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Are rocket scientists and brain surgeons really smarter than everyone else?

Press release issued: 14 December 2021

Rocket scientists and brain surgeons are no smarter than the general population, suggests a study published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Despite the commonly used phrases "It's not rocket science"and "It's not brain surgery" the findings, by researchers at the University of Bristol, UCL, Imperial College and King's College London, show that both aerospace engineers and neurosurgeons have similar levels of intelligence to those in the general population. 

As such, the researchers say that both specialties might be unnecessarily put on a pedestal, and that phrases unrelated to careers such as “It’s a walk in the park” might be more appropriate.

Read the full University of Bristol press release

Paper: '”It's not rocket science" and "It's not brain surgery"—"It's a walk in the park": prospective comparative study' by Inga Usher, Keng Siang Lee, Aswin Chari et al. in The BMJ

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