Sir John Boyd Orr

Sir John Boyd Orr

Scottish scientist and authority on nutrition, winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1949.
Boyd-Orr was educated at the University of Glasgow, where he enrolled as a theological student before turning to the study of nutrition. In 1914 he became director of the Institute of Animal Nutrition at the University of Aberdeen and in 1929 founded the Imperial Bureau of Animal Nutrition there.

Boyd-Orr first gained fame with the publication of Food, Health and Income (1936), a report of a dietary survey by income groups made during 1935 that showed that the cost of a diet fulfilling basic nutritional requirements was beyond the means of half the British population and that 10 percent of the population was undernourished. This and other reports conducted by the Rowett Research Institute (formerly Institute of Animal Nutrition) formed the basis of the British food-rationing system during World War II.

During the war, Boyd-Orr was a member of the Cabinet's scientific committee on food policy and held the chair of agriculture at Aberdeen University. In 1945 he became rector of the University of Glasgow, a member of Parliament for the Scottish universities, and director general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, serving in the latter until 1948. Boyd-Orr was awarded the Nobel Prize for his efforts to eliminate world hunger. Knighted in 1935, he received a barony in 1949.

Boyd-Orr's writings include The National Food Supply and Its Influence on Public Health (1934), Food and the People (1943), Food--the Foundation of World Unity (1948), The White Man's Dilemma (1953), and As I Recall (1966).

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