© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.Many people use conspiracy theories to make sense of a changing world and its ever more complexif social structures (e.g., international financial systems, global bodies of governance), tragic events (e.g., terrorist attacks, man-made catastrophes, or natural disasters), or socio-political and economic issues (e.g., security, migration, distribution of resources, health care). The widespread flourishing of conspiracy theories in this context has prompted much interest from the academic community. There is often an expectation that it is the responsibility of researchers to engage with conspiracy beliefs by debunking them. However, like everything that relates to conspiracy theories, even the subject of debunking is not straightforward. An answer to the question as to whether researchers should debunk conspiracy theories varies across disciplines and schools, and is closely related to specific ethical codes of conduct, research methodologies, and specific approaches to conspiracy theories. While scholars who study this cultural phenomenon from a non-normative and epistemologically neutral position might wish to refrain from debunking conspiracy theories, others who see conspiracy theories as the irrational, overly suspicious and even dangerous ideas of people who don’t quite understand what is ‘really’ going on, might lean towards the debunking stance. In this special issue, we explore different approaches that academics may take in relation to conspiracy theories.