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Our Research Approach

Depth. Nuance. Clarity.

Think tanks exist to study topics and issues that a society is facing and to offer possible responses or solutions. All think tanks are guided by some foundational vision of what a healthy, just, and flourishing society looks like. They differ from one another in the particular vision that they hold, but they all hold a vision, since without it their work would be aimless and incoherent. Cardus’s vision of a flourishing society is described on the About Us page of this website.

In carrying out our research, our first goal is to seek to understand the reality of what we are studying with as much depth, nuance, and clarity as possible. Only with this foundation can we hope to offer responses that will be beneficial to our fellow citizens.

We use standard social-scientific methods, and our research reports go through a process of peer review, in which we engage the assistance of outside experts to evaluate and strengthen the quality of our work before it is published. We collect, analyze, and report our data with integrity, and share it openly with others.

We seek to grow in the intellectual virtues: qualities of mind such as openness, humility, carefulness, honesty, and courage. We regularly engage in vigorous discussions to test and refine our thinking. Our conclusions are ultimately provisional; we hold them subject to new information, deeper insights, greater wisdom.