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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 62 (1993)


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Suggested Citation:"PEACE, ARMS CONTROL, AND SOME POLITICS." National Academy of Sciences. 1993. Biographical Memoirs: Volume 62. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2201.
Page 337

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RICHARD BROOKE ROBERTS 337 appropriate to say that the proximity fuze made a difference in the survival of England by protection against German aircraft and V1 bomb attack. It was also a factor in turning the Battle of the Bulge, as well as in much naval activity. PEACE, ARMS CONTROL, AND SOME POLITICS This section is not sequential in time but attempts to encapsulate what was a main force in Dick's life. Many scientists, realizing what a disaster modern warfare could become and somewhat guilty over their part in the creation of the weapons, have attempted to forestall the disaster and improve the chances for disarmament. It is fair to say that Dick met with some success (much more than most of us), through writings, his military contacts, and his role in a science advisory group for the Democratic Party (the Science and Technology Committee of the Democratic Advisory Council). The committee initiated something called the National Peace Agency, which ultimately evolved into the Arms Control Agency, in which Dick played a role in its early days (1963). From AB: For a year previous to this time there had been a voluntary unilateral ban on testing while the negotiations were in progress. Then I heard one day from friends in the Pentagon that Eisenhower had decided to resume the tests and had given orders for the preparations to begin. This seemed a bad step backwards to me so I called all the members and received unanimous agreement that we should issue a quick statement. This was prepared—I think by the Washington group of McClure, Lapp and me—and then I took it to the Council which was meeting in New York. It was approved and issued by the Council as one of the main items from their meeting. I don't remember the exact words but it was to the effect that resumption of testing at that time would be terrible. Evidently this unexpected blast shook Eisenhower because he countermanded the order to resume testing. This was very satisfying as I felt (and still do feel) that my efforts in

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Biographic Memoirs: Volume 62 contains the biographies of deceased members of the National Academy of Sciences and bibliographies of their published works. Each biographical essay was written by a member of the Academy familiar with the professional career of the deceased. For historical and bibliographical purposes, these volumes are worth returning to time and again.

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