Bruce MacFarlane Hood is a scientist, writer and presenter interested in the mind, consciousness, belief in the supernatural and brain development.
He began his research career at the University of Dundee in Scotland, studying the visual development of infants and then went on to earn his Ph.D. After moving to the USA he took a place as a visiting professor at MIT and as an associate professor at Harvard University, he is now the Director of the Bristol Cognitive Development Centre at the University of Bristol.
Bruce has published many scientific papers, co-authored a highly successful undergraduate textbook 'Psychology' (2011) and co-edited an academic book on development of object knowledge 'The Origins of Object Knowledge' (2009).
Bruce is also a writer of popular science, having written two books for the general public, 'SuperSense' (2009) about the natural origins of supernatural beliefs, published in 12 countries, and 'The Self Illusion' (2012) about the fallacy that we are coherent, integrated individuals but rather a constructed narrative largely influenced by those around us. His third book for a general audience is 'The Domesticated Brain: Why humans are social animals' (2014). He has written for Scientific American Mind, BBC Focus Magazine and blogs for the Huffington Post and Psychology Today.
Bruce's special skill is communication. He has won Bristol University's top award for engagement twice. Has made numerous radio and TV appearances on shows like Radio Four's Infinite Monkey Cage, The One Show and Science Club.
In 2011 he was selected to present the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures broadcast on both BBC Four and BBC Two and generated the largest viewing audience since the Christmas Lectures returned to the BBC. His first lecture “Meet Your Brain is the most downloaded lecture on the Ri channel website. His talks are full of wonder and amazement about the mind and brain but delivered in an engaging and accessible manner for a wide range of audiences.
He has been awarded the Alfred Sloan Fellowship in neuroscience, the Robert L. Fantz memorial prize, the International Society for Infant Studies Young Investigator award and elected to fellow status of the American Psychological Association. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Biology (UK) and the Royal Institution of Great Britain.
Bruce Hood (right) with the Duke of Kent (centre)