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 confidential and anonymous. We may quote you, but neither you or nor your organization will ever be named in our published research. 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. 


Does the study rely on a particular definition of climate change, or an idea of what should be done about it?

No. We are interested in learning what people really think and do. Many past studies have focused on assessing whether people have the “right” ideas about climate change as defined by the researchers. Because of this we know much less about what the issue means to Americans than we might otherwise.


Is there anyone I can contact if I have concerns about the ethics of this study?

The study was approved by NYU’s Institutional Review Board, the University Committee on Activities Involving Human Subjects (UCAIHS), which exists to protect people who participate in research. You should feel free to contact UCAIHS with questions about the Social Life of Climate Change at or by calling (212) 998-4808 anytime during normal business hours. Please reference the study # (IRB-FY2018-1904).

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.

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