Philosophy in the Media

Directed by Barry Lam, Associate Director of Marc Sanders Foundation, and Associate Professor of Philosophy, Vassar College and Host and Executive Producer of Hi-Phi Nation podcast. Philosophy in the Media is aimed at bringing high-quality philosophy to the general public.


Panel Discussions

The goal of our panel discussions is to bring stimulating philosophical issues to the public through the work of some of the best scholars on the topics. View the videos below.

  • Protesting Police and Policing Protests
    On the justices and injustices of the uprisings against police brutality and misconduct in 2020, with Ekow Yankah, Brandon del Pozo, Michelle Moody-Adams, and Jason Brennan.

  • Individual Character and Structural Injustice
    We live in a time when structural injustices and systemic problems abound, in public health, race relations, gender relations, and more. Policymakers and activists propose structural solutions targeting systems as a whole, like a sugar tax, liability insurance for police, school desegregation, or paid family leave. Policy solutions seldom include suggestions that moral and psychological traits of individuals are at fault or should be the focus of change, like moral education, empathy cultivation, or prejudice and bias reduction. Is there a role for interventions targeting individual moral character or psychology to address at least some of the “structural” problems that we face? With Sally Haslanger, Jorge LA Garcia, Alex Madva, and Nancy Snow.

  • Our Duty to the Past and Our Past Selves
    It is taken for granted that we should often act in the best interest of our future selves, and even on behalf of future generations, but when should we act for the sake of past people, and even our own past interests? In a range of cases we find ourselves bound by our past decisions, or by the past decisions of people who have come before us. When is it okay to break from those bounds, and when are we required to abide by the decisions of the past, even when they conflict with our interests now? Our distinguished panelists will discuss cases of advanced medical directives, duties to vindicate the sacrifices of past generations, and duties to history. With Rebecca Dresser, Tania Gergel, Saul Smilanski, and SJ Beard.


MSF Media Fellows 2021-2022

The Marc Sanders Foundation is pleased to announce the Philosophy in Media initiative, funded jointly with the John T. Templeton Foundation. The initiative aims to increase the presence of philosophy in print, audio, and video media by training philosophers to write and produce for the public and by connecting philosophers to editors and commissioners in the media industry.

For the first stage of the initiative, up to 30 philosophers will be selected to be MSF Media Fellows via an open application process (details below). Selected fellows will receive workshop training, connections to industry professionals, and a $1500 honorarium. Ten fellows will be selected for each of the following:

  • Podcasting: a three-day workshop in Washington, DC, March 11-13, 2022, with Alix Spiegel (This American Life, Invisibilia, NPR), Alison MacAdam (NPR, All Things ConsideredWNYC Studios) and Barry Lam (Hi-Phi Nation from Slate).

  • Op-ed writing: a two-day workshop in Vancouver, British Columbia, April 15-16, 2022, with James Ryerson, op-ed editor at the New York Times, at the Pacific APA.

  • Long-form magazine writing: a three-day workshop in Princeton, New Jersey, June 3-5, 2022, given by Joshua Rothman of The New Yorker, with special guest writers and editors TBA.

Except for the Pacific APA workshop, travel, lodging, and meal assistance will be provided.

Successful MSF Media fellows will receive ongoing networking opportunities with professionals in the media industry and will be expected to pitch, develop, and publish public-facing media content in the months and years following the workshops.

Applicants at all career stages are eligible to apply, with the exception of undergraduate students. No current institutional affiliation is required, though due to budgetary restrictions we cannot fund international travel for candidates outside of North America. To apply, please send a CV and a letter of interest to barry@marcsandersfoundation.org. LOI should include:

  • the type or focus of public-facing content the applicant wishes to produce,
  • a list of writing or audio by other people the applicant views as an exemplar of work they would like to produce,
  • any previous experience producing public-facing work, and
  • the applicant’s long-term goals with respect to producing public-facing work in philosophy.

Applicants should indicate which workshop (op-ed, long-form magazine writing, or podcast) they are most interested in. They may apply for more than one focus, but should indicate their preferences in the LOI.

Links to one or two samples of the applicant’s relevant work are encouraged, but not required.  Applicants will be selected on the premise of regular contribution to public conversation through either op-eds, long-form magazine writing, or podcasts. Topics and specializations are not restricted, but priority will be given to applicants who work, or plan to work, professionally or publicly on the nature, essence, and purposes of transcendent divinity; the nature of the human person (individually and collectively); human flourishing; and the fundamental structures, constituents, and laws of the natural world.

Applicants selected as MSF Media Fellows will be required to submit draft work prior to the workshops, such as an 800-word op-ed, a series of ideas for a featured magazine piece, or three minutes of audio.

Please send applications and inquiries to barry@marcsandersfoundation.org by Sept. 30th, 2021.

Check out our Workshop Leaders for the Philosophy in Media Initiative.

Contact Us

The Marc Sanders Foundation would be happy to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us (e-mail is preferred) about any questions you might have.

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Barry Lam

Copyright 2019 Marc Sanders Foundation