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History of the Polanyi Society Travel Fund

In 2009, Polanyi Society member Dr. Walter B Mead established the Travel Fund and has generously supported the fund since its creation. His committed vision for the future of Polanyi studies is evident in his inaugural announcement:

The assumptions and paradigms that Michael Polanyi brilliantly challenged in the middle of the twentieth century still, sadly, dominate much of academic thinking to this day. Nearly half a century after the publication of his major epistemological and social works, it is not at all unusual to receive blank stares from philosophers, social scientists, and physical scientists - even in major colleges and universities - at the mention of Polanyi’s name.

For several decades the Polanyi Society has devoted its efforts, through its journal and its annual meetings, and – more recently – through its internet discussions and website, to the dissemination and further development of Polanyi’s seminal ideas. Many of those who have taken a lead in these efforts find themselves in the ranks of graying emeriti and are acutely aware of the urgency of reaching out to more young people – undergraduates, graduates, and post-graduates – to assure the perpetuation of Polanyi’s rich legacy.

To promote this effort, the Society has established a modest Travel Fund to assist those young people who have an interest in attending its annual meetings but whose financial conditions make this difficult. …We can think of few projects more worthy and in line with our common purpose than the expansion of the resources of this fund. Any contributions, however modest, that Polanyi Society members would care to make to this fund will be welcomed.