First of all, since Starfleet is the primary scientific arm of the Federation, it makes sense that any civilian scientists will be working with them. We saw it all the time in Next Gen and DS9.
We saw it all the time in those shows because those shows were set
aboard Starfleet ships or facilities. Obviously there's a huge selection bias there. It doesn't make any sense to assume we have a representative portrayal of life in the Federation when the shows we have are exclusively from the Starfleet point of view. As I already said, that would be tantamount to watching JAG
and assuming that all
criminal investigation in the United States was done by the military.
And no, it does not make the least bit of sense to assume that every
scientist in a free and diverse civilization of trillions would be obligated to collaborate with the military, or that every single one of them acting independently would make the exact same choice to do so. There must
be other options in a civilization that immense and pluralistic. It makes no sense to think there wouldn't be. How many different research institutions are there just in the United States alone, a society thousands of times smaller than the Federation?
Secondly, it will give the scientist characters a chance to conflict with Starfleet. If the only characters are the scientists, then they could all be happy to do something that would, say, bend the PD. But if they are working with a starship crew, then the Captain of that ship could be against it, introducing potential for a whole lot more conflict. And conflict is good for stories.
Yes, that's one possible
source of conflict. Of course it's not the only one. You really think that scientists and other civilians would never have any form of conflict among themselves? If anything, it'd probably be a lot easier to generate conflict within a civilian crew.
Starfleet and the Federation has always been a prime factor in Star Trek. To have a trek TV show that had no Starfleet personnel is too far outside the scope of Trek, I think.
There was a time when people would've thought "the scope of Trek" meant only shows about Kirk and his crew, or only shows set in the 23rd century, or only shows set on starships. Isn't Star Trek
supposed to be about seeking out and embracing the new?
Including a Starship crew is needed to allow new groups of people to come on and tell different kinds of stories.
Of course it is, but my point is that it's illogical and frankly quite disturbing to assume that the military has a monopoly on starships. Come on, it's a civilization consisting of trillions of beings on hundreds of worlds. Of course
there are going to be groups other than Starfleet that are capable of building and operating ships and motivated to use them for exploration. And since it's not
a dictatorship, since it's a society that welcomes plurality of thought and practice, there's going to be nothing to prevent those groups from exercising that capability and desire.
Not to mention that space is inconceivably huge, and there's no way any single institution, even one as large as Starfleet, could make a reasonable dent in exploring it. There would be every reason for the Federation to encourage multiple groups, including civilian ones, to participate in space exploration.
Again, what you're assuming is impossible is something that I have personally already done in a book
. Portions of my novel The Buried Age
feature a civilian research expedition organized by the University of Alpha Centauri, which commissions a custom-designed starship and assembles a team of experts in multiple fields. True, that's specifically for an archaeological expedition, but it would certainly be possible to assemble a more diverse crew for a more general exploration mission.
If we don't include the starship crew, we're going to have a bunch of wormhole experts (for example) each week, and that is going to seriously limit the kinds of stories the show could tell.
model, sure, but my point is that yours is not the only possible model.
Sure, you could have a team where each character has their own specialty, but why would such a team exist?
Ohh, I dunno, to explore strange new worlds, maybe? Or to seek out new life and new civilizations? Why wouldn't
such a team exist? Like I said, space is so huge that the Federation would be insanely stupid to forbid anyone but Starfleet from organizing a multidisciplinary starship crew for general exploration -- and the Federation is sufficiently democratic and free that they'd have no incentive or mechanism to forbid such an effort.
In any situation, only one or two of the characters will be able to work, the rest of the team being inexperienced.
Again, you're deliberately making limiting assumptions to force your desired conclusion, which is circular reasoning. Why couldn't a university or major research institution assemble a ship with a crew of, say, 50 or 60 people, with multiple individuals in each discipline? It's a post-scarcity society. Resources are abundant, and so, surely, is expertise.
Having it set aboard a starship will allow the characters without experience in the anomaly of the week to still contribute by having them contribute to running the ship instead.
Yes, that's true, but again, not all starships must be Starfleet. Jacques Cousteau and Robert Ballard didn't work for the Navy. Civilians can operate ships too.
We have seen examples of non-Starfleet investigation teams before.
Seven of Nine's parent aboard the Raven.
Although, unfortunately, the designers made the Raven
look like a Starfleet ship. Maybe it was a decommissioned one that was now in civilian use.