Mercury Stories: Understanding Sustainability Through a Volatile Element

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Product Details
MIT Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.9 inches | 1.4 pounds

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About the Author
Henrik Selin is Associate Professor of International Relations at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. He is the author of Global Governance of Hazardous Chemicals (MIT Press).

Noelle Eckley Selin is Associate Professor in the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT. Her research focuses on the environmental transport and fate of mercury and other chemicals.
"The book demonstrates a multifaceted conceptualization of sustainability, considering societal, technical, and environmental factors while highlighting the importance of both deep technical knowledge and responsive governmental institutions for effective management. Perhaps the most valuable contribution is the matrixed analytical framework, which could be applied in the understanding and management of a broad range of complex sustainability challenges. Viewed in this way, the book should interest all scholars focusing on sustainability and socioenvironmental systems.

"With a uniquely historical perspective and richly detailed case studies, Mercury Stories offers a new approach for systematically thinking through every element of sustainability as a human, technical, and environmental matter."
--Harriet Bulkeley, Professor, Durham University and Utrecht University

"Mercury Stories presents a conceptually novel, operationally useful systems framework for analyzing complex interactions among technology, society, and nature, showing how attention to knowledge and institutions can help manage such interactions in pursuit of sustainability."
--William C. Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Director, Sustainability Science Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

"Mercury Stories offers a valuable contribution to sustainability science by employing a systems perspective to analyze humanity's complex interrelationship with mercury. The book illuminates how mercury pollution led to a regulatory revolution in 1970s Japan and ultimately the world through the Minamata Convention."
--Kazuhiko Takeuchi, President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies