Everything you need to know about conservation you can learn from Alien(s)

As a provider of advice on how to do effective conservation, Southern Fried Science has previously looked to such as The Game of Thrones for inspiration. Today we look at another famous source of conservation tips: Alien (and Aliens)…

A single charismatic animal can be a great motivator for action.

Jones the cat

Scientists sometimes have self interests that can derail a project.

Science officer Ash

Just when you think everything is going ok a crisis hits…

Don’t try to do something all by yourself. Get help !

The Captain is about to find out why doing things on your own can be a bad idea

The field is full of competent women. Listen to them and support them.

Just when you think you’ve defeated a problem, along comes another

Dropping into a location and assuming you know everything is never a good idea…

…talk to the local experts and local community first

“They mostly come at night… mostly…”  Be aware that late night Friday is when all the dreadful anti-environmental bills appear in Government.

They mostly come at night…mostly

People with guns shooting things – sometimes hunters can help your cause, but hunting can also make things much, much more complicated.

Big corporations – are their objectives really the same as yours? Or will opartnering with them just make things more difficult.

If Weyland-Yutani offer to fund your field research – refuse immediately

“Game over man! Game over !” Don’t listen to the naysayers and the curmudgeons. You don’t know whether something is going to work unless you try.

Innovative use of unusual technology or tools can sometimes save the day.

“Just nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure”. Sometimes throwing lots of resources at something doesn’t solve a problem. Sometimes just a small number of people doing local action can have a big impact.

Everything that went wrong could usually have been avoided if you had (a) just listened to the person with experience and (b) done a thorough review first

This is Ripley’s “I told you so” face


Even the dreadful Prometheus can tell you something…

Never try to hug the wildlife…!

Seriously?! These were supposed to be scientists?!

A dysfunctional team makes you more likely to fail.

Worst search committee fail ever

Bad science can turn something hopeful into a disaster.

And if there’s anything that Prometheus and Alien: Covenant has taught us – what was a great success the first couple of times you tried it might not be a success the fifth and sixth time you try it.

Especially it you do it in a hurry and have a poorly though-out script … ahem … plan.

Images in this article from Alien, Aliens , Prometheus and Alien: Covenant (20th Century Fox; BrandyWine productions; Open sources)