Mercury Game releasedWednesday, July 20, 2011
The Mercury Game   (Browse all news)
The Mercury Game is a negotiation simulation that is designed to teach people about the role of science in international environmental policy making. The Mercury Game was written by Leah C. Stokes, Dr. Noelle E. Selin and Dr. Lawrence E. Susskind. The Mercury Game will be launched and played as a short course on Sunday July 24th from 1-4 pm in Halifax, Canada at the International Conference of Mercury as a Global Pollutant. Players will include mercury scientists and staff from national environmental agencies. On Monday, July 25, Leah Stokes will present the game-related research at the “United Nations Environment Programme Global Mercury Partnership” special session.
The game is free to download here: http://mit.edu/mercurygame
Despite decades of scientific work on issues such as ozone depletion, climate change, and toxic chemicals, communicating effectively scientific uncertainty remains a major challenge in all environmental treaty negotiations.
Strategies for incorporating scientific information into policy include developing scientific assessments, setting up subsidiary bodies to treaty negotiations, and framing the information in an appropriate manner. How scientific information is perceived has been, and will remain, a key challenge facing all international environmental treaty-drafting efforts.
This Mercury Game is a role-play simulation aimed at scientists and students. Playing the game will help participants explore the consequences of representing scientific uncertainty in various ways in a policy context. The game focuses on the credibility of various sources of technical information, strategies for representing risk and uncertainty, and the balance between scientific and political considerations.
The game will also require the players to grapple with political considerations. It explores the dynamic between the global “North” (the developed world) and the global “South” (the developing world) at the heart of most treaty-making difficulties.
Ultimately, the role play should help to make clear how scientific information can be favorably employed in an environmental treaty making process.The results of the game will be used in a doctoral research project on the relationship between science and policy in international environmental negotiations.
- The game takes 3-4 hours to play
- The game is designed for students and scientists
- The game is for 9-10 players, depending on whether the facilitator plays the Chair.
- The game is free and available for download