A prominent university building and West End landmark is named in his honour.
Now a blue plaque has been unveiled in tribute to Scottish scientist John Boyd Orr.
The ceremony took place amid a gathering of current scientists and researchers on Thursday afternoon (May 25).
They reflected on the groundbreaking work the Ayrshire-born pioneer made in the fields of nutrition and human health.
His experience of poverty and destitution was gathered first-hand during an early teaching career in Glasgow’s slums.
After studying medicine and biology at the University of Glasgow, he went onto become a nutritional physiologist.
Boyd Orr was born in Kilmaurs in 1880 and died in 1971 after retiring to farm in the Grampians.
Having survived the Battle of the Somme and Passchendaele in the First World War, he went on to find the link between poverty, poor diet and ill health.
His idea that improved diet and therefore health could end the need for war won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1949.
He was instrumental in devising Britain's rationing plan after the Second World War.
The plaque was unveiled by Professor Godfrey Smith, Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology, Director of Innovation, Engagement and Enterprise at The University of Glasgow.
He was the first scientist to find the link between poverty, poor diet and ill-health and his legacy on nutrition has transformed our understanding of the relationship between diet and health.
Professor David Attwell
The ceremony was hosted by The Physiological Society.
Professor David Attwell, President of the Physiological Society, said: “We are honoured to be in Glasgow to unveil this plaque to remember John Boyd Orr.
“He was the first scientist to find the link between poverty, poor diet and ill-health and his legacy on nutrition has transformed our understanding of the relationship between diet and health.
“The Physiological Society’s Blue Plaque scheme raises the visibility of physiology and gives the wider public an insight into the positive role that ‘the science of life’ plays in their everyday lives.
“We hope that these plaques will spark curiosity and help inspire new generations to get involved in the physiological sciences.”
Professor Godfrey Smith, Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology, School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health, University of Glasgow, said: “I’m delighted to honour one of the University of Glasgow’s most distinguished alumni, John Boyd Orr, who made vital links between human physiology and nutrition and laid important groundwork for improving human health.”
The university’s website has a fascinating biography detailing a man of many parts.
It includes a passage that Boyd Orr wrote, in which he says: “We must conquer hunger and want, because hunger and want in the midst of plenty are a fatal flaw and a blot on our civilisation.
“They are one of the fundamental causes of war.
“But it is no use trying to build the new world from the top down … we have to build it from the bottom upwards, and provide first the primary necessities of life for the people who have never had them, and build from the slums of this country upwards.”
The Physiological Society is a professional body dedicated to promoting the study of physiology.
The blue plaque will serve as an “enduring symbol of (Boyd Orr’s) profound impact on science and society at large”, according to the Society.