During its last fundraiser, Philosophy Talk, the weekly radio show hosted by Stanford University’s John Perry and Kenneth Taylor, failed to make it more than 4% of the way to its $150,000 goal, according to The Stanford Daily.
The show, which has been broadcast for over a dozen years, is one of the most well-known examples of public philosophy in the United States. What’s happened?
At the show’s inception, Stanford gave Philosophy Talk significant financial support. The University increased that funding five years ago to create new positions, such as Director of Marketing and Head of Research, and to expand the program’s reach to more stations. Since then, Stanford has decreased funding to move Philosophy Talk towards becoming more independent, likely due to competition within the University for funds.
Philosophy Talk’s annual budget is approximately $500,000, according to the Stanford Daily, and its recent fundraiser, conducted on IndieGoGo, is only one of its non-university sources of revenue (there are grants, proceeds from merchandise, etc.). Still, “with decreased funding from Stanford, the radio show has struggled to make up the difference.”