The Social Life of Climate Change

The Social Life of Climate Change is a study based out of NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge. We are conducting hundreds of interviews to understand how Americans relate to climate change in and outside of work. Our interviewees are recruited from across a range of industries, as well as the nonprofit and public sectors. The objective is to form a comprehensive and realistic picture of this public issue as it exists socially in the US today.

Frequently Asked Questions


If I agree to take part in the study, will my words ever be quoted?

Participation is anonymous. We may quote you, but neither you or nor your organization or employer will ever be named in our published research. All interviews remain confidential. Feel free to write us for more information on the way we secure interview data.


How long does it take to participate?

Typically, participation takes less than one hour. 


Is the study designed according to a particular idea of climate change, or what should be done about it?

No. We are interested in learning what people really think and do. Many past studies have focused on whether people have the “right” ideas about climate change, as defined by the researchers. Because of this we know much less about how climate change in fact organizes Americans’ views and actions than we might otherwise.


If I have concerns about the ethics of this study, who should I contact?

The study was approved by NYU’s Institutional Review Board, which protects human research subjects. You may feel free to contact the University Committee on Activities Involving Human Subjects (UCAIHS) with questions at about the research at or by calling (212) 998-4808. Please reference the study # (IRB-FY2018-1904) when contacting the IRB (UCAIHS).

Research Team

Eric Klinenberg is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge  at New York University.

Hillary Angelo is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Alix Rule is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge, New York University.

Malcolm Araos is a PhD student in Sociology at NYU and a fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge. 

Sariah Bunker is an  research assistant in her last year of undergraduate study at New York University. 







Contact the Social Life of Climate Change Study


The Institute for Public Knowledge

20 Cooper Square Fifth Floor

New York, NY, 10003

Contact the IPK

212 998 8466

IPK Hours

The IPK is open Monday to Friday, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Follow IPK