The scientist guy was an ass.
That's another problem with this episode that I overlooked in my initial review. It brings in the tired old trope where the Enterprise gets involved with some kind of experiment, rescue operation or even just a meeting and the person who's in charge treats it like it's the most important thing to happen in this universe. It doesn't matter if your systems aren't working or even if your own crew are in danger of being killed. This operation must take priority no matter what.
For a show that tries to showcase how much humanity has solves their problems, there sure are a lot of uncaring a**holes who are perfectly fine with the potential death of innocents.