Despite decades of scientific work on issues such as ozone depletion, climate change, and toxic chemicals, effectively communicating scientific uncertainty remains a major challenge in environmental treaty negotiations. The mercury game is a role-play simulation aimed at scientists, students and decision-makers. Participants explore the consequences of presenting scientific uncertainty in various ways in a policy context. The game focuses on the credibility of various sources of technical information, strategies for presenting risk and uncertainty, and the balance between scientific and political considerations.
The game also requires players to grapple with politics. It explores the global North/South (developed and developing world) dynamics at the heart of many treaty-making challenges, and on the role and influence of various interest groups.
Ultimately, the role-play demonstrates how scientific information can be favorably employed in an environmental treaty making process. The results of the game are being used in a doctoral research project on the relationship between science and policy in international environmental negotiations.
For more information and to download a free copy of the game, please visit the Mercury Game website