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

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Ardi skull
    Anthropology

    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.

  4. Burned remains of a woman
    Anthropology

    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.

  5. Stonehenge monument seen from above
    Archaeology

    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.

  6. ancient seashell
    Archaeology

    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.

  7. Hand gripping a handhold at a climbing gym
    Anthropology

    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.

  8. round stone, the oldest known abrading tool
    Archaeology

    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.

  9. Indonesian cave
    Archaeology

    One of the oldest known cave paintings has been found in Indonesia

    A drawing of a pig on the island of Sulawesi dates to at least 45,500 years ago.

  10. dog on a leash
    Anthropology

    Ice Age hunters’ leftovers may have fueled dog domestication

    Ancient people tamed wolves by feeding them surplus game, researchers suggest.

  11. Lake Baikal
    Genetics

    Plague may have caused die-offs of ancient Siberians

    DNA suggests that the deadly bacterium that causes the plague reached northeast Asia by 4,400 years ago.

  12. Bonobos grooming
    Animals

    Bonobos, much like humans, show commitment to completing a joint task

    Experiments with bonobos suggest that humans aren’t the only ones who can feel a sense of mutual responsibility toward other members of their species.