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Rocket Scientists And Brain Surgeons Aren’t Actually Smarter Than The Rest Of Us, New Study Says

Aerospace engineers and brain surgeons are not always brighter than the general population, a recent study published in the festive edition of the BMJ reveals.

The Guardian reported that the researchers looked at data from 329 aerospace engineers and 72 neurosurgeons from around the world who completed 12 activities online using the Cognitron platform’s Great British Intelligence Test (GBIT), as well as answering questions about their age, sex, and amount of expertise in their field.

The exercises tested planning and reasoning ability, as well as working memory, attention, and emotion processing abilities. The researchers then matched the findings to those gathered from over 18,000 members of the British public before.

Brain Surgeon – That Mitchell & Webb Look is a Comedy sketch show starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb.

According to the study, a cocky neurosurgeon is put in his place by a rocket scientist who replies, “Brain surgery… it’s not exactly rocket science is it?” The study’s goal, according to the researchers, was to resolve this argument once and for all, and to see if public impressions of rocket science and brain surgery were accurate.

The results of the tests revealed that neurosurgeons scored significantly higher in semantic problem solving than aerospace engineers, while aerospace engineers scored significantly higher in mental manipulation and attention. There was no difference in domain scores for memory, problem-solving speed, or memory recall speed between the groups.

Smoothed distribution estimates and scatter and density plots of domain scores (Credit: Authors)

Aswin Chari, who works as a neurosurgical trainee at Great Ormond Street hospital and contributed in the report, said “Essentially what we think it shows is that everyone has a range of skills, some people are better at some things and other people are better at other things, and it is very difficult to be better in everything across the board,”.

“It is not that they are better at everything,” Chari said, referring to the two professions in the study. “But they are better at some areas that make them good at what they do.”

According to the experts, it may be better to avoid idioms like “it’s a walk in the park” for phases like “it’s a walk in the park.”

“It’s certainly possible that other professions deserve to be on that pedestal,” they added, adding that “more research should attempt to find the most deserving category.”