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Science officer

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This article is about the senior staff position. For information about general scientists in Starfleet, see Starfleet sciences division personnel.

The science officer was the senior staff member aboard a starship or starbase with the broad responsibility of coordinating the science department of the post. (TOS: "Balance of Terror")

Science officer was a standard position aboard space vessels. Starfleet, Arkonian, Klingon, Romulan, and Vulcan vessels all operated with science officers. (ENT: "Dawn", "Impulse"; TOS: "Day of the Dove"; TNG: "The Next Phase"; DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire") In the Vulcan High Command, the science officer was assisted by a deputy science officer. (ENT: "Impulse") In Starfleet, several junior science officers assisted the science officer. (VOY: "Flashback")

In 2270, James T. Kirk considered Commander Spock to be the best science officer in Starfleet. (TAS: "The Jihad")

On a starship, science officer duties could be assumed as part of a senior officer's other duties. For example, Data served as both science officer and operations manager on the USS Enterprise-D and Spock served as both science officer and first officer on the USS Enterprise.

Responsibilities

Science officers were responsible for observing and theorizing explanations for strange or seemingly unexplainable circumstances. (TOS: "The Savage Curtain") In the 22nd and 23rd centuries, the science officer was responsible for sensor readings. (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

A general survey party required the direction of the science officer. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer") In a medical emergency, the findings of the science officer were heavily relied upon. (ENT: "Observer Effect")

The science officer was required to keep sufficient data. (TOS: "The Immunity Syndrome") They were also required to supply the commanding officer with all reports, observations, and speculations that might have affected the safety of their vessel. (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")

According to Jadzia Dax, it was a science officer's job to always have a "better idea." (DS9: "Paradise")

List of science officers

Data was the operations officer of the Enterprise-D and was only referred to as "science officer" once. It is likely that he was acting in that position, as Swenson was later mentioned to be the science officer.

In 2368, Captain Jean-Luc Picard honorably made Jay Gordon Graas an acting science officer during a ship-wide emergency. (TNG: "Disaster") In 2369, acting Captain Beverly Crusher briefly assigned Ensign Taitt as the science officer aboard the bridge. (TNG: "Descent")

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