Art Robinson’s Contributions to National Defense

Art Robinson has not served in the U.S. military, but, as a scientist, he has worked effectively for the defense of our nation.

During the Cold War with the Soviet Union, Art built a U.S. coalition of 8,000 volunteers, nuclear defense scientists and engineers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S congressmen and senators, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Republican Party officials working to protect Americans from nuclear weapons. Art also worked in support of strategic nuclear defense.

Art personally wrote the nuclear civil defense plank for the national Republican Party platform which was passed unanimously at the Republican Convention in New Orleans in 1988.

Known as “Fighting Chance,” this effort by Art and his wife Laurelee and their colleagues built educational equipment for FEMA, developed better nuclear defense procedures, and published books and materials that were widely distributed, including by FEMA, to all emergency responders throughout the U.S. and to the general public.

Additionally, during the First Iraqi Gulf War, Art and his colleagues worked effectively in support of American soldiers, in recognition of which Art received an award from the American Legion.

Strategic nuclear deterrence has made nuclear war much less likely, but Americans today still live under a very serious threat from terrorist use of a nuclear weapon. One such event in an American city could kill more than 1 million Americans. Simple and inexpensive civilian defense procedures, as advocated by President Kennedy and by nuclear scientists and engineers including Art would prevent about two-thirds of those deaths in such a terrorist incident.

To protect Oregonians from technological threats, it is important to have in the Oregon State Legislature scientists and engineers who understand such threats and the technological means to mitigate them.

Photo caption: Art and his family, after his wife Laurelee’s death, continuing their nuclear defense work in a meeting with Senator Steve Symms in 1989. (The sweaters were gifts from some of their colleagues.)

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