ISR Book Launch: ‘Trophy Hunting, A Psychological Perspective’

14th Nov 2019, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Business School

‘Trophy Hunting, A Psychological Perspective’ with Prof Geoff Beattie, Edge Hill University In conversation with Will Travers, OBE & Dr Mark Jones, Born Free Foundation

Geoff Beattie introduces his new book which explores the psychology of trophy hunting from a critical perspective and considers the reasons why some people engage in the controversial activity of killing often endangered animals for sport.

Recent highly charged debate, reaching a peak with the killing of Cecil the lion in 2015, has brought trophy hunting under unprecedented public scrutiny, and yet the psychology of trophy hunting crucially remains under-explored. Considering everything from the evolutionary perspective and ‘inclusive fitness’, to personality and individual factors like narcissism, empathy, and the Duchenne smiles of hunters posing with their prey, Beattie makes connections between a variety of indicators of prestige and dominance, showing how trophy hunting is inherently linked to a desire for status. The author argues that we need to identify, analyse and deconstruct the factors that hold the behaviour of trophy hunting in place if we are to understand why it continues, and indeed why it flourishes, in an age of collapsing ecosystems and dwindling species populations.

The first book of its kind to examine critically current research to determine whether there really is an evolutionary argument for trophy hunting, and what range of motivations and personality traits may be linked to this activity. This is essential reading for students and academics in psychology, geography, business, environmental studies, animal welfare as well as policy makers and charities in these and related areas. It is of major relevance for anyone who cares about the future of our planet and the species that inhabit it.

Geoff is joined in conversation by Will Travers, OBE, an internationally-renowned wildlife expert and President of the Born Free Foundation, and Dr Mark Jones, Born Free Foundation Head of Policy.


  • 5.30pm – Registration and refreshments
  • 6.00pm – Event start
  • 7.00pm – Networking

Professor Geoff Beattie

Geoff is an internationally acclaimed psychologist, author and broadcaster. He is Professor of Psychology at Edge Hill University and in recent years a Masters supervisor on the Sustainability Leadership Programme at the University of Cambridge and Visiting Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has a First Class Honours degree in psychology from the University of Birmingham and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Cambridge.  He was awarded the Spearman Medal by the British Psychological Society for ‘published psychological research of outstanding merit’ and the internationally acclaimed Mouton d’Or for his work in semiotics. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an ex-President of the Psychology Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (B.A.).

Will Travers, OBE

Will is an internationally-renowned wildlife expert and President of the Born Free Foundation. He co-founded the charity alongside his mother, actress Virginia McKenna OBE, and his late father, Bill Travers MBE, in 1984. The organisation works to stop individual wild animal suffering, promote Compassionate Conservation and keep wildlife in the wild.  Will is also President of Born Free USA and of the Special Survival Network (SSN), an international coalition of over 90 organisations committed to the promotion, enhancement and stronger enforcement of CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

Dr Mark Jones

Mark trained as a vet at Liverpool University and worked for many years in fish health and disease control, before spending five years travelling extensively and working on rescue and rehabilitation projects for primates, bears, birds, and reptiles in South America and Asia. He has Masters’ degrees in both aquatic and wild animal health, and several years’ experience in the non-government animal protection sector covering international wildlife trade, wildlife management and animal welfare issues. He joined the Born Free Foundation in 2014 where he is currently Head of Policy.

This event is brought to you by the Institute for Social Responsibility. To learn more about ISR please visit our website