ST question: Ferenghi scientists

In an episode of ST:TNG, Dr. Crusher works with a Ferenghi scientist who is doing some research in astrophysics. At one point he remarks ruefully, “I know a Ferenghi scientist is almost a contradiction in terms.”

Well, that makes since. The ethics and values necessary to any successful collective scientific enterprise – seeking knowledge for its own sake rather than in hopes of finding profitable applications, and sharing your results with other scientists for free – are quite un-Ferenghi.

Yet the Ferenghi must have their own native history of scientific disovery – mustn’t they? Otherwise, how did they ever get off their home planet?

And while you are cogitating on BrainGlutton’s question…how in the heck did the Pakleds ever get into space. Stupid kills, and the Universe is very unforgiving.

BG, I think the Ferenghi just worked for profit, like Dow or Pfizer. Scientific research for a set goal, not just for knowledge in general. Rather sterile, but it might have worked for their society.

Ferengi are just one of the monotone species in Trek that represent some single, undesirable human trait, in this case greed. That’s okay for shows that feel they must bring A MESSAGE to the viewers, but it makes for lousy, preachy sci-fi.

I can remember a contest which let the winner play a background alien on an episode of DS9. Had I won, I’d’ve wanted to be the first six-foot Ferengi in history, because it annoyed me that for a set of shows that repeatedly preached about individual freedom and whatnot, they were pretty damn fond of creating and reinforcing stereotypes.

Ha! You think they are dumb, but they are smart. They can make things go.

And yeah, while Ferengi (and Klingons, and Vulcans) are, as Bryan says, stereotypical, one exaggerated trait, “message” aliens, I guess it would make sense that not all Ferengi (or Klingons, or Vulcans) would be the same. There would be Ferengi scientists, Klingon jugglers, or whatever.

It’s possible they did not invent their own spaceflight technology, but could have negotiated for or swindled it from alien visitors.

Only if they juggled running chainsaws. Or rabid Targs.

I can imagine Klingon dancers and Klingon singers and even Klingon comedians, but Klingon jugglers would be a bit much. Unless we redefine “juggling” into “acts of agility and dexterity with weapons against armed foes,” in a martial arts sense.

If all you’ve seen is greed, you haven’t been paying attention. At various times, they also exhibit anger, covetousness, envy, gluttony, lust, pride, and sloth. :slight_smile:

Then there was that Susan B. Anthony Ferengi.

Rom started out as just a dim-witted Ferengi, but he developed into a compassionate & generous unFerengi.

Well, we know there are Klingon opera singers, for certain. It stands to reason that there would be Klingon composers and librettists, too. And from that TNG episode in the OP, we saw a Klingons physicist, to boot. (She had a bit of a temper)

One wonders if these guys all end up in a lower (or at least a “seperate”) social caste, or something.

It might make since, but it sure don’t make sense. All those big businesses spending $$$ on R&D do it to increase profit. The whole point of patent law is to allow an inventor to make profit from his own inventions. On the Ferengi home world science could be a great way to profit. I bet the Ferrengi who invented Ferrengi warp drive made a tidy profit from it. Zephram Cochraine didn’t invent human warp drive seeking knowledge for it’s own sake, he did it to make money.

Human Law Of Aquisition: If a man makes a better mousetrap, all the world will beat a path to his door.

A compassionate and generous Ferengi who could have been an excellent engineer if his society hadn’t forced him into business. And don’t forget his son Nog, the first Ferengi in Starfleet. It probably helped that Quark and Rom’s mother defied societal norms as well, wearing clothes and earning profit. One can only wonder how many other Ferengi there are who would like to do something other than make profit, but can’t because of social pressure.

Also, I’ve no problem with the fact that all Ferengi (or Klingons, or Cardassians, etc.) look alike. We humans are excellent at recognizing physical differences within our own species, but suck at distinguishing between members of other species.

Did Isaac Newton make money off his system of mechanics? No scientific enterprise could get off the ground without some persons committed to doing it for its own sake.

Actually, he did it to win a bet. Really.

Who lost?

That is the physical appearance of a species, not a racial or cultural stereotype.

Ferenghi are short and have big ears. Nasicans are tall.

Newton didn’t actually claim the prize, as the time limit had expired.

Well, we only get to see, at most, a few dozen representatives of each species; not enough for form an effective sample. I’d just want to play the Ferengi who gets a drink spilled on him, then stands up and towers over the loutish and clumsy Klingon drink-spiller, with a bar brawl soon to erupt in the background.

Interestingly, in their first appearance, some Ferengi tangle with several Enterprise-D officers. Data gave a warning to Riker: “Be careful, sir! They are stronger than they-” just as one decks Riker. Every subsequent appearance that I can recall portrayed Ferengi as somewhat feeble and cowardly.