Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The exponential growth of invasive species denialism.

Abstract

Since the 1990s, there have appeared numerous articles in scholarly journals and the popular press that deny the risks posed by non-native species and claim that the field of invasion biology is biased, uninformative and pseudoscientific. Unlike normal scientific debates, which are evidence based, this discourse typically uses rhetorical arguments to disregard, misrepresent or reject evidence in attempt to cast doubt on the scientific consensus that species introductions pose significant risks to biodiversity and ecosystems; thus, it is similar to the denialism that has affected climate science and medical science. Invasive species denialism, like science denialism in general, is typically expressed in forums where it avoids expert peer review. Denialist articles have increased exponentially over the past three decades, most notably in the mainstream popular press. This burgeoning phenomenon could impede development and implementation of policies designed to safeguard against invasive species spread and impact.