Mark Blumenthal | May 21, 2007
I have the pleasure of sharing some very good news: On Saturday night, Charles Franklin and I had the very high honor of being named winners of 2007 Warren J. Mitofsky Innovator's Award by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) for our work on Pollster.com.
The award, first presented eight years ago, recognizes accomplishments in public opinion and survey research that occurred or had their impact during the last decade. This year, AAPOR renamed the award to honor late Warren J. Mitofsky, the great survey innovator who, as several speakers noted, would probably have won this award many times had it existed earlier in his career. Past winners include some of the most distinguished individuals in the field including Andrew Kohut (for the Pew Research Center) and Professor Robert Groves (for his leadership in establishing survey research as an academic discipline). The fact that AAPOR chose to grant this award to a "Weblog" says something very humbling about our efforts as well as the growing influence of the blogosphere. It is a huge honor.
This year, we were co-winners along with Arthur Lupia and Diana Mutz for their work on the project known as TESS (Time-Sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences).
Professor Franklin and I want to express our gratitude to Doug Rivers (a previous winner of this award) and his company Polimetrix for their continuing financial and technical support, to the many AAPOR members who provide advice and respond to our queries about their work and to our assistant Eric Dienstfrey who does much of the real work that makes Pollster.com possible. And finally, we thank you, our readers, for your continuing support and confidence.
The full text of the award citation appears after the jump.
The American Association for Public Opinion Research
2007 WARREN J. MITOFSKY INNOVATORS AWARD
Modern day public opinion polling in the United States has come a long way from the early Gallup, Roper, and Crossley in-person surveys of the 1930s to the proliferation of polls conducted by telephone beginning in the 1970s, through today's movement toward increasing use of the Internet. The vast numbers of surveys today include not only those conducted by public pollsters in the above tradition but also by mass media organizations, academic survey centers, interest groups, political parties and consultants, and others. This expansion of polls and the reporting of them has resulted in an overload of often confusing information about public opinion during a time in which partisan conflict has grown and led to highly contentious and increasingly strident debates about what policies the public supports and which political candidates members of the electorate prefer as elections near-and, in the case of the recent controversies about exit polls-after they have voted.
Pollster.com is a Weblog that has provided an extraordinarily well-informed and critical forum for understanding contemporary public opinion research and poll results. Pollster.com's reach has extended beyond the survey research community to inform and educate in an accessible way those who visit and communicate with its website. Originally known as MysteryPollster.com, Pollster.com provides commentary on survey methodology and the interpretation and reporting of survey findings. It has extended existing, and developed its own, graphical methods for comparing poll results and for summarizing multiple polls and opinion trends. Its reports and commentaries provide transparency, as the data dictate, for multiple and conflicting interpretations.
With funding and technical support from Polimetrix, Pollster.com, provides a non-partisan source for the latest polling results, for state-of-the-art information about survey methodology, and for the latest debates and conflicts in the world of polling. AAPOR salutes Blumenthal and Franklin for this innovation in the fields of public opinion and survey research.
Presented at the 62nd Annual Conference