WAPOR 66th Annual Conference | World Association for Public Opinion Research

Final Program

Information: Pre-conference on Public Diplomacy

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Map of Boston University

Hotel Information


The World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR) will hold its 66th annual conference on May 14-16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  The conference space will be located on the campus of Boston University.  The theme of this conference is: “Revolutions in the Measurement of World Public Opinion”.  This theme is inspired by three sources: 

1)  The city hosting the conference: Boston.  Boston has been the center of many revolutions over the years, most notably that which resulted in the independence of the American colonies from England, paving the way toward the eventual creation of the United States of America.

2)  The emergence of alternative approaches for capturing public opinion: Since 2010, there has been a series of studies that demonstrate that public opinion can be captured in ways that significantly differ from the established methods that have been traditionally used.  Known as “Sentiment Analysis” or “Opinion Mining”, these studies consist of automated content analyses of social media postings found on microblogging sites.  What impacts will these types of analyses have on the future of world public opinion measurement?

3)  The exponential growth in the expression of opinion by increasingly larger numbers of people around the world:  For the first time in the history of human civilization, we are witnessing more people being given the opportunity to express their opinions (as a function of the epic-scale revolutions in Egypt and other countries of North Africa) and more technological tools that allow them to express their opinions (e.g. social networking sites, microblogging sites, smart phones, etc.).  How will these newly found freedoms of expression, widely diffused information technologies, and enormous volumes of opinion expressions impact the measurement of world public opinion?

See above for information on how to register, how to get around Boston, and hotel options.  Don’t forget to check out the pre-conference being held on May 14 as well.  We hope to see you there!!


Paper Submission: November 14, 2012 (Extended deadline!)
Paper Decisions: Week of February 11, 2013 (new date)
Papers Due: May 1, 2013 (Paper Guidelines)

Conference co-chairs:  Michael Elasmar (Elasmar@bu.edu) and
James Shanahan (Shanahan@bu.edu)
WAPOR office: Renae Reis (waporoffice@gmail.com)

Conference Information

 The Setting:
 WAPOR will be hosted in the Photonics Center on the campus of Boston University where the WAPOR co-chairs are affiliated with the College of Communication and are actively involved in the Communication Research Center.

Boston University has over 33,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 140 countries, 10,000 faculty and staff, 16 schools and colleges, and 250 fields of study. 

The Photonics Center (conference venue) is a state of the art engineering research center with superb facilities for conferencing, networking, and with easy access to downtown Boston. It commands marvelous views of the city and the Charles River.

At the College of Communication (established in 1947), students gain a deep understanding of communication in its various forms, combined with a solid grounding in liberal arts. Students become proficient in writing, oral communication, visual literacy and digital media skills. The College combines academic rigor and professional “hands-on” skills in all areas of communication, including television, film, radio, public relations, advertising, journalism and communication theory. COM graduates have been recognized as some of the best in their respective fields, having won Pulitzer Prizes, Emmy Awards and Clio Awards to name a few. Among them are CEOs, Hollywood directors and screen writers, stars in television and radio, and White House staffers.

Established in 1959 and reorganized in 1994, the Communication Research Center (CRC) pioneered the use of television as a research tool, conducting systematic analyses on the effects of television on children and measuring political opinions and voting intentions. This early beginning led the CRC to develop a specialty in survey research methodology.

Getting around in Boston (from Trip Advisor):
Boston is a compact city and easy to get around by public transportation, on foot, tour bus or taxi.  If you decide to drive your car, be prepared to navigate roadways that are jumbled and once you get to your destination be ready to pay dearly for parking!

If there are some specific things outside the city that you want to see or visit, you may consider renting a car to get there, although just about every notable attraction can be accessed via some form of public transit**.  If so, read the Inside sections on taxis and rental cars.  


The first thing you should know about getting around Boston is that the public transportation system is excellent—use it!  It’s known to locals as the “T”- short for MBTA, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. (www.mbta.com)

At Logan Airport, take your pick:  Free buses stop at all terminals and take you right to the Blue Line Airport T station ($2 from there).  Or, there is the new T “Silver Line”.  For $2, its buses pick you up right at your terminal, and take you on their own track into downtown and the Red Line T’s South Station. That $2 – per trip – gets you virtually everywhere in Boston.  The T has now converted to the “Charlie System” and no longer uses tokens.  Electronic Fare Vending Machines can be found at nearly all subway stations. There vending machines allow you to get around using either a paper CharlieTicket, which the machine will give you, or a plastic CharlieCard, which you can obtain at various local stores, through the MBTA’s website, or at a select few T stations. If you are able to get your hands on a CharlieCard, you are given discounts individual fares which you do not get using the CharlieTicket. Subway trips cost $2 with a CharlieTicket (or cash on board) and $1.70 with a CharlieCard. Similarily, buses cost $1.50 with the CharlieTicket (or cash on board) and $1.25 with the CharlieCard. Both CharlieTickets and CharlieCards can be used multiple times and can be recharged at the Fare Vending Machines.

Speaking of South Station: You’re arriving or departing by train?  An escalator or elevator connects between the railroad and the T at any of Boston’s major train stations – South Station, North Station,Back Bay.  South Station also hasBoston’s main inter-city bus station.

The T is an excellent way to get from central Boston to destinations in surrounding cities and neighborhoods. For example, the best route to the Museum of Fine Arts is the E branch of the Green Line. The T’s Red Line is the best way to get to the attractions of Cambridge, such as Harvard, Harvard Square, and MIT. A good way to see these places is to use the T for the longer hauls, then plan walks between destinations in the same general area, such as Harvard University, the Harvard museums, and the shopping, dining, and people-watching mecca of Harvard Square.  You can even get to the beach on the Blue Line. 

The subway is not the only way to get around town – the MBTA also has an extensive system of buses that can get you to the areas where the Subway doesn’t. A ride on the bus is $1.50 with a CharlieTicket, $1.25 with a CharlieCard (see above paragraph for more details). If using a CharlieCard, there is a free transfer from the T to local bus routes and a discounted subway fare ($0.45) when going from the bus to the T.

**The commuter rail lines radiate out as far as Rockport, Newburyport, Fitchburg, Worcester, Providence, the South Shore and many lesser-known suburbs.  Nearer, commuter rail will take you on a relaxing ride to beaches and seaside towns such as Gloucester, Rockport, and Manchester, and to the historic towns of Concord, Plymouth, and Salem.  The lines run on a set schedule with more frequent trips during the rush hours.  The price will be $1.70-$7.75, one-way. 

Things to do in Boston (From www.visitingnewengland.com)
1. Catch a game at Fenway Park, home of the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.

 2. Take a walk through the Italian-flavored North End neighborhood ofBoston.  Experience some of the world’s best pastries at Mike’s, buy some fresh bread at Bova’s, and eat an authentic Italian meal at Al Dente!

 3. See the entire Bostonskyline (and beyond) at the 52nd floor Prudential Building Observatory.

 4. Take a walk or jog along the scenic Charles River at Storrow Dr. It’s like an oasis in this bustling city with nice water views, seemingly fresher air, and even uptight people more relaxed, courtesy of the green landscapes and placid water! You can also walk or jog Memorial Drive, on the other side of the Charles, where the Massachusetts Institute of Technology andHarvard University are just a few steps away!

5. Visit one of the best science museums in the country at the Boston Museum of Science.

6. Experience the European flavor of Newbury St., with its shops and cafes.

7. See historic Boston sites by walking the 2.5 mile Freedom Trail.

8. Eat pizza at a local Boston landmark — Santarpio’s in East Boston where the fresh Italian pizza has people lined out the door!

9. Try some delicious clam chowder (and seafood dinners) at the Union Oyster House (41 Union St., Boston, MA, 617- 227-2750) —  America’s oldest restaurant established in 1826.

10. Admire 450,000 pieces of art at the world-famous Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

11. Come the 250-year-old, beautifully restored Faneuil Hall Marketplace where shopping and dining opportunities abound in a historical setting.

12.  Walk the beautiful Brownstone neighborhoods of Beacon Hill.

13. Take a tour of the magnificent two-block Boston State House including its marble floor corridors and the “Hall of Flags” where Massachusetts Soldiers are honored and remembered. 

14. See the first public botanical garden in theUnited Statesat the spectacular 24-acre Boston Public Garden.

15. Take a seasonal swan boat ride at the Public Garden lagoon.

16.  Visit the Paul Revere House (19 North Sq, Boston, MA, 617-523-2338, the oldest building in downtown Boston built in 1680. It’s located in the North End.

17. Attend the legendary Boston Marathon, held every April on Patriots Day.

18. Visit the beautiful Isabella Stewart Gardner Art Museum (280 Fenway, Boston, MA, 617-566-1401) where three floors of art surround a stunning year-round indoor garden.

 19.  Have a beer, some good Irish food and listen to some great live entertainment at the Purple Shamrock Irish pub (1 Union St# B, Boston, MA, 617-742-0131).

20.  Check out the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops at the grand Symphony Hall (301 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, 617-266-7575).

21. Shop the 75 stores at the upscale shops at Prudential Center (800 Boylston St.), including Saks Fifth Avenue, Legal Seafoods and Barnes and Noble. A walkway connects to Copley Place for more shops and restaurants!

22.  Experience the Theater District, which includes the Wang Center, Wilbur Theater and Shubert Theater.

23. Enjoy the rebirth of the Boston Celtics basketball team at the TD Banknorth Garden (a sports and entertainment complex at 1 Fleetcenter Pl, Boston, MA, 617-624-1050).

 24. Admire the magnificent landscapes and 7,000-plus plants at the Arnold Arboretum (125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA, 617-524-1718). It’s the oldest public arboretum in North America, but timeless!

 25.  Go to Doyle’s Cafe (3484 Washington St, Jamaica Plain, MA, 617-524-2345), one of Boston’s most famous watering holes to “locals” including famous (and some infamous) politicians. It’s a cavernous but comfortable place with 21 brans of draft beer and some excellent Irish-American, chicken, steak and seafood dishes. Located in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain.

26.  Visit the New England Aquarium (1 Central Wharf, Boston, 617-973-5200) featuring a 200,000 gallon Carribean Corral Reef Tank. The 200,000 gallon tank is the centerpiece of the New England Aquarium, and it is one of the region’s most popular underwater exhibits. The reef accommodates not only sharks, sea turtles, barracuda and moray, but also hundreds of smaller exotic tropical fishes, and it is one of the most detailed and scientifically accurate recreations of its kind.

27. Catch a comedy shop at the long-time favorite Nick’s Comedy Stop (100 Warrenton St., Boston, MA, 617-482-0930) in the Theater District.

28. Take a seasonal tour of Fenway Park.