It’s a myth! Study claims that brain surgeons and rocket scientists are no smarter than your intelligence.

  • Scientists have compared intelligence between 329 engineers in aerospace, 72 neurosurgeons (and 18,257 general citizens).
  • In intelligence, Aerospace engineers showed no differences
  • Problems could be solved faster by neurosurgeons than they can by the general population
  • But, neurosurgeons reported a slower rate of memory recall.

“It’s no rocket science” and “it’s NOT brain surgery” are common phrases used to show that it is not difficult for someone to do something or understand.

New research suggests that it may not take rocket science to perform brain surgery.

UCL scientists compared intelligence between brain surgeons (brain surgeons) and rocket scientists (rocket scientist).

The findings of the study show that both neurosurgeons and aerospace engineers are intelligent, contrary to common belief.

In their research, which was published in The BMJ, the researchers suggested that neurosurgeons as well as aerospace engineers could be placed unnecessarily on a pedestal.

“Other specialties may be deserving of that place, but future research should seek to identify the most worthy profession.”

Their findings indicate that contrary to popular belief, aerospace engineers (stock image) and neurosurgeons have similar levels of intelligence to the general population

These findings show that, contrary to popular opinion (stock photo), neurosurgeons and aerospace engineers have comparable intelligence levels to the general public.

Their study compared intelligence between 329 astronaut engineers and 72 neurosurgeons.

An online test was administered to assess intelligence. It measured planning and reasoning as well as working memory and emotional processing.

We also considered other factors which may affect intelligence, such as gender, handsight, experience, and specialization.

Neurosurgeons (stock image) were able to solve problems faster than the general public, but showed a slower memory recall speed

The stock image shows that neurosurgeons could solve problems quicker than the public but had slower memories recall.

Results showed that both neurosurgeons as well as aerospace engineers were equal in many aspects. However, neurosurgeons performed better with semantic problem solving, while aerospace engineers did better with mental manipulation.

Aerospace engineers showed no significant difference in intelligence when their results were compared with the general population.

While neurosurgeons were capable of solving problems quicker than the public, they also showed slower recall speeds.

These findings indicate that both the “it’s no rocket science” and “it’s NOT brain surgery” stereotypes don’t hold true.

The researchers concluded that despite these stereotypes and the larger proportion of men, neurosurgeons and aerospace engineers have cognitive abilities similar to the rest of the population.

“Our results show that further efforts are required to expand access to these specialist fields to avoid future staff shortages. They also highlight the need to create a workforce with diverse skills to support innovation in the future.


In 2014, research revealed that people who swear often are more likely than those with a clean tongue to possess a larger vocabulary.

The study, published in Language Sciences journal, found that a talker’s colourful tongue does NOT necessarily indicate that they are lazy or uneducated.

The converse is that those who use taboo terms more often are articulaters in all other areas.

Kristin Jay and Timothy Jay from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, psychologists, co-wrote this study. They said swearing is positively associated with verbal fluency.

They wrote, “We can’t help but judge other people based on their speech.”

“Unfortunately when it comes taboo language it is common to assume that those who swear often are either lazy or lack knowledge.

They concluded that “the overall conclusion of the study, which showed taboo fluency was positively associated with verbal fluency measures, is a weakening of the hypothesis.” [normal] view of swearing.’

In 2017, a separate study by the University of Rochester found that smart people swear more. 

However, research has shown that people who swear frequently believe they are less trustworthy and intelligent than the truth. This paradox is somewhat surprising.