Bruce Bower

Bruce Bower

Behavioral Sciences Writer

Bruce Bower has written about the behavioral sciences since 1984. He often writes about psychology, anthropology, archaeology and mental health issues. Bruce has a master's degree in psychology from Pepperdine University and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Following an internship at Science News in 1981, he worked as a reporter at Psychiatric News, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association, until joining Science News as a staff writer. In 1996, the American Psychological Association appointed Bruce a Science Writer Fellow, with a grant to visit psychological scientists of his own choosing. Early stints as an aide in a day school for children and teenagers with severe psychological problems and as a counselor in a drug diversion center provided Bruce with a surprisingly good background for a career in science journalism.

All Stories by Bruce Bower

  1. crowd of Japanese commuters wearing masks

    A coronavirus epidemic may have hit East Asia about 25,000 years ago

    An ancient viral outbreak may have left a genetic mark in East Asians that possibly influences their responses to the virus that causes COVID-19.

  2. human skull from early humans in Europe

    Europe’s oldest known humans mated with Neandertals surprisingly often

    DNA from ancient fossils suggests interbreeding regularly occurred between the two species by about 45,000 years ago, two studies find.

  3. scientists excavating a rock shelter in the Kalahari Desert

    Stone Age culture bloomed inland, not just along Africa’s coasts

    Homo sapiens living more than 600 kilometers from the coast around 105,000 years ago collected crystals that may have had ritual meaning.

  4. bones of a man and woman with artifacts in a bronze age grave

    Riches in a Bronze Age grave suggest it holds a queen

    Researchers have long assumed mostly men ran ancient Bronze Age societies, but the find points to a female ruler in Spain 3,700 years ago.

  5. painting of a Neandertal man and child on the Iberian plains

    Finds in a Spanish cave inspire an artistic take on warm-weather Neandertals

    Iberia’s mild climate fostered a host of resources for hominids often pegged as mammoth hunters.

  6. distraught woman sitting on a sofa with a glass of wine
    Health & Medicine

    COVID-19 has exacerbated a troubling U.S. health trend: premature deaths

    The pandemic played into already rising death rates from obesity, drugs, alcohol and suicide.

  7. Ardi skull

    Ardi may have been more chimplike than initially thought — or not

    A contested study of hand and foot fossils suggests this 4.4-million-year-old hominid was a tree climber and branch swinger.

  8. Burned remains of a woman

    A body burned inside a hut 20,000 years ago signaled shifting views of death

    Ancient hunter-gatherers burned a hut in which they had placed a dead woman, suggesting a change in how death was viewed.

  9. Stonehenge monument seen from above

    Stonehenge may have had roots in a Welsh stone circle

    Ancient migrants to southern England brought the makings of the iconic monument with them, researchers suspect.

  10. ancient seashell

    Humans made a horn out of a conch shell about 18,000 years ago

    Ancient find may have sounded off during rituals in a cave adorned with wall art.

  11. Hand gripping a handhold at a climbing gym

    Humanlike thumb dexterity may date back as far as 2 million years ago

    A computer analysis suggests early Homo species developed a powerful grip, giving them an evolutionary edge over some other tool-using hominids.

  12. round stone, the oldest known abrading tool

    The oldest known abrading tool was used around 350,000 years ago

    A flat-ended rock found in an Israeli cave marks an early technological shift by human ancestors to make stone tools for grinding rather than cutting.