YORK'S oldest science charity has elected a first female president in its 202 year history.

The Yorkshire Philosophical Society (YPS) has elected Professor Deborah Smith as its honorary president.

YPS was founded in 1822, with women previously holding positions on the chair of trustees and honorary vice president. 

The charity was set up to promote the public understanding of science, and award prizes to the next generation of scientists.


Professor Smith was pro vice chancellor for research at the University of York. She was a special advisor to the vice chancellor and championed equality, diversity and inclusion in addition to her leadership in research strategy and policy. 

She said: "It is both an honour and a privilege to take on the YPS presidency at such a pivotal time for the advancement of science and our understanding of the natural world.

"I am keen to share my enthusiasm and passion for science and encourage wide public participation in our evolving programme of exciting events."