Scientists are essential to the Klingon culture; without them they would not have been able to become the space-faring empire they are. Yet, with a culture based strongly on battle-honor, how honorable are Klingon scientists in the view of Klingon society?

  • 3
    I think you mean 'highly regarded' and not 'honorable'.
    – jcm
    Jan 19, 2015 at 11:32
  • I added some words to the title to capture what I think the intent was without changing "honorable" to "highly regarded" Jan 19, 2015 at 15:39
  • Depending on the episode, Klingon "honor" doesn't seem to work like human honour anyway, more like exp that can be awarded by the Chancellor at will. So whether a scientist has honor ("is honorable"?) isn't nec. the same as asking what opportunities scientific conduct offers for gaining it. c.f. "kudos" in The Algebraist.
    – user36551
    Jan 19, 2015 at 18:23
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    I feel like this comic fits here
    – Iankill
    Jan 19, 2015 at 19:27
  • I'm pretty sure they get no respect.
    – KSmarts
    May 14, 2015 at 21:07

1 Answer 1


In Enterprise: Judgement, we learn that the Klingon Empire has been in very serious (intellectual) decline for generations, culminating in the present day where adolescent Klingons view science, engineering, teachering and lawyering as professions to be avoided due to a perception that honour can only be earned through warfare:

ARCHER: There are other classes?

KOLOS: You didn't believe all Klingons were soldiers?

ARCHER: I guess I did.

KOLOS: My father was a teacher. My mother, a biologist at the university. They encouraged me to take up the law. Now all young people want to do is take up weapons as soon as they can hold them. They're told there's honour in victory, any victory. What honour is there in a victory over a weaker opponent? Had Duras destroyed that ship he would have been lauded as a hero of the Empire for murdering helpless refugees. We were a great society not so long ago, when honour was earned through integrity and acts of true courage, not senseless bloodshed.

This attitude remains prevalent centuries later. According to Beverly Crusher in TNG: Suspicions, her impression is that Klingon scientists are still seen in a poor light:

BEVERLY : Kurak was a warp field specialist on the Klingon Homeworld. I don't think Klingons regard scientists very highly... she always seemed a little defensive.

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    Also, in the Enterprise episode Divergence, a Klingon medical researcher named Antaak was asked by Dr. Phlox about the "House of Antaak", and he said "We are a warrior caste. When I became a healer, my father disowned me." And in the Voyager episode Barge of the Dead, Torres said that her Klingon mother "prayed to Kahless every day to guide me in the ways of the warrior." But it's possible both these cases just reflected particular family heritages, not Klingon attitudes towards all scientists.
    – Hypnosifl
    Jan 18, 2015 at 22:59
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    @Hypnosifl - Yes, I considered both but rejected them for exactly that reason. The quote above shows that in addition to a prevailing attitude, there's also a caste system in place that may affect individuals choices about career.
    – Valorum
    Jan 18, 2015 at 23:09
  • Your enterprise quote doesn't support the preceding statement of mistrust.
    – user16696
    Jan 19, 2015 at 14:23
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    @cde - Very true. It's more that there's no honour in those professions. Amended accordingly.
    – Valorum
    Jan 19, 2015 at 14:51
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    Still not as badly regarded as Ferengi scientists though.
    – BBlake
    Jan 19, 2015 at 17:28

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