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Keywords:

  • aliens;
  • biotic exchange;
  • exotics;
  • scientific ethics;
  • scientific role

Abstract  We disagree with the assertion that recent human-caused invasions differ substantially from historic natural invasions in their magnitudes and impacts on ecological processes. The position that exotic species are inherently ‘bad’ and should be eradicated is an ethical judgement, usually based on the naturalist fallacy or xenophobic prejudice; it is not a scientific judgement. The role of scientists in studying invasive species should be to gather, interpret and communicate information as accurately and objectively as possible.