Science officers serve in the Science Department on ships, fleet installations or bases. The head of the department is known as the Chief Science Officer.
All Union Fleet Vessels of Super Cruiser and bigger as well as all Fleet Installations have a Science Station on the bridge or at the Command and Control center. It is a Senior Officer position.
Science officers are responsible for observations, research, and experiments in any of the sciences, including mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, geology, cosmology, and others. Some science officers specialize in a particular discipline. The department has some overlap with the medical department in terms of microbiology, xenobiology, and life sciences.
Science Officers are members of the Science Corps and under command of the Science Council, but those Science officers who serve aboard Fleet ships must complete Fleet Academy and wear Union Fleet Uniform. They are on permanent loan to the Fleet and are treated, promoted and compensated under Union Fleet authority. They are allowed to be double trained and achieve Command Rank. The Captains of Science or Explorer Vessels have all served in the Fleet and have gone through regular Academy and Command School. However their Pay Grades are different, as they have to achieve at least PhD One in addition to their regular fleet training.
Most Science Officers specialize in on field of science but must be very knowledgeable in several disciplines. The main field of specialization must be one of Natural sciences, academic sciences are not recognized as base, but studies and knowledge in any other science is encouraged.
Aboard Union fleet vessels or Installations, they supervise the crew members responsible for scientific research and investigations and for providing the ship's/base's commanding officer with scientific information needed for command decisions. The Chief Science Officer (CSO) is responsible for overseeing the different science labs/teams under their control and reporting to the commanding officer on a regular basis. The Assistant Chief Science Officer (ACSO) is responsible for aiding the Chief Science Officer in the execution of his/her duties. The Assistant Chief Science Officer is required to assume the role of Chief Science Officer if and when the need arises or if the Chief Science Officer is unable to perform his/her duty adequately.
Science stations on the command decks are used by science personnel to provide real-time scientific data to command personnel.
Scientific research is a general standing order and all Union Fleet personnel must whenever possible gather and process scientific data.
During Alert status, science stations can have priority access to sensor arrays, if necessary overriding ongoing science department observations and other secondary missions upon approval by the Operations Manager (OPS).
Most Commanding Officers rely on the SCO during combat situations as well, to provide scientific analysis of enemy capabilities.