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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. A painting of a Muscogee (Creek) village in the 1790s shows a circular council house next to four clan structures positioned around a square. The village is on the banks of a pond and surrounded by trees.

     Indigenous Americans ruled democratically long before the U.S. did

    Oklahoma’s Muscogee people, among others, promoted rule by the people long before the U.S. Constitution was written.
  11. 3-D models of an upper leg bone and two forearm bones, each shown from two angles

     7-million-year-old limb fossils may be from the earliest known hominid

    An earlier report on one of the bones of a 7-million-year-old creature that may have walked upright has triggered scientific misconduct charges.
  12. a grayscale drawing of native Hawaiians rowing long boats, one of which has a sail

    ‘The Five-Million-Year Odyssey’ reveals how migration shaped humankind

    A globe-trotting trek through history shows how past population migrations changed the course of human biology and culture.