Peter Venables leaves generous gift to support undergraduate Psychology students

Posted on 18 April 2018

Psychology department founder supports five York Futures scholarships.

Photo credit: Tony Dale, BPS

The University has recieved a sum of £10,000 from the estate of Professor Peter H. Venables, founder of the Department of Psychology and former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University, who passed away in April 2017 at the age of 94.

Peter was a remarkable scientist. His career spanned the entire development of modern psychology, spawning landmark contributions to the fields of schizophrenia and psychophysiology. His contributions are encapsulated in three citation classics and over 260 research papers.

In 1974 Peter founded the Department of Psychology at the University of York, where he quickly established the principles that still determine the ethos of the department: that psychology is most influential when it is quantitative, biological, and experimental. Peter, the visionary that he was, clearly saw that the future of psychology lay in technology, and that information technology and physiology were going to be critical drivers of progress. With these firmly on his radar, he hired technically accomplished academics, and built the department up from origins in animal and human psychophysiology to human neuroimaging. Peter saw human neuroscience coming before many others; a legacy of his early life experience as a Post Office engineer and navy radar technician.

Despite his passing, his legacy lives on in the Department of Psychology at the University of York. This is only strengthened by his generous gift to support undergraduate students in Psychology. The money is being used to provide five York Futures scholarships for Psychology students.

These scholarships are part of the York Award and students need to undergo the York Strengths programme before the start of their second year, in order to be eligible to apply. The York Strengths programme runs twice a year - in February and in June.