Memory Alpha is rather scant on the details of the history of the Prime Directive:

The fundamental principles were an important part of Earth Starfleet procedures as early as 2152, but it did not go into effect as a General Order until sometime after 2168.

However it does mention that Archer seems to deserve some credit for the seeing the need for it.

I'm assuming that there's no actual mainstream evidence for the person(s) responsible for the creation of the Prime Directive, but is there any 'fringe' evidence (ie sources that Memory Alpha wouldn't take into account) that tells us who created the Prime Directive (I'm looking for a person/people - not 'Starfleet')?

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    Who created the Prime Directive? Gene Roddenberry.
    – Omegacron
    Apr 24, 2014 at 14:42

1 Answer 1


No truly canonical answer to this is available to my knowledge but some of the novels go into the creation of the Prime Directive. The closest I can get to canonical is that the PD was created sometime after the 2160s, when the USS Horizon left a book behind on Sigma Iotia (TOS: A Piece Of The Action).

Memory Alpha provides the following:

The Prime Directive did not go into effect as a General Order until sometime after the 2160s (which is when the crew of the starship Horizon left behind books on technology and culture that radically altered the course of civilization on the planet Sigma Iotia II.) (TOS: "A Piece of the Action").

While the Prime Directive was not officially formulated until after the 2160s, the fundamental principles were an important part of Earth Starfleet procedures as early as 2152. (ENT: "The Communicator")

Memory Beta provides some further outlines, but again the details are non-canonical:

"By the 2170s, it was decided by the Federation Council that action needed to be taken and in 2175 the Resolution of Non-Interference was drafted and signed by all Federation members, putting together a single philosophy to be adopted. By the 2190s, the Prime Directive had come into force. (TNG - Double Helix novel: Double or Nothing)"

Nothing I have read or seen outlines the details of exactly who proposed or seconded the motion to create a Prime Directive. In all likelihood, and this is pure speculation on my part, the PD was born because several incidents of interference with planetary cultures occurred and various Starfleet and Federation personnel decided to formalise some rules to attempt to make sure it did not happen again.

  • This is confusing to me. Didn't the Vulcans have some kind of PD and that's why they didn't contact humans until after they achieved warp drive? Also, wasn't PD kind of this franchise's explanation of the Fermi Paradox? If it didn't exist until after humans went into space, it doesn't explain much.
    – zipquincy
    Dec 22, 2015 at 17:02
  • The Vulcans didn't have a PD. They are described in First Contact as "passing through" the Sol system when they detect the warp signature of Cochrane's ship and decide to come take a look. Hence the time critical nature of the events in FC - Phoenix had to launch before the Vulcan ship went out of range.
    – Selezen
    Feb 19, 2016 at 10:38
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    On the other hand, it's also made clear in First Contact that they will 'realize humans have achieved warp flight', implying that they were aware of the existence of humanity, but didn't bother to contact them until they had reached a certain level of advancement. It may not be 'THE Prime Directive', but the Vulcans clearly did not interfere with 'primitive' humans - whether out some principle of non-interference, or out of sheer lack of interest until they reach a certain threshold (knowing the Vulcans from this period of history, it could be either).
    – CGriffin
    Nov 6, 2017 at 15:09

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