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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 3-D rendering of Maya site Aguada Fénix
    Humans

    Lidar reveals the oldest and biggest Maya structure yet found

    A previously unknown Maya site in Mexico, called Aguada Fénix, adds to evidence that massive public works may have preceded kings in the civilization.

  8. Dead Sea Scrolls
    Humans

    The Dead Sea Scrolls contain genetic clues to their origins

    Animal DNA is providing researchers with hints on how to assemble what amounts to a giant jigsaw puzzle of ancient manuscript fragments.

  9. Arad shrine
    Archaeology

    A biblical-era Israeli shrine shows signs of the earliest ritual use of marijuana

    Chemical analyses reveal a residue of cannabis and animal dung on an altar from a biblical-era fortress in use more than 2,700 years ago.

  10. Siberia’s Selenga River
    Genetics

    The oldest genetic link between Asians and Native Americans was found in Siberia

    DNA from a fragment of a 14,000-year-old tooth suggests that Native Americans have widespread Asian ancestry.

  11. 16th century painting of a grim scene of death
    Science & Society

    Past plagues offer lessons for society after the coronavirus pandemic

    Starting with the Roman Empire, societies have often dealt resiliently with deadly pandemics.

  12. a photo of a papyrus boat
    Archaeology

    50 years ago, explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s Atlantic crossing hit a snag

    Explorer Thor Heyerdahl followed an aborted Atlantic voyage with a second trip that indicated ancient Egyptians could have traveled over long distances by sea.