Can anyone tell me an episode of Star Trek (any series) where the senior staff went to the conference room to discuss a plan/problem and either Spock or Data then reminded the captain of the bleak odds of success. Looking for such episode for college class presentation in organizational behavior about "groupthink."

closed as unclear what you're asking by neilfein, DVK-on-Ahch-To, user8719, Monty129, K-H-W Jan 3 '14 at 14:36

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  • Did TOS have a conference room? Everyone always seemed to hang out in Kirk's room. – Xantec Nov 16 '13 at 16:13
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    TOS had tons of scenes in a Briefing Room. – Ward Nov 16 '13 at 18:17
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    This is hilariously vague, because problems are often discussed with Spock or Data and they often remind the Captain of the bleak odds of success in some room away from the bridge. This question maybe answerable, but it's kind of on the edge. – Mark Rogers Nov 16 '13 at 19:13
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    @MarkRogers I have the feeling this is a "did this ever happen?"-style question, where any of those would suffice, not a "can you help me remember?"-style question – Izkata Nov 16 '13 at 20:03
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    As I understand it this question is asking for any scene of this type, rather than every scene or a specific scene, so it's a bit unusual but totally legit and easily answerable. – BESW Nov 17 '13 at 3:00

In DS9 "A Time to Stand": Bashir tells Garak about their odds of surviving the war;

BASHIR : I admit the odds aren't good. But they could be worse.

GARAK : Well what are our chances? Over fifty percent?

BASHIR : Thirty-two point seven.

GARAK : I'm sorry I asked.

In DS9 "Statistical Probabilities": Bashir and the other genetically enhanced humans determine that the Federation has no chance of winning the war and needs to surrender to prevent loss of life.

BASHIR : If we fight, we'll take over nine hundred billion casualties. If we surrender, no one dies. Either way we're in for five generations of Dominion rule... ...Since we can't win, why not surrender and save as many lives as we can?

BASHIR : Sir, I realize this isn't easy to accept.

SISKO : I don't accept it. Your entire argument is based on a series of statistical probabilities and assumptions.


It's not quite what you've asked for, but how about the Briefing Room scene from Space Seed (TOS episode with Khan):

  • Kirk, Spock, Scotty, (probably) McCoy, not sure if anyone else
  • they're discussing what they recall of the Eugenics wars and everyone except Spock mentions Khan's achievements and it sounds like they all think highly of him
  • when Spock expresses shock, they explain that they can admire certain aspects of what Khan is or what he accomplished even though they know he's basically a sociopath

Not sure if this is what you're looking for - there's The Next Generation episode "Booby Trap" from Season 3 where the Enterprise faces bleak odds of escaping from a booby trapped asteroid field. Geordi La Forge's simulations show a very low probability of success even after giving control over to the ship's computer.

Data expresses surprise when Captain Picard successfully maneuvers the Enterprise out of the field using manual controls.

Also see the Probability entry in memory alpha for a list of episodes where Spock quotes probabilities.

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