We are as smart as rocket scientists

We think that rocket scientists and brain surgeons are super-brainy. New research suggests ordinary people are just as smart. Researchers tested 329 aerospace engineers and 72 neurosurgeons on six areas of cognition. They compared their data with those from 18,257 "normal" people. The researchers said: "Only two differences were significant: the neurosurgeons' problem-solving speed was quicker and their memory recall speed was slower."

The research questions the use of phrases such as "this isn't rocket science" or "that isn't brain surgery". These suggest something is easy to understand. The researchers said using 'It's not brain surgery' is OK when we need rapid problem solving, but not when rapid information recall is needed. The research gives hope to those who want exciting careers. However, this could lead to millions of brain surgeons and rocket designers.