1st Edition

Mercury Pollution A Transdisciplinary Treatment

Edited By Sharon L. Zuber, Michael C. Newman Copyright 2012
    288 Pages 54 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    288 Pages 54 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    How does mercury get out of the ground and into our food? Is tuna safe to eat? What was the Minamata Disaster? Mercury Pollution: A Transdisciplinary Treatment addresses these questions and more. The editors weave interdisciplinary threads into a tapestry that presents a more complete picture of the effects of mercury pollution and provides new ways to think about the environment.

    The remarkable features that make mercury so useful—and poisonous—have given rise to many stories laid out in rich objective detail, carefully detailing medical, epidemiological, or historical insight, but sidestepping the human experience. A technically rich book that only touches on the human consequences of mercury poisoning cannot fully portray the anguish, confusion, and painful deaths that are the consequence of mercury pollution. Therefore, the editors purposely step out of the conventional scientific framework for discussing mercury pollution to explore the wider human experience.

    This book clarifies how we are all connected to mercury, how we absorb it through the food we eat and the air we breathe, and how we release it as a consequence of our new technologies. It tackles interesting environmental issues without being overly technical and uses mercury as a case study and model for studying environmental problems. The book uses discussions of the issues surrounding mercury pollution to illustrate how an interdisciplinary vantage is necessary to solve environmental problems.

    Read an article in the SETAC Globe by Michael C. Newman and Sharon L. Zuber at http://www.setac.org/globe/2011/november/mercury-pollution.html

    When the Scientific Vantage Is Not Enough, Michael C. Newman
    Dangerous Attractions: Mercury in Human History, Kris Lane
    Human Impacts on Earth’s Natural Mercury Cycle, Elizabeth Malcolm
    Mercury by the Numbers, Michael C. Newman and Kenneth M. Y. Leung
    Is Tuna Safe? A Sociological Analysis of Federal Fish Advisories, Kelly Joyce
    How USA Today Constructs the Problem of Mercury Pollution: A Sociological Analysis of Risk and Blame, Christine Mowery and Sarah Jane Brubaker
    Input/Output: Researching and Communicating Mercury Issues Online, John Garnett Drummond
    Making Mercury Visible: The Minamata Documentaries of Tsuchimoto Noriaki, Justin Jesty
    Mercury-Inspired Arts, Kira Obolensky and Elizabeth Mead
    Writing as Environmental Stewardship, Sydney Landon Plum
    The Necessity of International Agreement, I.L. "Pep" Fuller and Clare Stankwitz
    Afterword: Through Your Eyes, Li Xiong and Sharon L. Zuber


    As codirector of the Mercury Global Inquiry Group, Sharon L. Zuber organized faculty and student exchanges with Central China Normal University and the 2010 International Mercury EXPO, as well as mentored undergraduate student research video projects about mercury pollution. In 2006 she was invited to speak at a Symposium on Teaching and Research in Academic Writing at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. In 2008 she was area chair for “Environmental Documentaries” for the Film & History Conference. She teaches writing-intensive courses and works with faculty across the curriculum teaching freshman seminars. Her research interests focus on nonfiction writing and documentary filmmaking and include a comparison between New Journalist writers and Direct Cinema filmmakers, movements that emerged in the 1960s in the United States Her documentary films include They Live in Guinea (1996), a video about the Gloucester, Virginia, watermen; Master of the Flame (2004), a documentary about glass artist Emilio Santini; Mercury on the Move (2008), a short about the research about mercury in songbirds by Professor Daniel Cristol; and Mercury: A Hazard without Borders (2009), a film about the history and issues surrounding mercury pollution. She has published in College English, Post Script, and Film & History.

    Michael C. Newman is currently the A. Marshall Acuff, Jr. Professor of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary's School of Marine Science where he also served as Dean of Graduate Studies from 1999 to 2002. Previously, he was a faculty member at the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. His research interests include quantitative ecotoxicology, environmental statistics, risk assessment, population effects of contaminants, metal chemistry, and bioaccumulation and biomagnifications modeling.