Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What is The Brookings Institution and Why Should I Care?

"The Brookings Institution is a private nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions. Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2006, Brookings analyzes current and emerging issues and produces new ideas that matter - for the nation and the world." Sounds pretty cool. Check out their Web site, they are certainly doing a BUNCH of stuff that matters. Much of it I'm sure will be of interest to just about anyone, as their reach is so broad. They seem to be quite transparent, publishing news and transcripts of their findings and their studies.

While on their Web site, be sure to check out their Board of Trustees. Members of this board also serve on the boards of about 45 other companies and institutions. It's sort of a "who's who" of formulating the public discourse for intellectual society and culture. They are a nonprofit as they claim, but there is no way that they can be as devoted to "independent research" as they claim to be with these corporate ties... Or can they?

They seem to have their hands on a lot of really wonderful programs and research, and I'm sure without the influence of those sitting on corporate boards they would not be able to receive the funding that they need to make this stuff happen. They also say things and promote ideas that are--at least on the surface--quite progressive. The articles they have published on the Web, for the most part, seem to me to be fair, balanced, insightful, and yes, independent of corporate influence. In this case--it seems that an honest voice manages to remain honest despite close connections to corporate interests.

6 Comments:

Blogger Bucher said...

Keep in mind that it is in corporations' interests to have access to accurate analysis...

6:45 AM  
Blogger and i said...

in some cases... ExxonMobil has spent $15,000,000 since 1998 to fund junk science "debunking" global warming theory Accurate analysis is certainly not in their best interests in that case. "their best interests" means increasing profits or sweetening public perception. analysis can be accurate or not, doesn't matter. the brookings institution being a non-profit seems to value accuracy regardless of links to corporate boards, which i think is quite cool.

9:05 AM  
Blogger and i said...

or i guess they want accurate analysis but not neccessarily to have it released to the public unless it helps to increase profits or improve their standing in the public eye...

9:06 AM  
Blogger Bucher said...

Exactly. WE see the $15,000,000 junk reports. No telling whether they fund another $15mil for accurate reports, or even if all that original $15mil actually went to the junk reports.

12:06 AM  
Blogger and i said...

i think the whole shebang went into the "deceiving the public" pot. why would exxonmobil spend dollar number one on a real study of the effects of hydrocarbon production and usage on global warming when there is already conclusive evidence from 95% of the scientific community?

6:14 AM  
Blogger and i said...

As it turns out, the Brookings Institution is indeed an instrument of the establishment. It espouses a lot of "liberal" ideas, but these are nothing but controlled opposition...

8:44 PM  

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