News & Events
Environics Institute moderates panel on future of research at 2014 AAPOR Conference
Institute Executive Director Keith Neuman organized and moderated a roundtable discussion at the annual Conference of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), in Anaheim California on May 17.
The roundtable included established leaders in public opinion covering the academic, media, non-profit and commercial sectors, and addressed the following broad question: Is there still a role for credible, non-partisan POR in the age of sound bites, social media and politically-driven polling?
Why this question is relevant: An underlying premise for public opinion research since its modern-day inception is to give “voice” to the general public as a way to inform policy and decision-making. Articulating the “will of the people” through such research has been considered an important means of supporting democracy and its institutions. This role is now being seriously challenged by various trends, ranging from increasingly partisan politics that potentially compromise the credibility and value of published research, to rapid changes in technology that are exponentially expanding the availability of information online while at the same time subverting established research methodologies. These trends are long in the making, but the enterprise of POR may soon reach a tipping point from which there will be no return.
The four roundtable participants were:
- Scott Keeter – Director of Survey Research, Pew Research Center
- Marjorie Connelly – Editor of the News Surveys Department, The New York Times
- Nancy Belden – Partner, Belden Russonello Partners
- Robert Y Shapiro – Professor of Political Science, Columbia University
For more information about the 2014 AAPOR Conference.