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Science officers serve in the science department on starships or starbases in Starfleet, both Federation and Lyran, and are usually part of the sciences division. The head of the department is sometimes known as the chief science officer and may operate the science station on the bridge or operations center. As the name implies, science officers are responsible for observations, research, and experiments in any of the sciences, including mathematics, statistics, physics (physical and temporal), chemistry, botany, zoology, geology, cosmology, and others. Some science officers specialize in a particular discipline, but the chief science officer is expected to be familiar with most of the sciences and rely on his or her staff for particular expertise. The department has some overlap with the medical department in terms of microbiology, xenobiology, and life sciences.
Commander Willard Decker was first officer and, after the death of Sonak and until Spock arrived to volunteer for duty, science officer aboard the USS Enterprise in 2272. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax was the chief science officer on Deep Space 9 and the USS Defiant. She once told Kira Nerys that, as the science officer, it was her job "to have a better idea". (DS9: "Paradise")
Other military servicesEdit
In the Cardassian Guard, the science officer is known as the chief investigative officer. This officer is the primary sensor and technical analyst of outside phenomena (those not falling in the engineering glinn's purview), and while she usually has much of the same expertise as a science officer would have in Starfleet, she (or he--though the sciences tend to be female-dominated in Cardassian society) is seen as an investigator for the sake of the military rather than a scientist for the sake of science. (Star Trek: Sigils and Unions)
Sometimes both Federation and Lyran Starfleet recruited science officers out of civilian graduate schools. In fact, most science officers in Lyran service were recruited from civilian graduate schools. (Star Trek: The Stoneship Files, Star Trek: False Vacuum)
Notable science officersEdit
- Eva Caine
- Karen Denali
- Aiden Frost
- Jo Harris
- Mylantra Kova
- USS Crusader (2389-)
- Carl Stoeffles
- Travis Reed