William Bausman is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Geneva. His research analyzes the scientific reasoning at work in the ongoing controversy about the neutral theory of community ecology. The neutral theory is defended by proponents as a null model with respect to competition theory. His work aims to clarify and critique how this functions to shift the burden of disproof onto competition theory. He argues that the controversy should be reconceived in terms of a debate about the relative merits of the competitionist and neutralist research programmes.