Biological Invasions

, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 2731–2738 | Cite as

Invasive species denialism revisited: response to Sagoff

  • Anthony Ricciardi
  • Rachael Ryan
Invasion Note

Science denialism is the use of rhetorical tactics and the systematic rejection of empirical evidence to cast doubt on the consensus of a field of science (Diethelm and McKee 2009). It aims to give the appearance of legitimate debate where there is none. For many years, denialism has pervaded public debates on climate change policy, the teaching of evolution in the classroom, the benefits of vaccination, and the health effects of tobacco (Oreskes and Conway 2010). Typically expressed in forums where it avoids expert peer review, denialism is characterised by, inter alia, (1) reliance on rhetorical or emotional arguments rather than verifiable facts; (2) repetition of claims that have been debunked by evidence, without acknowledging factual rebuttals; (3) selective ‘cherry-picking’ and ‘quote-mining’ of published studies; and (4) undermining the credibility of experts through unsubstantiated accusations of bias, dishonesty, or conspiracy (Hoofnagle and Hoofnagle 2007; Diethelm and...



We are grateful to James Russell, Tim Blackburn and David M. Richardson for constructive comments on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Redpath MuseumMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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