A Think tank is an organization that claims to serve as a center for research and/ or analysis of important public issues. In reality, many Think tanks are little more than public relations fronts, usually headquartered in state or national seats of government and generating self-serving scholarship that serves the advocacy goals of their industry sponsors; in the words of
Yellow Times.org columnist John Chuckman, "phony institutes where ideologue-propagandists pose as academics ... [into which] money gushes like blood from opened arteries to support meaningless advertising's suffocation of genuine debate".
Of course, some Think tanks are more legitimate than that. Private funding does not necessarily make a researcher a shill, and some think-tanks produce worthwhile public policy research. In general, however, research from Think tanks is ideologically driven in accordance with the interests of its funders.