Disagreement About Invasive Species Does Not Equate to Denialism: A Response to Russell and Blackburn
Trends in Ecology and Evolution
Elsevier for Trends
Reason for embargo
The growth of academic and societal attention to invasive species, their impacts, and their control has been accompanied by frequent controversies and conflicts surrounding management and policy responses. These often include disagreements not only about scientific evidence and its application but also about ethical, cultural, and political differences and divergent assessments of risk . Russell and Blackburn  argue that challenges to scientific consensus surrounding biological invasions are on the rise. They introduce the concept of invasive species denialism, characterising science denialism as ‘the rejection of undisputed scientific facts’, typically by ‘groups with a vested interest in opposition’. We agree with them that unsubstantiated refutation and misreporting of scientific evidence should be robustly challenged. We also agree that the disingenuous manufacture of uncertainty surrounding issues on which there is largely scientific consensus is problematic. However, we are concerned that their article blurs important differences between honest disagreement and science denialism, and could be counterproductive. [...]
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 32 (4), pp. 228–229
Place of publication