It all started with the revolution in brain imaging in the 21st century as the neuro-sciences and cognitive studies improved. Once small programmable arrays of transcranial magnets became available, along with relatively cheap PET scanners, it began moving out of the labs and into the clinics. Before long though, it even began moving out among the population. At that point, anyone could temporarily alter their own mental state by tweaking their own brain - be it with drugs or the magnets. One of the most popular tweaks was to improve cognitive and learning ability, allowing the recipient to be more plastic when it came to learning.
Over the centuries, the Cognitechnicians moved from initially a specialized medical society (Planetary College of Cognitive Neurologists), to a far broader group dealing with how humans think and learn. This included parents, teachers, employers, doctors and more, plus those that just wanted to more intelligent. The majority of the membership is still medically focused, but it is a bare majority.
Currently, the Cognitechnicians study how the mind and brain work, and continually strive to improve their own minds and brains. To that end they have a very good working knowledge of Nanotech and Cognitech. Its unusual to see high Biotech scores among their members, but stereotypical to see high Biotech Engineer and Research skills.
Cognitechnicians are the 'egg-heads' of the setting. They are all types – from professors and doctors, to parents that hope to make their kids smarter, to the children of those parents, to self improvement buffs of whatever profession. They are found everywhere except among the Cargo Cults and Old Worlders. The only requirements for membership is a desire to understand and a neural mesh.
Benefits: Cognitechnicians have minimum Nanotech and Cognitech scores of 4, which can raise them above their civilization’s maximum if necessary, and their Cognitech is considered one point higher for the purpose of learning. They can exceed their civilization’s maximum Cognitech and Nanotech by one without suffering Plot Score reduction.
Core Value: Mind Over Matter – Cognitechnicians are convinced of the supreme power of intellect over everything else.