Science Department aboard a starship is usually subdivided into smaller
departments listed below. Most of the power lies in the hands of these department
heads and the senior researchers directly below them.
On a large ship or base, where there are enough resources and personnel, some of the departments may be divided up even further into subdepartments. At the first stage of this division, a subdepartment head is created, which is subordinate to the full department head. On starbases and starships larger still, this large subdepartment may be expanded into a full fledge independent department, in which case the subdepartment head is a full department head and subordinate to no one. Such departments/subdepartments may include Anthropology, Linguistics and History, Physics and Astronomy and Particle Physics and Stellar Physics, to name a small few.
For example, on the USS Galaxy, the anthropology department is large enough that the history department has been changed to a fully separate, independent department. To further illustrate this independence, Dakota Harris, the former chief of the history department, had served as the elected chief science officer.
Science Department Hierarchy
Elected by the Science Department Chiefs or designated by the Captain, the Chief Science Officer is usually one of the Science Department Chiefs, which means one person doubles as the Chief Science Officer and, say, the Chief of Geology. The main duty of the Chief Science Officer is to mediate conflicts between the science departments and to ensure top priority studies and/or experiments issued by the captain are carried out. Nearly all scientific study and decision making is carried out within the specific departments by the department chiefs or other subordinate officers, as is the delegation of scientific resources; the Chief Science Officer only steps in to make a decision if the departments cannot decide among themselves.
B – Department Heads
Department Heads have most of the power in the science department. They are in charge of the personnel, equipment and labs within their department. Therefore, they have some say in what type of research projects are conducted. Department heads are often a senior researcher, in charge of their own projects, but this research comes second to the maintenance and running of the department. Usually, the department heads elect a member of themselves to be chief science officer, but sometimes the captain will choose one himself. They must also work with other department heads about decisions involving the use of shared resources – namely, the sensor palettes on the ship’s hull. If they cannot come to an agreement amongst themselves, a third department head or the chief science officer must step in to decide.
C – Senior Researchers
Senior Researchers are the leaders of research aboard a starship. They are the people that come up and lead research projects. They are usually assigned a number of junior researchers and general science officers to assist them in their research projects. Occasionally, they may have their own lab, depending on the department and availability. They must apply to use other labs, equipment, personnel or other ship’s resources. The department head is in charge of granting these supplies. Senior researchers usually participate in seminars, colloquia or talks to the rest of the science department and ship to discuss their research. They also write reports to scientific journals and the rest of the Federation scientific community.
D – Junior Researchers
Junior Researchers are essentially senior researchers in training. They may occasionally lead their own research project, but usually they assist and lead small parts of a project under the guidance of a senior researcher. They work with senior researchers in their grant proposals and reports, and may also participate in the seminars aboard ship.
E – General Science Officers
General Science Officers are unspecialized scientists.
They usually have functional knowledge of a great many fields in science.
They can be stationed and rotated out amongst the many subdepartments.
General science officers do not have the expertise to lead research or
research groups. They are there to assist the researchers as computer
specialists, data reducers, experimentalists, observers, etc. A general
science officer may choose to be mentored by a senior researcher and become
trained in a specialization. This is generally required before any promotions.
Starfleet commissioned officers are usually trained in a specific field
and enter the fleet as junior researchers. Noncommissioned officers make
up the bulk of general science officers.
Anthropology is the study of alien cultures and civilizations and their evolution, and is one of the largest, most general field of sciences. It involves the study of the evolution of a species and its anatomy, the geographic effects of its home planet, the customs, traditions, knowledge, values, language, architecture, religion, the governmental and economic systems of the species and its historical development. Obviously, anthropologists will have to work with scientists from many other fields in their work.
Subdepartments of Anthropology (Often found as separate departments entirely)
are found to the right.
Psychologists study behavior and the mind, meaning conscious and unconscious
mental states. They seek to learn why people think, act, feel and behave
the way they do. With its broad scope, psychology investigates an enormous
range of phenomena: learning and memory, sensation and perception, motivation
and emotion, thinking and language, personality and social behavior, intelligence,
infancy and child development, mental illness, and much more. Furthermore,
psychologists examine these topics from a variety of complementary perspectives.
Some conduct detailed biological studies of the brain, others explore
how we process information; others analyze the role of evolution, and
still others study the influence of culture and society. This department
works extremely closely with the Counseling department on ships large
enough to maintain a distinct separation between the two.
Biology is the study of life. It is probably the largest, most varied area of the sciences. Biologists study any living being and organic material, including plants, animals, ecology, cells and genetics.
Chemistry is the study of the composition, structure, properties and
interactions of matter. Chemistry allows for the synthesis of allows,
plastics, polymers and medicine.
Geology is the study of planetary and planetesimal bodies, their interiors, history and the process that act on them. This science department also concerns itself with the study surface phenomena which affect planets, such as its hydrology, climate and weather.
|Geophysics and Seismology
Climatology and Meteorology
Physics is the study of matter and energy, usually in its most fundamental forms. Astronomy, on the other hand, is the study of the universe and the celestial bodies, gas and dust within it. These two are often paired, though, for a number of reasons. Historically, astronomy is an outgrowth of physics, concerned with the motion of stars in the sky. Today, however, the field of physics has advanced so far that many of the theories and experiments deal with the most extreme cases of matter and energy, which can only be found in the deep cold of space, at the core of stars, or in the heart of black holes or other unique and rare phenomena. Subspace, a recent discovery, can only truly be studied in space where its many varieties of anomalies can be found.
Stellar and Planetary Physics and Astronomy
Nebular Astronomy and Physics
Galactic Astronomy and Physics
Quantum, Atomic and Subatomic Physics
Subspace Astronomy and Physics
Other Advanced Physics (String Theory, Multidimensional Physics, Temporal Physics)
Major Laboratories in Astronomy and Physics
This lab is used chiefly by stellar cartographers. It has a small separate computer core used to model the location of stars and other celestial phenomena as you move through the galaxy. It stores all the star maps used by helm and navigation.
b – Astrometrics
Astrometrics is really a misnomer. It only has very little
to do with the field of astrometry, which is the motion of stars on the
sky. Astrometrics is essentially the first stop for all scientific data
collected by ships sensors. It does mainly preliminary work on this data
before it is sent to the other labs and departments who request it. It
can also be used to do some in depth research, but this is secondary to
its primary function.
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