Nonmilitary Defense: Chemical and Biological Defenses in Perspective

Nonmilitary Defense: Chemical and Biological Defenses in Perspective

Nonmilitary Defense: Chemical and Biological Defenses in Perspective

Nonmilitary Defense: Chemical and Biological Defenses in Perspective

Excerpt

The entire purpose of this symposium is to inform--to inform the ACS membership, to inform the Society, to inform the public of the twin threats of chemical and biological warfare.

This symposium represents the culmination of nearly three years of work. It was made possible by the active cooperation of the Division of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, of which Otto H. York is chairman and Brage Golding is secretary.

The committee which organized the symposium came into existence in an era when civil defense activities were directed by the Federal Civil Defense Administration, which we found to be almost entirely concerned with the threat of nuclear weapons. In fact, the former FCDA considered the threat of biological and chemical warfare agents as "minor." This was still true in September 1958. It was then that the committee firmly decided that it had a very great professional responsibility to inform the ACS Board of Directors and the membership of the twin threats of BW and CW.

Much has transpired since September 1958. The reports of the committee and its thinking will be found in its summary report which appeared in the October 19, 1959, issue of Chemical and Engineering News.

Objectives of Syposium

This symposium is a determined effort to bring to the membership and to the public the real seriousness of the threat of the possible use of BW and CW agents against citizens.

It gives something like a total picture of the relative threats of chemical, biological, and radiological warfare agents as they might be used against the civilian population of this country. To our knowledge, this has never been done before; certainly not publicly nor on the scale we now propose. Our purpose in presenting a comprehensive picture is not to frighten or depress. Rather, we want everyone to take hope and courage by understanding that intelligent, calm, rational action now can provide positive defenses for every man, woman, and child in the event of a CBR attack against our citizens. That is our second and major objective in sponsoring the symposium: the detailing of these positive defenses which everyone can have if we demand them of ourselves. We think the creation of such defenses, moreover, will provide major deterrents against the use of CBR weapons.

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