What is the Center for an Informed Public?
The Center for an Informed Public (CIP) is a multidisciplinary research center at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle that has a mission to “resist strategic misinformation, promote an informed society and strengthen democratic discourse.” The center’s work revolves around four pillars: research; education; engagement; and law and policy.
- Read more about the center’s mission.
- Read more about the center’s research, projects and publications.
Who works at the CIP?
The CIP was co-founded in 2019 by UW’s Information School (iSchool), School of Law and Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering and currently has five principal investigators and several affiliated researchers who collaborate with postdoctoral scholars, research fellows, graduate and undergraduate students and others across the university. A small team of professional staffers supports the CIP’s operations.
I’m a student at the University of Washington and am interested in the CIP’s work. How can I contribute?
UW graduate and undergraduate students can fill out this form to share their interest in the CIP’s research and other work. As opportunities to collaborate arise, the center will work to match interested students whose skills and experience are a good fit.
How can I keep track of the CIP’s research, events and other work?
Sign up to receive our newsletter, catch up on recent news updates, check out our media mentions and follow the CIP on Facebook and Twitter.
Who does the CIP work with?
Beyond working with fellow researchers, academics and students at the University of Washington, the CIP pursues projects and collaborations with various partners at the local, state and national levels, including media organizations, librarians, educators, professional associations and many others.
- Washington State University and the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication have been the CIP’s statewide partners on a range of engagement, education and events, including town halls, livestream summits and annual MisinfoDay, which originated at the University of Washington in 2019.
- The CIP has partnered with KUOW Public Radio in Seattle and UW’s Communication Leadership program to produce live and virtual events and event series, including “Stand With the Facts” and “Who Can You Trust?” at Town Hall Seattle.
- The center advised the Pacific Science Center in Seattle on the development of a virtual exhibit, “Uncovering Reality,” which helps people identify the ways data visualizations can be manipulated or skew reality.
- Other organizations the CIP has worked with include Microsoft, the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), The Trust Project and the Washington Library Association.
Who funds the CIP?
In July 2019, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation made a $50 million investment to develop a new field of research around technology’s impact on democracy, including $5 million for the University of Washington to launch what would become the Center for an Informed Public. Other funding sources include UW and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The CIP regularly pursues funding opportunities to help fund its projects. Since the center’s launch, funders have included, among others, Microsoft, the National Science Foundation and UW’s iSchool, Technology & Social Change Group and Population Health Initiative.
- Interested in financially supporting the CIP’s work and mission? We welcome support from individual donors, family foundations, institutional funders and corporate partners who understand the urgency of fostering an informed society. Contact us for more information.
Is the CIP a factchecking organization?
While CIP researchers actively monitor and study how misinformation and disinformation are shared, spread and amplified, the center was not founded nor is equipped to be a factchecking organization like Snopes and PolitiFact. We focus more attention on education and community outreach so that individuals can be good information consumers.
I’m a member of the media looking to connect with the CIP’s principal investigators and other researchers. Where should I send an inquiry?
CIP researchers are regularly interviewed in local, national and international news outlets. Send us a message here.
Where can I find educational resources and tools about misinformation, disinformation and digital literacy?
CIP researchers have produced and / or collaborated on many educational resources and tools related to misinformation, disinformation and digital literacy. Peruse our Education & Resources listings, which includes non-CIP projects recommended by CIP researchers. This list will continue to be updated.