative on Incapacitating Chemical Agents. It was an honour to have known and met Julian. My condolences go out to his family and close friends.
Stefan Mogl, Deputy Director Spiez Laboratory
Posted by Antonia Soulez on April 30, 2020
Julian est une personnalité que j'ai toujours appréciée lors de nos rencontres dans le midi de la France ou à Paris. Présence toute en délicatesse, il s'associe pour moi à de joyeuses rencontres l'été mais aussi à des échanges intellectuels de haute tenue dans un climat chaleureux et spirituel.
C'est donc une grande perte que cette disparition. Il manquera parmi nous, mais y restera aussi toujours en pensée.
J'exprime mes condoléances émues à Mary et à sa famille.
Antonia Soulez
Prof. Emerite de philosophie, Paris
Posted by Filippa Lentzos on April 29, 2020
Posted on behalf of Patrick Lamb, Cabinet Office:
I got to know Julian - initially as a wily academic adversary - when I became Head of the CBW Section in FCO from 1997 onwards. These were in retrospect great and optimistic days. There was nevertheless a lot of polite but serious sparring over RCAs and even the unmentionable FGAs. Indeed, and to my shame , I once summoned Julian in to the Foreign Office for a formal dressing down on the latter subject - flanked by MOD and someone who shall remain anonymous. I wondered even then, judging by the mischievous smile that never left his face, whether he took this quite as seriously as we did and who exactly was right. I tend now to think he was! I was however forgiven and subsequently met him on numerous occasions at Wilton Park and at Sussex. There is now for me a real poignancy about my last visit there and the pub meal we enjoyed together. I used to joke in Whitehall about the 'CBW Community' but there is such a thing and Julian was unquestionably its intellectual and moral leader. He will be greatly missed. I should like to extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends on their loss.
Posted by Kathleen Vogel on April 29, 2020
I was so sorry to hear about Julian's passing. I remember meeting him a few years ago, for the first time, at a BW workshop organized by Brian Balmer. I remember being excited to finally meet Julian after so many years of reading his work. He was so kind and gracious to me during that meeting. I wish I could have had the time to visit Sussex and meet him among his famous archive! The BW community has lost a great figure---he will be missed. I send my condolences to his family.
Posted by Katie Smallwood on April 28, 2020
Julian's knowledge was so impressive that during my more vulnerable dissertation-writing moments, I suspected he found me rather frivolous. What was I doing treating his lifetimes’ work in a way he probably found both endearing and trivial. Even if the case, gentle as he was, he would never let on, save the odd expression he would let slip (somewhere between amusement and bemusement) that I was never quite sure how to read. It would sometimes reappear on hearing news from old colleagues or acquaintances, and I would wonder at what he really thought of us all! In reality, of course, Julian was a huge supporter of his students (“yours is a dissertation that must not hide its light under a bushel” he once wrote to me) and he was a constant source of encouragement.

Many have spoken of Julian’s generosity - this cannot be understated. Julian opened all doors and did so without hesitation or sense of propriety. Being associated with Julian instantly gave me kudos as a researcher and I shamelessly deployed this tactic to my advantage – his reach extended to everyone involved in CBW: government hacks, academics, military men, grass-roots activists, journalists, people on the funny side &c. He was respected and admired by all.

I last saw Julian on a visit to HSP just over a year ago, having recently returned from stints in the middle-east and after I (for the first time) had seen firsthand the horrors of chemical weapons during their grotesque recent use in Syria and in Iraq. I had grand ideas to go back to put down on paper some of what had transpired between 2013-2018 – instead, Julian shared his own latest work. I will get back to my own pen and paper eventually, and Julian’s work will continue to provoke, stimulate and drive me to do better in my own.
Posted by Paul Walker on April 28, 2020
I am very saddened to hear of the passing of Julian Perry Robinson. I knew Julian since the early 1980s, likely through the Pugwash CBW working group and other European discussions on implementation of both the BWC and eventually the CWC. I always admired Julian's encyclopedic knowledge of CBW and have always utililzed the Harvard-Sussex publications, produced by Julian and Matt Meselson, a colleague from Harvard, as a basic resource. I also remember his very friendly and supportive demeanor. His long support for abolition of chemical and biological weapons, and the historic establishment of the BWC and CWC, have changed the course of arms control and disarmament history in the late 20th century. His memory and work will no doubt live on with many of us who were students, colleagues, and friends of his in the long struggle to build a more secure, safe, sustainable, and peaceful world. My deep condolences to Mary and his family.
Posted by Tony Phillips on April 28, 2020
When I retired from HMG in 2003 Julian welcomed me as a Visiting Fellow at SPRU, and over the next few years I came to realise that I had been handed a work relationship with a lovely new colleague. We found ourselves fronting the UK end of a EU project that went on for several years. During that he gave me many lessons in how to 'think outside the box' and gently pull back a train of logic from the brink, as the world (and the EU) learned to move on from Cold War CB thinking. Spending a couple of days at SPRU was always a joy. To be at the same time such a source of knowledge in the CB arms control field and such a nice person must have inspired many of us who had the privilege to know him . 
Posted by Jez Littlewood on April 28, 2020
Julian invited me to my first CBW Pugwash meeting in the Fall of 1998 while I was working on the BWC Protocol and my PhD. He served as my external examiner in 2001 and was unfailingly helpful and a master of critical enquiry, balancing a robust probing of ideas and evidence with assistance on how to improve understanding. Alongside many others who emerged in the 1990s and early 2000s in the BW field I gained enormously from his patience, knowledge, kindness, and willingness to take time to discuss issues. His memory and work will outlive him, but his loss will be keenly felt as the ability to "ask Julian" is no longer available. My condolences to Mary and his family, friends, and many, many colleagues.
Posted by Bob Mikulak on April 27, 2020
It's been many years - several decades - since I first met Julian at a Pugwash CBW meeting. And since then we've crossed paths many times, although infrequently in the last few years, as we've pursued complementary routes toward chemical and biological weapons disarmament. It has been a great privilege to have known him. His deep commitment to the goal of eliminating the threat from chemical and biological weapons has helped inspire me and many others. On a personal basis I'll remember Julian's friendly and generous personality and impish smile. And on a professional basis I will never forget his extraordinary capacity for collecting, organizing and analyzing information about chemical and biological weapons. I often learned more from his research using unclassified sources than from the highly classified analyses to which I had access.  His dedicated efforts will live on, not only in his scholarly publications and in the memories of his friends and colleagues, but also in the legacy of numerous students who have become important contributors to the cause of peace and security in their own right.

Bob Mikulak
Posted by Pamela Mills Allen on April 27, 2020
Nearly 20 years ago, a very young, newly appointed HSP Researcher made her first trip to Sussex. Julian's welcome to the HSP family -- with a trip to the Swan Pub, of course -- and to the wider CBW community could not have been warmer. His knowledge was unsurpassed and his enthusiasm for the subject contagious. My condolences go out to his family and to every one of us whose lives he touched.
Posted by Reid Kirby on April 27, 2020
My condolences to his family for their loss. It is difficult to imagine scholarship on CBW without Julian. He was a constant in a celestial body of shooting stars. I had started exchanging emails with Julian around 2000, and in 2006 he invited me to submit a history article to the CBW Conventions Bulletin. Though we had only met three times, we maintained connection on our shared passion for the technical history of CBW.

It was the Cold War writings of Julian and Matt that inspired me to study CBW in the first place. I first met Julian in March 2006 on visiting HSP Sussex. He met me at the Brighton train station on arrival and did everything to make me feel welcomed to HSP. He was engaging, approachable, and generous. Having only had a week to visit, a grossly inadequate span of time, Julian lent me his badge to SPRU to work over the weekend – something that was very much against the rules.

It was my visit to HSP Sussex and dialogue with Julian that was the turning point in my scholarship and conversion in beliefs. He posited two salient ideas: 1) there is a difference between defense and security, and 2) proponents eventually become opponents once they work out the details. To me, the most important contribution of Julian’s Arms Control was as the “frontline” of national security through disestablishing CBW as a military norm. Few people have had that sort of influence on history.

Even though we exchanged emails into last year, I regret that I had only met Julian in-person twice more while stopping through London from India. I, like everyone that had known him, will miss his voice.
Posted by Scott Spence on April 27, 2020
Julian, you will be dearly missed. I fondly remember my first trip to Brighton and SPRU as a new HSP Researcher on loan to the OPCW, starting with the ride with you from the train station to my B&B. You asked me if I knew what the General Purpose Criterion was - my blank face said it all. But you patiently, kindly, and with a great sense of humour (and pints at the nearby pub with Caitriona, Daniel, Caroline and Nick) folded me into the CBW community for which I am forever grateful. It was always a treat to see your great mind at work at the Pugwash CBW workshops in Geneva and Wassenaar and through the red ink on drafts of the CBW Conventions Bulletin.

Peter and I fondly remember the Christmas week dinner with your lovely family where we learned to properly pull a Christmas cracker. Our hearts go out to Mary and your boys who have lost a special, gentle man in their lives, and ours. 
Posted by Monalisa Joshi on April 27, 2020
I am so sad and shocked on hearing the news of Prof Robinson’s demise. I had the good fortune of meeting him and learning so much about living a life with example. In a way meeting him was like meeting a personality with Midas touch.
In fact, words fall short while describing his magnanimity, humility and knowledge of the subject. Deeply missed.
Posted by Thomas Stock on April 27, 2020
Very saddened to hear about Julian's sudden death. I have known Julian since the mid-1980s from Pugwash meetings as well other CW arms control related activities. During my SIPRI years he was always a trustable partner for debating. With his enormous collection of CBW related reference materials, articles and books as well his unbelievable knowledge of historical aspects and actual ones on CBW arms control, I have learnt a lot from him. He was a fantastic listener. In discussion he always asked questions in order clarify or to sharpen analysis in CBW related aspects. Julian combined both: honesty and integrity in his work.
His departure will leave a remarkable gap. My deepest sympathy to his family and beloved ones. We all will miss him.

Posted by Patricia Lewis on April 26, 2020
I am so sorry to hear that Julian has died. He was simply wonderful. He was kind and supportive and I would have known nothing about CBW if he hadn't encouraged me to participate in the CBW working group led by Elizabeth Sigmund (RIP) with several other lovely people who are writing tributes to Julian on this page. His contribution to the field was extraordinary. He will be sorely missed by us all.
Posted by Alastair Hay on April 26, 2020
Julian and I first met some 40 years ago. We met, along with a few other scientists, to discuss how to press the case for a ban on chemical weapons. What emerged from our early meetings was a co-authored pamphlet and a petition calling on scientists not to participate in research which would either lead to , or improve chemical weapons. Many thousands signed the petition, and discussions on how to use the support began what was to become a career-long friendship with Julian. He was always my “ go-to “ for background information and guidance in our early years of campaigning for a chemical weapons treaty. His archive of literature on these weapons was unrivalled in NGO circles and he was generous to a fault in sharing material with me. No request was too much for him.

But even more valuable for me was Julian’s take on a topic and suggestions on how to approach an issue. His mind was encyclopaedic and guidance faultless, and he could see tripwires that we’re invisible to me, and others too. Discussions with Julian were always a delight for they tapped into his formidable knowledge of the field and brought out his lovely, often mischievous, dry sense of humour. In my head Julian was sort of immortal, always there to help, and his death from this wretched virus is such a blow. I hope he knew how much we valued , and loved him, and how honoured we were to have his company.
Posted by RALF TRAPP on April 26, 2020
I have known Julian since the early 1980s, from Pugwash meetings and my years at SIPRI whilst he was leading the institute’s CBW arms control programme. Being non-resident meant that he and his collection of reference materials, articles and books - built up over many years - resided at his flat in Sussex; hence my need for the occasional trip to the UK. This meant that I could benefit from his phenomenal knowledge of all things chemical warfare and CW arms control, but even more so that I could experience his (and Mary’s) friendship and hospitality.
Julian had a deep curiosity for, and knowledge of, the history and politics that drive decision-making about the use of poison and disease as weapons as well as the norm against such types of warfare. This he combined with honesty and integrity in his analysis, an ability to ask pertinent questions, and the capacity to listen. His departure will leave a painful gap, both professionally and personally. My heart goes out to Mary and the boys.
We will miss him.
Posted by Kathryn Nixdorff on April 26, 2020
I had the great privilege of being able to come together with Julian during workshops of the Pugwash Chemical and Biological Weapons Study Group as well as at other CBW events over the years. As a natural scientist struggling to learn the ropes of biological and chemical biosecurity issues, Julian was always kind enough to engage with me and help me along. I always very much appreciated and greatly profited from those encounters.
Posted by William Walker on April 26, 2020
Working alongside Julian was one of the privileges and pleasures of my two decades in SPRU. Sadly, I saw him little after leaving Sussex in the mid-90s, CBW not being my field. But he remained a hero of sorts - the kindest, gentlest and most modest of men, a marvellously dogged, old-fashioned yet skilful researcher, an example to all on how to gain influence. He had a tremendous command of detail and became the great historian of CBW, a wise expert and friendly guide to anyone anywhere seeking advice on curbing these dreadful weapons. In later years I looked forward so much to seeing him when the occasion arose, he was such delightful company. We usually ended up discussing butterflies, about which he was my first and best teacher.
Posted by Simon Whitby on April 25, 2020
I’ve preserved Julian’s External Examiner Viva copy of my PhD on anti-crop BW crammed with his sticky labels in the top, bottom and sides with queries, questions and clarifications. In spite of his slightly windswept belated arrival at the venue in London, once the Viva got underway, Julian went through the whole thing carefully, systematically and with characteristic attention to detail. He spent ages going through the thesis in preparation for its publication as a book; and, both benefited hugely from his extensive archive, from his supreme knowledge of the subject matter, and from his generosity of spirit. During one of our annual pilgrimages from Bradford to HSP, Malcolm Dando and I filmed Julian for posting on the internet and you can see his brilliant insights into the CWC and BWC at www.opbw.org. I remember trips to the pub in Falmer in his old sports car. Happy memories. He was such an inspiration to so many. It was a great privilege to have met him.
Posted by Christopher Hill on April 25, 2020
I got to know and deeply appreciate Julian through his involvement with Pugwash, and his work with British Pugwash in particular. As a Covid-19 survivor myself I feel a very personal sympathy for his family.
Kit Hill
Posted by Stephen Pullinger on April 25, 2020
I first met Julian at Sussex University when I went to work at ADIU in 1985. He was always my first reference point when pursuing advocacy on chemical weapons arms control in the 1980s and ‘90s. While being a master of detail, Julian also recognised the importance of communicating complex issues in a way that politicians and journalists could grasp and use to effect. He was the humblest expert with whom I ever dealt. Just beneath the surface was always a great sense of mischief, often revealed over a pint of Harvey’s, He once sat on an interview panel with me as an applicant - for a post we all knew I wouldn’t be offered. He opened with “So, Stephen, how long have you been working on biological weapons”, to which I replied “Julian, with respect, I’ve never actually worked ON biological weapons”. I still can’t be sure he wasn’t trying to prompt such an answer, which of course broke the ice and made us all feel more comfortable. Fond memories of a wonderful human being.   




Posted by Malcolm Dando on April 25, 2020
Like many other people I have gained a great deal from Julian's generosity with his time and expertise, but what I remember most about him is how much we enjoyed his company - in discussions over coffee in the Mantell Building in the 1970s through to beer in his favourite pub near the Sussex campus and around the world in various meetings. He was always great fun and my wife and I will miss him enormously.
Posted by Steven Rose on April 24, 2020
Although I knew Julian had been in ill health for some time, I am shocked and saddened by the news.

Though never intimate, we share a generational identity - we back a long way together

We first met around 1965 when I was organising the London CBW conference at the height of the Vietnam war. Julian’s contribution was a masterly summary of the then available knowledge on CW both at the conference and then as a superb BBC radio essay called I think ‘They make a desolation and call it peace’ delivered in his characteristic calm and authoritative tone.(I think I gave him the tape of it, and there’s a transcript in the files). Of course, we met many times at conferences and committees in the subsequent half century plus, but it is that first meeting that sticks most in my mind.

What was remarkable about Julian – close to unique in my experience - was not merely his vast expertise but his ability to move almost seamlessly between governmental and international official and establishment settings and the antiwar and radical science activists, and to secure the trust of each.

He will be much missed.

Keep well, all who receive this message, stay strong

Posted by Jeffrey Boutwell on April 24, 2020
I posted a photo of Julian and Matt Meselson (sorry, can't remember who the third individual is) from the Pugwash CBW workshop in Geneva in November 2003.  When I think of Julian, I think of Matt, and vice-versa. There are few others in the history of Pugwash who have done so much to promote science in the service of peace. 
Posted by Dominique Loye on April 24, 2020
Very saddened to hear about Julian's sudden death. As many others I had the immense privilege to benefit from his extensive and unique knowledge and expertise related to biological, chemical weapons and disarmament. As a non-native English speaker I always enjoyed his beautiful academic English!
My deepest sympathy to his family and beloved ones.
Posted by Alessandro Pascolini on April 24, 2020
I first met Julian in 1970 at the ISODARCO course in Duino, where he was the youngest lecturer. There I enjoyed his brilliant lecture and his friendly company. All the times we met at Pugwash meetings it was always a lively occasion to learn from his knowlegdeable contributions on chemical and biological weapons and disarmament. Every time I asked him about these subject he was so kind to share his time and expertise to help.
A great scholar and a great man we sadly mourn.
Posted by John Walker on April 24, 2020
There cannot be anyone working on CBW history, arms control and disarmament who has not benefited enormously at some point in their careers from Julian’s very great expertise, knowledge and generosity of spirit. Julian was an exemplary and diligent scholar and as such a great example and role model for us all to aspire to. He was modest about his considerable achievements and shunned the limelight and honours – softly spoken and every ready to listen to what others had to say. I think he was more influential than he ever knew as his impact on young academics, government officials and NGOs over fifty years was immense. Julian was such good company. We had many a long chat on CB matters over the years of my time at the FCO – he came to our meetings with a list of topics written in red ink to address and we went through these one by one over a pint or two at one of Whitehall’s many hostelries. We will all miss him. They never die who live in the hearts they leave behind.

John R.Walker
Posted by Penny Milsom on April 24, 2020
We were so sorry to hear about Julian's death. He was my brother in law and a lovely man who was always welcoming when we came to his home in Brighton. He was a wonderful cook and we have had some lovely meals with him. I will never forget his interest and knowledge in butterflies. Whenever I see a butterfly I am reminded of him pointing them out and identifying them . I will also never forget his lovely smile. We will all miss him immensely.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by William Sigmund on June 14, 2020
I have just learned that Julian has died. He was a kind, gentle and lovely man. My wife Elizabeth and I came to know Julian during the 1970s, after she started what was then called a 'grass-roots' campaign to raise awareness about the UK's involvement with CBW. He gave so much encouragement to Elizabeth during those early years, and later enthusiastically agreed to join her informal working party on CBW together with Alastair Hay, Patricia Lewis, Andrew Herxheimer, Rob Evans, Richard Guthrie and others. He was a wonderful support during the following years and spoke (slightly reluctantly) at meetings we arranged. He remained a great friend until Elizabeth died in 2017. He visited our house in Cornwall where we talked about his love of food and cooking, cats and old cars and butterflies. I remember our visit to the open day at CBDE Porton Down where, bouncing around in the back of a Landrover on a tour around the estate, Julian was more excited to talk about the unique butterfly population there than anything else that day. During the final few years Elizabeth and he had many lovely, warm telephone conversations, sometimes sharing the trials of the gentle decline into decrepitude. He was a wonderful, exceptional man.
Posted by Robert Lovsin on June 9, 2020
Catherine and I were shocked and deeply saddened to have learned of Julian’s passing. While Julian's work in the CBW world is well-known and highly-respected, it was his decency, humility and kindness that we remember so fondly. We have many pleasant memories of our time at Sussex and Julian was central to all of them. He was one of the most important and influential figures in our lives for years and to say that he will be missed is an understatement. Both Catherine and myself moved away from the CBW field a number of years ago and on to different ventures. We were in contact with Julian late last year, Christmas Eve in fact, about attending the annual HSP Christmas/New Years party they were planning. He was excited to hear from us and was looking forward to catching up, as were we. It is upsetting to realise that we will no longer have the chance. We cannot imagine how difficult this has been for the family and we extend our sincerest condolences.

Posted by Mary Kaldor on June 5, 2020
This is a speech given by George Papandreou, the former Prime Minster of Greece, to members of the Symi symposium, an annual political gathering, which Julian and I have attended every year.
Dear Symi family,
>
> Dear Mary, dear Oli, dear Josh,
>
> So many of us have wanted to be with you, together, by your side, in these trying moments. 
> Yet this pandemic has kept us apart, at a distance.
> Even more painfully this pandemic has taken the life of our dear friend, your beloved father and husband, Julian.
>
> In the strangest of times, our family lost a very special human being. If we were with you now we would all give you the biggest and warmest of hugs.
> But today, from a distance we can only express our pain, our grief through our words. 
> Yet we are together.
> Sharing this moment together.
> As we have shared so many moments before, with Julian amongst us.
>
> We have all wished to honor his life and his legacy.
> To attempt, in these virtual moments, to capture the essence of who Julian has been, what he has stood for, his remarkable achievements, yet never forgetting his soft smile and quiet composure ever-present in our wider family of friends.
>
> Julian Perry Robinson.
> Born in Jerusalem in 1941.
> The year that Hitler began Operation Barbarossa - the invasion of Russia.
> The year where the Blitz targeted Britain's major cities.
> When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the US entered the War.
>
> Julian Perry Robinson, left us, in 2020, just as the world was hit - paralyzed by the worst catastrophe since the second World War, the pandemic of COVID 19.
>
> Julian’s life was associated with big moments of history.
> But in many ways he was also a prometheus, one with forethought, of what is to come.
>
> He devoted his life work to protect humanity from the destruction that could be wrought by biological and chemical weapons.
>
> As key advisor to the WHO his report was a strong voice for the strengthening of disease surveillance in public health as well as highlighting the need for a robust global health system.
>
> Yet in an irony suited only for greek tragedies he was one of the many victims of this malicious virus.
>
>
> I must make a confession.
> I've been both deeply impressed and moved by Julian's achievements, commitment and struggle to better humanity.
> Yet his soft-mannered presence at our gatherings gave me no clue as to his remarkable work.
>
> Today, as he has left us, he emerges as a role model, one of an anti-hero, in the academic world.
>
> Key for the negotiations on the Biological Weapons Convention and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.
>
> His colleagues in SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) stated that he had ‘an unparalleled influence in the shaping and implementation of the international conventions that have helped prevent chemical and biological warfare from breaking out during our lifetime'.
>
>
> He wrote a master piece, a six volume study on 'The Problem of Chemical and Biological Warfare'.
>
> And he first warned of the creeping use of chemical weapons by military establishments as well as in the conflicts experienced in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Africa and recently in Syria.
>
> Aristotle might have concluded that he had the three elements of the best of politics:
> Scientific knowledge on the one hand,
> a rational yet wise approach to enforcing the implementation of international law, as in a famous incident of the "yellow rain" as he was able to diffuse a conflict between US and Soviet Union,
> but also emotion, pathos, a courage in expressing his indignation and sense of injustice, as he pushed for dialogue and international cooperation.
>
> I can see how, in his fight for the common good, so many similar values and practices bonded him with Mary, his life companion.
>
> He was considered for a Nobel Prize in 2013 but he suggested it would be better to give this Award to the 'Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons'.
> A rare example of selflessness, avoiding the hubris of those caught up in their narcism or sense of genius.
> What a contrast to so many who today like to call themselves leaders in this world.
>
> We of course, our Symi family recognized this humility.
> Always wanting to listen to others.
> I remember his sense of humor, his pertinent observations, his empathy.
>
> I regret we did not hear more of his voice, not only on the all-important subject of warfare but also of his special hobbies, such as classic sports cars, English pubs and cooking.
>
> I myself, I am sure all of us, have had time to reflect during the time of this pandemic.
> The small things in daily life, the deep friendships, the simple things we often overlook, took on more beauty and more meaning in my life.
>
> Lives so fleeting in the eons of time.
>
> Somehow, thinking back at our shared moments with Julian, it seems he knew these meanings, and this, long before the pandemic took him away - from us all.
>
>
>


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