Joyce Beare-Rogers, D.Sc., May 29, 1985
Joyce Louis Beare-Rogers
B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

I have the honour to present Joyce Louise Beare-Rogers, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy, a dedicated and distinguished scientist and a model to anyone who is considering, or who has already embarked on, a career in research and scholarship.

Joyce Beare-Rogers was born at Markham, Ontario. She took her elementary education at Cedar Grove Public School, a one room country school near Markham, and her secondary schooling at Markham High School. Following high school she enrolled at the University of Toronto where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Science and a Master of Arts in Nutrition. It was during the two years as a candidate for a Master's degree in the Department of Nutrition that she came under the influence of Earle Willard McHenry, the internationally renowned nutritional scientist. The two years were to have a profound effect on her growth, development and career as a scientist.

Dr. Beare-Rogers began her career as an instructor in physiology at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. After only two years, however, she left what Lucien Price termed "the complacent paddocks of academia" to take a position as chemist in what was then the Food and Drug Directorate and is now the Health Protection Branch in the Department of Health and Welfare. She has spent nearly thirty years with the Branch, and since 1975 she has been Chief of the Nutrition Research Division.

Joyce Beare-Rogers is not one who takes easily to complacency. Shortly after joining the research group in the Food and Drug Directorate, she commenced study towards a Ph.D. degree at Carlton University. The arrangement she negotiated with Carlton reflects the tremendous trust she commands. Carlton not only permitted her to undertake doctoral study while working full time at Health and Welfare, but the University appointed Dr. Morris Katz, who was then a biochemist with the National Research Council in Ottawa, as an adjunct professor for the express purpose of directing her Ph.D. study. These events came full circle in 1980 when the University of Ottawa appointed Dr. Beare-Rogers as an adjunct professor in the Department of Biochemistry; Dr. Katz is Head of the Department.

Joyce Beare-Rogers has achieved international recogition for her contribution to the understanding of the biochemistry and nutritional properties of dietary fats and oils. Of particular note is her outstanding contribution to our knowledge of the nutritional properties of rapeseed and canola oil. The oil from rapeseed, the progenitor of canola, differs from other edible vegetable oils in that it contains the fatty acid, erucic acid, the ingestion of which induces cardiac changes in some animal species. Dr. Beare-Rogers contributed some of the earliest nutritional data pointing to the possible deleterious effects of this fatty acid, thus laying the scientific justification for the development of the low erucic acid variety, canola. Plant scientists at The University of Manitoba played a major role in the development of canola, a crop that has contributed enormously to the stability of Agriculture in Manitoba and Western Canada. Dr. Joyce Beare-Rogers has also made significant contributions to research: on the nutritional and biochemical effects of long chain fatty acids, like erucic acid; on the chemistry and metabolism of processed fats and oils; and on fat metabolism in heart muscle.

In her capacity as a scientist and an administrator in the Department of Health and Welfare, Dr. Beare-Rogers has had a strong influence on the safety and regulation of fats and oils for consumption by Canadians. She was responsible for an analytical survey on the composition of margarines available in Canada and for setting-up two expert committees: one that reported on diet and cardiovascular disease; and the other that reported on the composition of special margarines. Both reports have had a major impact on dietary recommendations in Canada, particularly with respect to dietary fat.

Dr. Joyce Beare-Rogers has been honored on several occasions for her contributions to lipid biochemistry and to nutrition. In November of last year, she was presented with the 1984 Médaille Chevreul by l'association francaise pour l'êtude des corps gras. She is the first woman and the first Canadian to receive this award in the twenty-three years it has been awarded. Earlier this month she was installed as President of the American Association of Oil Chemists. She is the first woman and the first member from outside the United States to head this organization.

Madam Chancellor, it is an honour and a privilege for me to ask in the name of Senate, that you confer upon Joyce Louise Beare-Rogers, the degree of Doctor of Laws (sic), honoris causa.