ISBN: 9781925820645

The Science of Hope

USD $29.99 Tax Included

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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: 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.

Interview on RNZ National Radio, afternoons with Jesse Mulligan
I love how positive this book is.

I think people of all ages would enjoy it.

The book is very inspiring. It is gorgeous.

Studio Magazine
“This book will make a wonderfully life-affirming gift – combining the power of professional photography with the power of professional wildlife research in a very accessible and impressive book.”

Rick Sammon
“After reading this book, I do have hope for future of wildlife . . . if we all do our part to protect our environment.”

Mindfoodfeatured Great Apes extract “ A photographer and writer go eye to eye with the world’s great apes Click here to read

School Days  “I highly recommend purchasing this book to have for your own interest, as a reference book for your library and as a gift for others who appreciate and are interested in the conservation of our natural world. It has a permanent spot on our coffee table. Click here to read

Good Organic Gardening  “this stunningly produced book, alive with Scott Davis stunning photography … is guaranteed to rekindle childhood wonder in even the worst pessimist Click here to read

“Interwoven in the pages of The Science of Hope are theory, storytelling, beautiful imagery, thought-provoking statements, opportunities, and hope for the future. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, as it contributes to the climate solution, enhances feelings of hope and connection, and highlights that we all play a role in saving our planet.”

Science Teachers Association of VictorianScience of Hope’ is a book that will inspire and educate those who are interested in opening its covers for it is thought provoking, has the most appealing and amazing photographs of animals in the wild and information that is more than what is usually found in a reference dictionary.”

Friends of The Gardens Magazine (Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney)

“This collection of stunning wildlife photography celebrates the charismatic creatures that serve as ambassadors for conservation campaigns around the world”. Click here to view

The Australian – Travel Section

“The glossy, generously priced title is sorted into land and marine species, from whale sharks and elephants to monarch butterflies and comical penguins, “the cornerstone of charisma in the [flightless] bird world”. Click here to read

Adore Animals

A new book exploring the success of conservation efforts across the globe aims to empower people to make a difference rather than be paralysed by environmental ‘hopelessness’. Click here to read in full 

Ngaarda Radio Ngaarda Radio 

Interview with Wiebke on WA’s indigenous network Click here to listen

Australian Wildlife

a remarkable visual journey exploring why certain animals capture our attention”  Click here to read 

Noosa Style

“Not only celebrates the astonishing beauty of the natural world but focuses on the flagship species that fire our imaginations and the conservations efforts that result when we are inspired to act” Click here to read

ABC Adelaide – Afternoons with Sonya Feldhoff
“Providing hope in what often looks like a very doom and gloom environment when you look at the future for species or habitat or sustainability” Click here to listen

The West Australian

“Illustrated with images by one of the world’s leading wildlife photographers, The Science of Hope takes you on a visual journey and shines a spotlight on hopeful conservation efforts happening around the world.

Good Reading

“A photographic journey which explores animals that humans are fascinated by alongside conservation initiatives”

Wildlife Dectective

The book was a delight to read and it is a credit to the author and photographer. It will most certainly appeal to anyone who has even a modicum of interest in wildlife.

NZ Booklovers

This book captures exactly that. In an age of talking about climate change, mass extinction, water levels rising and so forth it is very easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom of it all. In response, Finkler, a lecturer from Otago University, teamed up with Scott Davis – a photographer of the highest class – to present some possible solutions to a world that seems to be tearing itself apart at the seams.
Photographs throughout the book are stunning, they are vibrant and different to the usual collection that one may expect to see. But it is the writing that is really sublime in this book. It is the presentation of these animals in a way that exudes love and attention from Finkler. A marketing lecturer, it is clear that she knows how to use the methods of persuasion to make the reader really care about the plight of these animals, and what we can do to change the dystopian future for many of them.
The book is wonderful, it really is. As much at home as a coffee table book as it is as a reference guide, this book is a revelation and a celebration of nature in its finest form. It is both a beautifully captured portrait of nature and an uplifting view of what can be if we are willing to take some risks and try something new.

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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A Book of Fun for Frog Lovers

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To help continue Phil Bishop’s work with The Halliday-Bishop Conservation Library, a bibliographic archive of important conservation resources, click the link below to donate to the ASG 
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