Welcome to the seventh in a series of articles wherein I attempt to build the ideal crew for a ship, using characters from the many variations of Star Trek. To be a candidate, all you need is to be a series regular on one of Star Trek‘s TV incarnations, from The Original Series onwards. Furthering science is one of the reasons we’re out here, so let’s choose our chief scientist.
Candidate 1: Spock, Son of Sarek
Like the modern major general of old, Spock has mastery of all things chemical, biological, mineral, and just about everything else. The broadness of his experience is no sign of a hobbyist though, and Spock is dedicated to his work, and manages to balance his scientific research with his role as first officer. Oustide of the lab, however, he is an intensely private man, and though a loyal friend, is not the easiest man to get to know. This is a man who neglects to mention, even in passing, his father being an ambassador, his half-brother, and his adopted sister, until face-to-face with them. One can’t help but wonder what else he is hiding.
Candidate 2: Jadzia Dax
With the knowledge of several lifetimes to back her up, Jadzia is a more than accomplished scientist. With personal experience in the far reaches of the Gamma Quadrant, Jadzia Dax can boast of experiences that few others can lay claim to. She is is also perhaps the most sociable of these candidates, effortlessly sliding not only between social circles, but between cultures. Granted, her extensive history and actions of past Dax hosts may be problematic at times, but overall, Jadzia Dax is a science officer you can rely on.
Candidate 3: Seven of Nine
This liberated Brog drone brings with her the entire knowledge of the Borg Collective, which is an invaluable resource for any explorer. However, having been a Borg for the best part of two decades has left its mark on the woman born Annika Hansen. Seven of Nine lacks in both social skills and respect for the chain of command. While the former can lead to awkward encounters, the latter is a more serious problem. All the knowledge in the world is little use if you’ve been thrown in the brig. With a little training and discipline, Seven of Nine can be a key part of any team, but all too often she is more of a loose cannon.
Candidate 4: T’Pol
If T’Pol deserves praise for one thing only, it’s spending several years working in a workplace that was prejudicial at best, and openly racist at worst. However, there is more to T’Pol than simply keeping her cool in a hostile environment. She has training not only in the realms of science, but in command and combat as well. It is perhaps ironic that T’Pol’s greatest weakness is her own biases. Her low opinion of humans is understandable, but on a more scientific basis, she refuses to acknowledge the possibility of time travel even when directly confronted with evidence. Hardly the mark of a good science officer.
Candidate 5: Agnes Jurati
Let’s not beat around the bush here. Agnes Jurati is a murderer. And while the death of Bruce Maddox may have been the result of a psychotic break, that hardly makes her a safe coworker to be around. While her skills as a scientist are undeniable, Jurati is best left working from behind bars, where her contributions to science may be made safely.
Honorable Mention : Samantha Wildman
Voyager‘s resident biologist is one of many officers to go about their routines without drawing attention to themselves. Though Wildman’s career is something of an unknown, she deserves credit for successfully raising a child while working under incredible pressure for several years.
There are surprisingly few candidates on this list for a Starfleet based on the principles of scientific exploration. Nevertheless, the candidates we do have are a strong bunch. While Spock puts up stiff competition, my pick for science officer is Jadzia Dax, whose interpersonal skills just give her the edge. As an aside, this means I now have two hosts of the Dax symbiont in my picks, which does raise some continuity issues.