ICMGP2017 will produce a series of peer-reviewed synthesis papers associated with the four plenary synthesis themes. Each will connect mercury science to regulatory issues and policy implementation, as well as communication of science to stakeholders. Previous mercury conferences have organized synthesis activities taking various forms. For example, the Madison (2006) conference put together the Madison Declaration on Mercury Pollution, and the Halifax conference (2011) drew from plenary talks in a synthesis paper (Driscoll et al., ES&T, 2013). With the theme of Mercury 2017, “Integrating Mercury Research and Policy in a Changing World,” proposed synthesis activities will support and highlight the activities of the conference.

The four theme questions that will be addressed in the plenary sessions and in the synthesis papers are:

  1. How is global mercury cycling changing in response to perturbations (e.g., climate change, emissions control)?

  2. How is mercury cycling (and bioaccumulation) changing in specific places in response to perturbations (e.g., climate change, remediation, nutrient control, urbanization)?

  3. What is the relative risk of mercury exposure to human health and wildlife in the context of other risks/stressors?

  4. How can scientific knowledge contribute to the implementation and effectiveness evaluation of the Minamata Convention?

Each of the groups of lead co-authors were selected by the conference executive committee and have been working to assemble writing teams, develop the scope of the papers, and will produce the synthesis papers during the coming year. Drafts of the papers will be made available to the conference participants prior to the conference and the co-author groups will present their findings during the plenary sessions of the ICMGP2017. The final science synthesis papers will be published in the journal Ambio.