First News: Everyone Is Brainy!

First News is a 28-page weekly newspaper for young people delivered into homes across the UK every Friday. Find out more and try for free at or scan here to access your free issue.


Rocket scientists and brain surgeons are no smarter than the rest of us, suggests a new study.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Researchers compared the intelligence of 329 aerospace engineers (rocket scientists) and 72 neurosurgeons (brain surgeons) with 18,257 members of the general public.

A new study has revealed that surgeons are not smarter than the rest of us (photo: getty)A new study has revealed that surgeons are not smarter than the rest of us (photo: getty)
A new study has revealed that surgeons are not smarter than the rest of us (photo: getty)

These two jobs are well-known through phrases such as "It's not rocket science!" and "It's not brain surgery!" You use this when you don't think something is difficult. But the results suggests that all three groups showed a wide range of intelligence. Go us!

All participants completed an online test to measure different skills, including planning, reasoning, memory and attention. Factors such as gender and experience were taken into account.

When the scores were compared, rocket scientists showed no significant differences to the general public in any of the categories. Brain surgeons solved problems faster than the general public but showed a slower memory recall speed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The study has been published in the Christmas issue of The British Medical Journal.


Young people! Send us your news and photos to [email protected] and have your story published on this page and ,perhaps, in First News too.


By Molly, Connie, Jared and Jemima, Newton Primary School

At our school, we are really passionate about saving animals and the environment. This autumn, the whole school planted a crocus bulb each in the ground around the main entrance.

This came to nearly 500 bulbs altogether! It was really easy to do- we just peeled back the turf and pushed the bulbs into the soil.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Ready to get plantingReady to get planting
Ready to get planting

When the bulbs have grown into flowers, it will multiply and eventually become a lovely meadow of spring colour.

The flowers will also be good for the climate and a great source of pollen and sweet nectar for all the bees in the local area.

Another reason to plant the bulbs was for mental health. The idea was that a bulb could represent something that had made us feel sad, maybe during lockdown. You could imagine that the sadness had been buried along with your bulb, then you could watch it grow into something bright and cheerful and positive.



18 December

Today, more people than ever live in a country other than the one in which they were born. This UN-founded day aims to raise awareness of migrants' human rights and celebrate the contributions of migrants.


19 December

The BBC honours the top sports stars from 2021.


The Weasleys from Harry Potter are the family that most Brits would like to spend Christmas Day with, says a new poll by Now TV.


Last week's puzzle answer:

Related topics: