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. an ancient hide scraping tool shown at three different angles

    Stone Age people used bone scrapers to make leather and pelts

    African cave finds include remains of skinned creatures and hide scrapers made from animal ribs.

  2. Jubbah oasis

    Stone Age humans or their relatives occasionally trekked through a green Arabia

    Hominids periodically inhabited ancient Arabia starting around 400,000 years ago when lakes temporarily formed as a result of monsoons, a study finds.

  3. skull bones from an ancient Indonesian woman

    Ancient DNA shows the peopling of Southeast Asian islands was surprisingly complex

    Ancient DNA from a hunter-gatherer skeleton points to earlier-than-expected human arrivals on Southeast Asian islands known as Wallacea.

  4. Archaeology

    A 1,000-year-old grave may have held a powerful nonbinary person

    A medieval grave in Finland, once thought to maybe hold a respected woman warrior, may belong to someone who didn’t have a strictly male or female identity.

  5. illustration of the letter p with a less than symbol and .05 above scientists doing various calculations

    How the strange idea of ‘statistical significance’ was born

    A mathematical ritual known as null hypothesis significance testing has led researchers astray since the 1950s.

  6. a group of Ayta people in front of huts beside a river

    An Indigenous people in the Philippines have the most Denisovan DNA

    Genetic comparisons crown the Indigenous Ayta Magbukon people as having the most DNA, 5 percent, from the mysterious ancient hominids.

  7. illustration of two scientists looking at boxes depicting famous psychology experiments

    Psychology has struggled for a century to make sense of the mind

    Research into what makes us tick has been messy and contentious, but has led to intriguing insights.

  8. skeleton of an ancient shark attack victim at an excavation site

    A skeleton from Peru vies for the title of oldest known shark attack victim

    The 6,000-year-old remains of a teen with a missing leg and tell-tale bite marks came to light after news of a 3,000-year-old victim in Japan surfaced.

  9. partially excavated skeleton of oldest known victim of a shark bite

    A partial skeleton reveals the world’s oldest known shark attack

    An ancient shark bite victim died quickly, before his body was recovered and buried, a new study finds.

  10. five skulls from different Homo species

    ‘Dragon Man’ skull may help oust Neandertals as our closest ancient relative

    A Chinese fossil has been classified as a new Homo species that lived more than 146,000 years ago, but not all scientists are convinced.

  11. jaw and skull bones from the Nesher Ramla site on a white background

    Israeli fossil finds reveal a new hominid group, Nesher Ramla Homo

    Discoveries reveal a new Stone Age population that had close ties to Homo sapiens at least 120,000 years ago, complicating the human family tree.

  12. Coxcatlan Cave entrance

    New clues suggest people reached the Americas around 30,000 years ago

    Ancient rabbit bones from a Mexican rock-shelter point to humans arriving on the continent as much as 10,000 years earlier than often assumed.