Are the brain surgeons more brainy than others ?

It is a common perception that brain surgeons are more brainy than the rest of general public.

It is also often quipped that rocket scientists are more smarter than general public

How true is it ?

A study published in British Medical Journal (BMJ) looked at the “smartness” of the rocket scientists and brain surgeons.

They assessed the “smartness” by using an online test. The study involved 600 aerospace engineers ( rocket scientists) and 148 neurosurgeons ( brain surgeons).

This online test known as “Cognitron’s Great British Intelligence Test” measured distinct aspects of cognition, spanning planning and reasoning, working memory, attention, and emotion processing abilities.

The brain surgeons had higher scores than the rocket scientists in semantic problem solving. The rocket scientists got higher scores in mental manipulation and attention.

With many other sections of the tests, the brain surgeons and rocket scientists did not do a lot better than the general population !

The study concludes that both neurosurgeons and aerospace engineers are unnecessarily placed on a pedestal with common phrases such as “It’s not rocket science” and “It’s not brain surgery”.

This study does NOT prove the experts do not know much more than general public.

The study does NOT mean that “social media rants” and “conspiracy theories” are somehow right !

Would you let a lay person operate on your brain ?

Technical and Scientific Expertise is still valuable !

References

“It’s not rocket science” and “It’s not brain surgery”—“It’s a walk in the park”: prospective comparative study
BMJ 2021; 375 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2021-067883 (Published 13 December 2021)
Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:e067883

Guardian. Brain surgeons and rocket scientists no brighter than the rest of us, study finds
Data from 329 aerospace engineers and 72 neurosurgeons suggests they are not necessarily cleverer than general population.
Nicola Davis
@NicolaKSDavis
Mon 13 Dec 2021 23.30 GMT

BBC. Rocket scientists and brain surgeons aren’t necessarily more clever – study

Disclaimer: Please note – This blog is NOT medical advice. This blog is NOT a expert medical opinion on various topics. This blog is purely for information only and do check the sources where cited. Please DO consult your own doctor to discuss concerns and options relevant to you. The views expressed in this blog are NOT, in any way whatsoever, intended to be a substitute for professional advice. The blog is NOT previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed, in any way, by any organisation that the author is associated with. The views expressed in this blog likely represents some of the author’s personal views held at the time of drafting the blog and MAY CHANGE overtime, particularly when new evidence comes to light.