Only if you think Miranda
is a science craft. ST2 portrays her as a battlewagon, more heavily armed than Kirk's ship, and DS9 uses her mainly as a combat fleet outrider, while TNG appears to show former warhorses demoted to science or supply roles rather than dedicated science vessels.
Personally, I'd think the forward-pointing array at the navigational deflector location would be ideal for very long range scanning: the instruments would get a boost from the FTL fields that the deflector projects ahead of the ship. Such scanning would be useful for deep space exploration starships such as the various Enterprises
, but less necessary for survey vessels such as the Oberths
that first putter to the survey location and settle in orbit, then spend weeks or months doing short range scans.
It may be incidental or coincidental, but ships mostly seen in combat roles (say, Akira
) seem to have somewhat smaller glowing thingamabobs than their exploration-oriented contemporaries and stablemates. And the E-E, which seems more martial than the E-D, also goes for a more compact dish...