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. image of archaeologists excavating at a site in Germany

    Neandertals were the first hominids to turn forest into grassland 125,000 years ago

    Neandertals’ campfires, hunting and other activities altered the land over 2,000 years, making them the first known hominids to impact their environs.

  2. a photo showing a fossilized aprtial jaw and braincase

    2021 research reinforced that mating across groups drove human evolution

    Fossils and DNA point to mixing and mingling among Homo groups across vast areas.

  3. image of footprints from the Laetoli site compared to a 3-D contour map of the same area

    Ancient footprints suggest a mysterious hominid lived alongside Lucy’s kind

    A previously unknown hominid species may have left its marks in muddy ash about 3.66 million years ago in what is now East Africa.

  4. an orangutan holding onto a vine

    Ancient giant orangutans evolved smaller bodies surprisingly slowly

    Fossil teeth from Chinese caves indicate that a single, ancient orangutan species gradually trimmed down over nearly 2 million years.

  5. image of pyramids in Egypt

    ‘The Dawn of Everything’ rewrites 40,000 years of human history

    A new book recasts human social evolution as multiple experiments with freedom and domination that started in the Stone Age.

  6. hand holds a reconstruction of a Homo naledi child’s skull showing fossil teeth and parts of the cranium

    A child’s partial skull adds to the mystery of how Homo naledi treated the dead

    The isolated discovery of a Homo naledi child’s skull fragments and teeth plays into idea that small-brained species ritually placed the dead in caves.

  7. The head and neck of a naturally mummified woman with long dark hair, wearing a white hat

    DNA from mysterious Asian mummies reveals their surprising ancestry

    Ancient DNA indicates that an enigmatic Bronze Age group consisted of genetic, but not cultural, loners.

  8. 3-D image created using lidar data recreating a ceremonial Olmec center on Mexico's Gulf Coast, with sunrise aligned with entrance

    Lidar reveals a possible blueprint for many Olmec and Maya ceremonial sites

    An Olmec site forged a building plan more than 3,000 years ago for widespread Olmec and Maya ritual centers across Mexico’s Gulf Coast.

  9. A reconstructed Viking Age hut with an overgrown roof in Newfoundland

    Vikings lived in North America by at least the year 1021

    Wooden objects provide the most precise dating yet of a Norse settlement in Newfoundland.

  10. a young woman working at a McDonald's restaurant
    Science & Society

    Methods of getting results from real-world experiments win 2021 economics Nobel

    David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens share the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for developing a science of naturally occurring social studies.

  11. an ancient burned tobacco seed shown from three angles

    The earliest evidence of tobacco use dates to over 12,000 years ago

    Burned seeds at an archaeological site in Utah hint at tobacco’s popularity long before it was domesticated.

  12. Anthropology

    50 years ago, X-rays revealed what ancient Egyptians kept under wraps

    In the 1970s, scientists used X-rays to unravel mummy secrets. Now, advances in technology are providing unprecedented views of ancient Egyptians.