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. photo of a gibbon looking at the camera
    Anthropology

    A stray molar is the oldest known fossil from an ancient gibbon

    A newly described tooth puts ancestors of these small-bodied apes in India roughly 13 million years ago.

  2. Stonehenge model
    Archaeology

    Stonehenge enhanced sounds like voices or music for people inside the monument

    Scientists created a scale model one-twelfth the size of the ancient stone circle to study its acoustics.

  3. Maya sculpture of woman holding child
    Humans

    Ancient sculptures hint at universal facial expressions across cultures

    Interpreting the emotions carved onto sculptures from long ago offers a new way to study how humans perceive facial expressions.

  4. South Africa’s Border Cave
    Archaeology

    The oldest known grass beds from 200,000 years ago included insect repellents

    Found in South Africa, 200,000-year-old bedding remnants included fossilized grass, bug-repelling ash and once aromatic camphor leaves.

  5. illustration of a woolly rhino
    Life

    Climate change, not hunters, may have killed off woolly rhinos

    Ancient DNA indicates that numbers of woolly rhinos held steady long after people arrived on the scene.

  6. Inca ritual offering llama figurine
    Archaeology

    A submerged Inca offering hints at Lake Titicaca’s sacred role

    Divers found a stone box holding a figurine and a gold item, highlighting Lake Titicaca’s sacred status to the Inca.

  7. person holding a hand ax
    Archaeology

    This 1.4-million-year-old hand ax adds to Homo erectus’ known toolkit

    A newly described East African find, among the oldest bone tools found, shows the ancient hominids crafted a range of simple and more complex tools.

  8. Easter Island
    Genetics

    South Americans may have traveled to Polynesia 800 years ago

    DNA analyses suggest that Indigenous people from South America had a role in the early peopling of Polynesia.

  9. diver in underwater Mexican cave
    Humans

    Underwater caves once hosted the Americas’ oldest known ochre mines

    Now-submerged chambers in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula contain ancient evidence of extensive red ochre removal as early as 12,000 years ago.

  10. surprised-looking rhesus macaque monkey
    Psychology

    Monkeys may share a key grammar-related skill with humans

    A contested study suggests the ability to embed sequences within other sequences, a skill called recursion and crucial to grammar, has ancient roots.

  11. Ireland's Newgrange passage tomb
    Genetics

    DNA from a 5,200-year-old Irish tomb hints at ancient royal incest

    Ruling families in Ireland may have organized a big tomb project, and inbred, more than 5,000 years ago, a new study suggests.

  12. artifacts from Sri Lanka
    Archaeology

    Clues to the earliest known bow-and-arrow hunting outside Africa have been found

    Possible arrowheads at a rainforest site in Sri Lanka date to 48,000 years ago.