World Association for Public Opinion Research
|Headquarters||Lincoln, Nebraska, USA|
|Claire Durand (2017-2018)|
The World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR) is an international professional association of researchers in the field of survey research. It is a member organization of the International Science Council.
Established in 1947 at the Second International Conference on Public Opinion Research held in Williamstown, Massachusetts as the World Congress on Public Opinion Research, the association acquired its current name in 1948, at the Third International Conference on Public Opinion Research. In 1953, it became the sole nongovernment consultant organization to UNESCO in the field of polling.
Its current president is Claire Durand (University of Montreal) and the vice president is Marita Carballo (Voices Research and Consultancy, in Argentina). Among the former presidents of WAPOR are Juan Linz, Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, Robert Worcester and Seymour Martin Lipset.
Over time, WAPOR's membership has grown and become more international. In 1956, roughly a decade after its founding, the association had 158 members from about 20 countries; by 1962, these figures had risen to approximately 200 and more than 30, respectively. In 1970, WAPOR had more than 300 members from 41 countries.
Annual conference are held in a three-year cycle: with American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) in North America (2016), in connection with either European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR) or ESRA in Europe (2017), and in the third year in a new location (2018). This arrangement permits WAPOR members to meet with academic, commercial, and government researchers from the main centers of survey research around the globe. Our most recent annual conference was held Austin, Texas, USA during the dates of May 10–12, 2016. AAPOR and ESOMAR are considered "allied associations."
Since 1981, WAPOR offers the Helen Dinerman Award – created to honour sociologist Helen Dinerman – to individuals who have made "significant contributions to survey research methodology". Prior recipients include social scientists Philip Converse, Louis Guttman, Roger Jowell, Elihu Katz, Juan Linz, Seymour Martin Lipset, Robert K. Merton, Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, Sidney Verba, Robert Worcester, and Daniel Yankelovich.
Richard Morin, former polling director of The Washington Post, described WAPOR as "the leading professional association of pollsters working outside the United States". Herbert Weisberg, a political scientist at The Ohio State University and former president of the Midwest Political Science Association, further credited WAPOR with contributing to the internationalization, and thereby the professionalization, of the field of survey research.
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