Invasion biology is the field of ecology and conservation biology that interacts with introduced and invasive species. Introduced species are biogeographically “non-native,” requiring anthropogenic or human-aided dispersal to cross geographic barriers, and those introduced populations that have undesirable economic, environmental, or public health effects are usually those labelled “invasive.” Invasion biology formed in the late 20th century in response to concerns about the conservation implications of some introduced species. The field has since faced criticisms from scholars in multiple fields for alleged xenophobia, fear-mongering, advocacy of controversial management and eradication campaigns, as well as some invasion biologists’ philosophy of nature, which, like romantic ideals of “wilderness,” seems to exclude humans. This presentation will clarify and evaluate competing ethical justifications of invasion biologists’ concern with introduced species, advocating a pluralistic view that attempts to balance the diverse values at stake in the study and management of invasive species.
David M. Frank is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy and the Cogut Institute for the Humanities. His research focuses on values and ethics in environmental sciences. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Texas in 2012 with a dissertation on philosophy of conservation biology. His current research focuses on philosophical controversies about invasive species, the ethics and economics of the Green New Deal, and the ethics of environmental health research.
This event is open to the public, it is presented as part of the Cogut Institute’s Initiative for Environmental Humanities at Brown (EHAB).