Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The center’s mission is to generate a foundation of facts that can enrich the public dialogue and support sound decision-making. As a neutral source of data and analysis, Pew Research does not take policy positions.
Pew Research Center has its origins in a research project created in 1990 by the Times Mirror newspaper company and called the Times Mirror Center for the People & the Press. The project conducted regular polls on politics and major policy issues. Andrew Kohut, the center’s founding director of surveys and the former president of The Gallup Organization, became the director in 1993. In 1996, The Pew Charitable Trusts became the center’s sponsor and renamed it the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
In the ensuing years, The Pew Charitable Trusts launched other information initiatives modeled on the success of the neutral, independent “just-the-facts” approach of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. These included the Project for Excellence in Journalism, launched in 1997; Pew Internet & American Life Project (1999); Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life (2001); Pew Hispanic Center (2001); and Pew Global Attitudes Project (2001). In 2004, The Pew Charitable Trusts established the Pew Research Center in Washington as a subsidiary to house these initiatives, with Andrew Kohut as its first president. In 2005, the Pew Research Center launched the Pew Social & Demographic Trends project, combining original survey research with analysis of U.S. Census Bureau surveys and other data sources. In 2013, Alan Murray became the second president of Pew Research Center as Kohut stepped down and became founding director. Murray served as president through July 2014. In 2013, several projects changed their names, including Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project, Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project and Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project.
Code of Ethics
Independence, impartiality, open-mindedness and professional integrity are indispensable to the mission and success of the Pew Research Center. To promote and preserve these values, the center’s Code of Ethics includes the following policies:
Conflicts of Interest
Pew Research employees must avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest. They should never engage in any activity that might compromise or appear to compromise the center’s credibility or its reputation for independence or impartiality. All employees are required to seek prior approval from a supervisor before engaging in any activity that may be deemed a potential conflict of interest, including membership in groups, boards and associations that may call into question the center’s credibility or its reputation for impartiality.
Prohibitions on Electioneering
As a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, Pew Research and all of its employees, when acting in their professional capacity, are prohibited from participating, directly or indirectly, in any political campaign activities on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office. In addition, the center has a strict prohibition against partisan political activity by senior staff, even when they are acting in their individual capacity and on their personal time.
Integrity of Research
To ensure that the information we generate is of the greatest value to citizens and policymakers, the center is committed to conducting research in a manner that is impartial, open-minded and meets the highest standards of methodological integrity. We employ only those tools and methods of analysis that, in our professional judgment, are well suited to the research question at hand. We describe our findings and methods accurately and in sufficient detail to permit outsiders to evaluate the credibility of our results. We encourage inquiries about our research methods and practices, and attempt to answer requests for information promptly.