The Science of Hope

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Eye to eye with our world’s wildlife

From polar bears to mountain gorillas, penguins to sea otters, certain animals capture our imagination. These are the animals that are mascots for conservation campaigns. But why these creatures instead of other equally endangered animals? The answer lies in their cuteness or charisma! Illustrated with images by one of the world’s leading wildlife photographers, The Science of Hope informs as it educates, describing the psychology and science behind our desire to connect with these animals.

An introduction to The Science of Hope from author Dr Wiebke Finkler:

SPECIFICATIONS: 9781925820645 | Cased with jacket | 254 x 254mm / 10 x 10in | 160 pages | Full Colour

Eye to eye with our world’s wildlife… 

Great Apes

When you look into the eyes of an ape you see an intelligent, self-aware animal looking back at you. Appraising you. We don’t just descend from apes: we are apes. Like us, they make and use tools, work together, and form social groups in which they share and help others, even laughing with one another. They have strong family groups and distinct cultures.

The drastic need to conserve and protect of our Great Ape relatives is made more dire with every photograph of poachers, burnt rain forests and circus conditions – but it is not without hope.




Great White Sharks

The most feared creature in the ocean, perhaps the whole world, is the Great White Shark – but it is far more fearsome in our imaginations than in reality. As a group, sharks have been around for around 450 million years, meaning sharks have managed to survive the four mass extinctions that have taken place on Earth. It would be a tragedy if these charismatic apex predators should be lost now due to our actions; a loss that would surely reverberate through the wider marine environment with negative consequences for coral reefs and almost every other species of fish.





If charisma were an element like carbon or oxygen that could be measured accurately, then Koalas would be composed of 100 per cent charisma. No other animal combines cuteness, cuddliness, uniqueness and apparent placidity to the same extent. In some parts of Australia the Koala population is small due to loss of habitat, while in others the population is so dense that they run the risk of exhausting their food supply. Finding a precarious balance between these two extremes is something that scientists are still trying to master.



Dr Wiebke Finkler is a creative marketing researcher, filmmaker and science communicator. With a background in marine biology, Wiebke has a special interest in how filmmaking combined with community-based social marketing can be used as a tool for human–wildlife management, sustainable development, conservation, and social good. Wiebke is currently a lecturer in the Department of Marketing, University of Otago, New Zealand.

Scott Davis is a wildlife researcher, international photography expedition leader, and professional assignment photographer specialising in wildlife, travel, documentary and editorial imagery. Originally trained as a wildlife and marine biologist, Scott’s research, photo assignments and expeditions have repeatedly taken him to the far-flung corners of the globe and all seven continents.

Our Narratives
“What most impresses me about this book is that it does not just point out problems but also provides workable solutions. It connects a spectrum of field professionals across disciplines so their messages are direct, stories are empirical, and suggestions are practical. Not to mention the amazing photos taken by Scott for each animal, making this book even more compelling for people to take action and make a difference.” Click here to read more


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