Rocket Scientist vs. Brain Surgeon

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Difference between Rocket Scientist and Brain Surgeon

When the subject of intelligence is discussed, both rocket science and brain surgery are often held up as the standards against which all other tasks are measured. Everyone has heard of the expression “it isn't rocket science/brain surgery”, and this seems to suggest the lofty intellectual heights that both disciplines belong in. But are these two really the measuring sticks for intelligence? And if so, how do they compare with each other? This comparison article aims to answer these age-old questions.

Rocket Scientist
Brain Surgeon

Definition

Rocket scientists deal with the branch of engineering that involves design, construction and science of aircraft and spacecraft. The field is comprised of two distinct branches, with a certain degree of overlap: aeronautical engineering, which deals with crafts that remain in the Earth's atmosphere, and astronautical engineering, which deals with craft that go beyond.

Brain surgeons are practitioners of neurosurgery, which deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of nervous system disorders, as well as its rehabilitation. Brain surgeons typically specialize in procedures that involve the brain, spinal column, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and cerebrovascular system.

Tasks/Requirements

Rocket scientists typically deal with issues that flight vehicles are subjected tom such as atmospheric pressure differences and temperature changes, as well as the structural loads applied upon such vehicles. For this reason, rocket scientists are often drawn from a varied pool comprised of practitioners that have studied aerodynamics, propulsion, avionics, materials science, and other related sciences.

Rocket scientists often have to deal with numerous issues related to the development and manufacture of modern flight vehicles, which is of a very complex process that requires a careful orchestration of design, technology and cost concerns.

Brain surgeons in the United States are required by law to go through four years of college and four years of medical school, as well as an internship program lasting a full year. In addition, they are also required to fulfill a five to six year neurosurgery residency program. Brain surgeons may also opt to undertake additional training in fellowships, either after residency or as a senior resident. Among the fields of medicine that brain surgeons typically have to go through are pediatric neurosurgery, neurovascular surgery, interventional neuroradiology, and skull base surgery.

Who’s Smarter?

Now that the technical considerations are out of the way, who is actually the smarter of the two groups? One recent study claims that the smartness of rocket scientists is grossly exaggerated, and that brain surgeons are in fact the smarter of the two groups. Published the monthly Popular Brain Surgery, the article entitled “The Intelligence of Rocket Scientists: Myth Versus Reality” was criticized the American Society of Rocket Scientists, who pronounced it “state-of-the-art pro-brain surgeon propaganda.”

Similarities and Differences

Rocket scientists

  • Deal with the branch of engineering that involves design, construction and science of aircraft and spacecraft
  • Often have to deal with numerous issues related to the development and manufacture of modern flight vehicles

Brain surgeons

  • Practitioners of neurosurgery, which deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of nervous system disorders, as well as its rehabilitation
  • Required by law to go through four years of college and four years of medical school, in addition to an internship program

 
 

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