I am a Science Officer aboard a Starfleet vessel. Recently, I faced a disciplinary panel which concluded I should run all future and existing scientific projects by my superior officers before continuing. This is highly disagreeable. My question is, do bacteria count as a science project, or a pet? As long as the tank remains sealed, I do not believe anyone is in danger of contracting antibiotic-resistant necrotising fascilitis.
-I’m Not Mad, I’m a Scientist
Dear Mad Scientist,
It strikes me that even in this very question you are trying to find ways to skirt the rules. Honest, I dislike rules as much as the next person, but you are a Starfleet Officer and Starfleet loves rules. I am guessing that disciplinary panel you faced involved bending rules. So I looked up the Starfleet rule regarding pets on Starfleet vessels:
Book 27, Section 386, Paragraph 8: All pets onboard a Starfleet vessel are subject to approval by the Chief Security Officer and the Chief Medical Officer to determine the appropriate safety levels of housing the pet on the vessel. Reasonable accommodations will be made to allow officers and crew in single quarters or family quarters to keep a pet in those quarters and still maintain the safety of the crew at large. Crew residing in double or bunk accommodations must have the permission of all bunk mates to keep the pet, or the pet must be easily contained in a manner that is both safe for others and humane for the pet.
I think the key words here are ‘reasonable accommodations’ and ‘easily contained’ which it appears your bacteria are. That said it gives you a choice of running the bacterial experiment past your senior officers vs. running the bacterial pet past your chief of security and medicine. Honestly if you are extremely committed to your experimentation you might be better served as an independent researcher, but if you are a committed Starfleet officer I expect your superiors will continue to tighten the rules until you are comfortable conforming to them or find a different venue to experiment in.
My daughter is obsessed with tribbles and wants to get one as a pet. I don’t like tribbles. What should I do?
Dear Starfleet Dad,
Threaten to eat the tribble, say no and get your daughter a cat instead.
I’m serious, tribbles are a menace to society. Cats are nice.
Dear Kr’Abby is written by Doctor B’Rusk, the Federation’s foremost half-Klingon psychologist who specializes in tough-love advice. We take submissions from across the galaxy!