View Full Version : What exactly do people DO in a think tank?

03-26-2010, 12:49 AM
What are they paid for?

writing articles/books?

doing research?

Where does the funding to pay these people come from?

03-26-2010, 01:02 AM
Where does the funding to pay these people come from?

A good place to start for this question is SourceWatch (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=SourceWatch). They're also pretty good as a starting point for your other questions, as they usually have some short bit about the organizations' goals, activities, etc., not to mention links to the home sites and About pages.

Here's the page for AEI (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=AEI).

[Added] Right Web Watch (http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/) can also be useful, at least for the conservative think tanks. And here's their page on AEI (http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/American_Enterprise_Institute).

And of course, Wikipedia and the Google (http://www.google.com/search?q=think+tank+funding).

[Added2] Note that in many cases, the funding data (sources or amounts) are not fully made public, so they can require more work to dig up, if they're available at all. But I think the bigger think tanks either make this info available, or it's been dug out and posted widely.

03-26-2010, 01:10 AM
You might also be interested in this 2003 article: "In the Tank: The intellectual decline of AEI (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2003/0312.wallace-wells.html)," by Benjamin Wallace-Wells.