The Technological/Sociopolitical Index was an overall assessment of a planet and its inhabitants, covering its scientific, engineering, social, economic and political achievements, developed by the Federation.
It was divided into two parts: the Technological Index and the Sociopolitical Index. Each covered a number of areas, as worlds and races could develop in different areas at different rates, becoming advanced in one area while knowing little about another.
A Technological/Sociopolitical Index followed the format "abcdef-gh", with a digit or capital letter in each place to represented development in a scientific, technology, or social field. A 0 represented absolutely no development, while a 9 indicated the absolute highest level of development in that area known to Federation science at the time that the Index was adopted. Intermediate numbers represented proportions in between the two. It represented wide-spread adoption; research could begin into elements of the next classification while still in the previous one. If a civilization had gone beyond Federation capabilities in some way, it was marked by a letter; an A was equivalent to a 10, and so on.
- The Technological/Sociopolitical Index is similar to the Richter Scale of Culture.
The Technological Index consisted of six digits for each area of scientific and technological development.
Space Science IndexEdit
- Recognition of stars and constellations; basic astronomy; navigation
- Recognition of other planetary bodies
- Solar system mechanics; planetary motion
- Relativity; celestial mechanics; stellar evolution
- Basic astronautics; unmanned space probes; radio astronomy
- Manned spaceflight; interplanetary piloting; environment suits
- Manned interstellar probes
- Impulse drive; sub-light-speed vehicles
- Warp drive; faster-than-light vehicles; advanced astrogation
In general, only a race with a rating of 7 or higher in the Space Science Index was capable of interstellar travel.
Physical Science IndexEdit
- Control of fire; recognition of states of matter
- Optics; rudimentary chemistry
- Laws of motion; classification of compounds
- Basic electricity; discovery of chemical elements
- Radio communication; X-ray theory; atomic theory; organic chemistry
- Atomic fission; microwave theory; electron microscopy
- Controlled fusion; laser technology; heavy element chemistry
- Subspace radio theory; advanced catalyst chemistry
- Transporter theory; phaser technology; transmutation of elements
In most cases, only races capable of space travel had a rating of 9 or greater on the Physical Science Index.
- Rudimentary tool making; shelter building
- Basic metallurgy; pulleys; complex levers; windmills and water wheels
- Basic mechanics; steam power; flood control and hydroelectric power
- Reciprocating engines
- Heating and cooling systems; heavy machinery
- Transistors and basic electronics; computers
- Advanced microcircuits and computer technology
- Micromolecular circuitry
- Atomic-level circuitry; gravity control technology
The Engineering Index correlated with the Physical Science Index: a lower or higher Physical Science Index usually meant a lower or higher Engineering Index.
Planetary Science IndexEdit
- Recognition of weather cycles and seasons
- Empirical weather prediction; mineral and ore recognition
- Classification of basic minerals and fossils; basic geologic history
- Basic scientific meteorology; hydrologic cycle; water wave motion
- Basic earthquake prediction; weather modification
- Harnessed geothermal energy
- Gravity control; ecological control and enforced balance
- Planetary weather and climate control; crustal stress relief
The Planetary Science Index correlated with the Physical Science Index: a lower or higher Physical Science Index usually meant a lower or higher Planetary Science Index.
Life/Medical Science IndexEdit
- Basic herbal medicine; cultivation of plants
- Basic anatomy; animal husbandry; basic microscopy; cell theory
- Basic physiology; detailed anatomy; blood and tissue typing
- Basic genetics; microbiology; nitrogen cycle; routine surgery
- Bacteriology; immunology; hybridization; basic hydroponics
- Basic DNA and gene research; basic artificial limbs and organs
- Gene surgery; advanced bionics; organ transplants; food synthesis
- Portable medical scanners; cloning
- Protoplaser surgery; major nerve regeneration
The Life/Medical Science Index correlated with the Engineering Index: a lower or higher Engineering Index usually meant a lower or higher Life/Medical Science Index.
- Psionics mostly unrecognized or unknown
- Recognized in rare cases; no understanding
- Documented in selected individuals; no understanding
- Widely recognized; rudimentary understanding of use
- Measured in many individuals; basic theory understood
- Treated as a resource; wide-spread research
- Rudimentary training provided to psionically gifted individuals
- Psionics cultivated in all; wide-spread basic training
- Widespread acceptance and use; extensive training provided
The Psionics Index correlated with the Life/Medical Index: a lower or higher Life/Medical Index usually meant a lower or higher Psionics Index.
The Sociopolitical Index consisted of two digits, representing development in the social sciences and in a culture's approach to cooperation.
Social Science IndexEdit
- Recognition of formal leadership
- Development of religion; specialization in professions
- Development of social classes; symbolic economics
- Basic socioeconomic theory
- Basic psychology (for own race)
- Psychoanalysis; behavior modification
- Large-scale social planning
- Elimination of prejudice based on race, culture, gender or sex
- Psychological theories about alien races
In general, only a race capable of interstellar travel and contacting other races had a rating of 8 or higher on the Social Science Index.
Cultural Attitude IndexEdit
The Cultural Attitude Index was different in that it had no alphabetical rating. Instead, it was circular: a 9 was followed by a 0, representing Anarchy. This stood for no form of enforced or codified cooperation between individuals, appearing in both very primitive cultures and in very advanced cultures where individuals no longer needed to cooperate with one another. Cultures could move up or down the scale, and there was no correlation with space-flight or Federation membership.
- Pre-Tribal: small family groups and occasional alliances
- Early Tribal: semi-permanent groups beyond immediate family
- Advanced Tribal: stable, fixed to an area, strong cultural identity and leadership
- Feudal: interdependence, duties and obligations between leaders and followers; usually ritualized choice of leader
- Monarchy: strong divisions between fewer leaders and more followers; exclusively ritualized choice of leader; fewer obligations for the leaders
- Controlled Monarchy: rules apply to leaders to protect followers
- Representative Structure: leaders chosen and decisions made by representatives of smaller groups; strong rules protect followers
- Participatory Structure: individuals participate in decision-making; generally only occurred in smaller groups or larger, technologically advanced societies
- Unity: no need for individual difference of opinion; highly telepathic, hive culture, or colony organisms
Alphabetic ratings, standing for development beyond Federation understand or capability, were a later development. These were added in the late 23rd century after contact with advanced races such as the Metrons and the Organians, though developments within the Federation could also lead to alphabetical ratings. The Federation Science Council determined new alphabetic ratings as required.
In the late 23rd century, Terra was conducting wide-spread experimentation in large-scale organ regeneration. A significant breakthrough would make it the most advanced planet in the Federation in the Life/Medical Sciences, earning it an A. (FASA RPG module: Game Operations Manual)