Orion Institute of Cosmology
J. Cowens was a 72-year-old Human astrophysicist and distinguished professor aboard the USS Mercury on sabbatical from the Orion Institute of Cosmology. He was one of six department heads within the civilian research contingent who worked extensively with the Starfleet personnel of the sciences division to coordinate projects and research goals.
On SD 239012.16, the lower sensor module of the Mercury, which contained the lab space of Professor Cowens among others, was evacuated and jettisoned from the ship before being destroyed to trick a rogue Cardassian warship into believing the Mercury herself was destroyed. Although engineer Danielle Vistain had confirmed with the computer that all life signs were clear in the module before sealing it off, it was later discovered that Professor Cowens had not been among those evacuated.