I wouldn't say that science captains only go with science ships. Most of the threads criticizing science on the forums are against science ships, not captains.
To be clear, you do not lose your science captain powers when flying other ships. You only lose your higher level science bridge officer abilities.
Personally, I tend to use escorts with my science captain, and I can be quite effective both in STFs and PvP. Although I lose out on the pure damage boosters that a tactical captain provides, I gain two tanking abilities (Dampening Field and Science Fleet) that keep me and my allies alive, a resistance debuff (Sensor Scan), that can both increase my team's damage and debuff an enemy's damage with the appropriate duty officer equipped. I also do very well with Subnucleonic Beam, as it removes every buff that an opponent has, and increases cooldown on your opponent's abilities. Photonic Fleet also gives you some good decoys.
I used to pilot a science ship, but eventually moved to escorts to gain some extra damage. I am not saying that science ships are useless or anything, but it is a fact that a science ship will usually do less damage than an equivalent escort. If you are going for STFs, I highly recommend the use of escorts instead of science vessels, as STFs require heavy damage.
In short, a science ship has a lot of potential with a sci captain, but requires a lot of skill. An escort will likely serve you just as well in an STF, but with less effort most of the time. So can you get by with using a science captain with tactical boff abilities? My answer is an absolute yes, and you can do even more than that.
I'm glad this question was asked because I have been dealing with the same issue. My toon is Science but I'm absolutley stuck on the look of the Cruisers. I'm not convinced that I need to blast apart the enemy as fast as possible ... although that opinion may change with more game experience.
So, I'm trying to calculate the best build I can develop as a Captain along with the BOffs to serve my own game yet still be viable in a group. I decided to purchase a Sci ship to avoid any flak from douche PUGs but now I'm thinking that was a bad move since I should prove my worth. Does that make sense?
EDIT: In another vein, I'm also not convinced that a Sci Captain MUST use a Sci ship. I mean, they are the preferred match, but players should not feel forced into that. In my humble opinion.
any career captain can use any class of ship effectively , all depends upon your build
my mains a tactical captain , and currently using an orb weaver science ship ( that'll change to vesta though soon )
and while it may not pump out the raw dps of a tac in an escort , the crowd control abilities combined with the tactical skills are fun to play
Perhaps a better solution is to avoid playing around with feminine hygiene products?
Any career can command any ship. If you're a sci-captain and wish to have a higher DPS, sail an escort. Or not. A good player is good, regardless of her career or her ship.
Yes, PvE tends to favour tactical captains in escorts. So like scurry5 mentioned, an escort might suit you better for simple things like STFs. But there is more than one way to skin a caitian. Stop believing everything that is posted in the forums. Cookie-cutter builds are for cookies. Both are unhealthy if over indulged. Just try it out for yourself and see what works for you. Take a look at what other players are doing to get new ideas.
i have a fed sci and klingon and a prefer using sci ships grav well 3 does lots of dmg to the nanites in ISE + when there blow up close to each theres lots more dmg. but it does not realy mater which type of ship you use it realy goes by how good you are.
Sciscorts can be pretty strong if played properly, in PvP they fall off as you get put against better players/teams (Sciscort just won't have the burst to kill a good player on his own). DHCs still hit like a truck no matter what the source is.
Trick is to play to your strengths. For example Sensor Scan is marginally buffed by aux, so stock up on aux batts (and an RMC if you have one) and pop one before doing the sweep.