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. A closeup photo of a small semi-transparent stone in the shape of an arrowhead held between a person's index finger and thumb.

    Homo sapiens may have brought archery to Europe about 54,000 years ago

    Small stone points found in a French rock-shelter could have felled prey only as tips of arrows shot from bows, scientists say.

  2. composite image of stone tool artifacts on a black background

    Hominids used stone tool kits to butcher animals earlier than once thought

    Finds in Kenya push Oldowan tool use back to around 2.9 million years ago, roughly 300,000 years earlier than previous evidence.

  3. rows of pots and other vessels used in an Egyptian embalming workshop seen in an archaeological site

    Chemical residue reveals ancient Egyptians’ mummy-making mixtures

    Chemical clues in embalming vessels reveal previously unknown ingredients used to prepare bodies for mummification and their far-flung origins.

  4. An underwater photo of a replica sunken merchant ship with a scuba diver swimming above.

    Complex supply chains may have appeared more than 3,000 years ago

    Finds from one of the world’s oldest shipwrecks hint that miners in Central Asia and Turkey provided a crucial metal to Mediterranean rulers.

  5. the Maya site Aguada Fénix as mapped by lasers, showing a rectangular ceremonial site oriented toward sunrise, surrounded by other structures and faint markings that may be roads

    Lasers reveal sites used as the Americas’ oldest known star calendars

    By around 3,100 years ago, Mesoamerican ritual complexes tracked celestial cycles using a 260-day count, a huge lidar mapping project shows.

  6. a child's partial skull, belonging to Homo naledi, against a black backdrop. The area around the bridge of the nose and eyebrows is brown, while the rest of the skull is mostly white.

    Homo naledi may have lit fires in underground caves at least 236,000 years ago

    Homo naledi may have joined the group of ancient hominids who built controlled fires, presumably for light or warmth, new finds hint.

  7. A photo of the remnants of a pyramid among trees and other forest growth

    Some Maya rulers may have taken generations to attract subjects

    Commoners slowly granted authority to kings at the ancient Maya site of Tamarindito, researchers suspect.

  8. profile photo of the top section of a gold sarcophagus belonging to King Tutankhamun

    King Tut’s tomb still has secrets to reveal 100 years after its discovery

    More of Tut’s story is poised to come to light in the coming years. Here are four things to know on the 100th anniversary of his tomb’s discovery.

  9. An illustration of a Siberian Neandertal father carrying his young daughter on his shoulders.

    Ancient DNA unveils Siberian Neandertals’ small-scale social lives

    Females often moved into their mate’s communities, which totaled about 20 individuals, researchers say.

  10. Iraq's Tell al-Hiba site, a sprawling desert landscape, seen from the air

    Drone photos reveal an early Mesopotamian city made of marsh islands

    Urban growth around 4,600 years ago, near what is now southern Iraq, occurred on marshy outposts that lacked a city center.

  11. a fossilized ape jaw on a black background. The jaw has several discolored teeth

    Fossil finds put gibbons in Asia as early as 8 million years ago

    Specimens from China raise questions about the evolutionary ID of an even older ape tooth from India.

  12. image of a young adult’s skeleton with the lower left leg absent

    The oldest known surgical amputation occurred 31,000 years ago

    A young adult on the island of Borneo survived a lower left leg removal thanks to medically savvy rainforest surgeons.