As researchers increasingly face many kinds of attack over their work, there is debate about how to support and protect them.

Every day around the world, scientists are being abused and harassed online. They are being attacked on social media and by e-mail, telephone, letter and in person. And their reputations are being smeared with baseless accusations of misconduct. Sometimes, this escalates to real-world confrontations and attacks.

Such threats to scientists aren’t new; those researching climate change and gun control, for example, have endured abuse for decades.