Biological invasions have been unambiguously shown to be one of the major global causes of biodiversity loss. Despite the magnitude of this threat and recent scientific advances, this field remains a regular target of criticism - from outright deniers of the threat to scientists questioning the utility of the discipline. This unique situation, combining internal strife and an unaware society, greatly hinders the progress of invasion biology. It is crucial to identify the specificities of this discipline that lead to such difficulties. We outline here 24 specificities and problems of this discipline and categorize them into four groups: understanding, alerting, supporting, and implementing the issues associated with invasive alien species, and we offer solutions to tackle these problems and push the field forward.