Monday, March 21, 2016

RRS Boaty McBoatface

The good news for the Natural Environment Research Council’s decision to crowd-search a name for its latest polar research vessel is unprecedented public engagement in a sometimes niche area of scientific study. The bad news? Sailing due south in a vessel that sounds like it was christened by a five-year-old who has drunk three cartons of Capri-Sun.

Just a day after the NERC launched its poll to name the £200m vessel – which will first head to Antarctica in 2019 – the clear favourite was RRS Boaty McBoatface, with well over 18,000 votes. The RRS stands for royal research ship. (...)

The NERC – which was wise enough to ask that people “suggest” names, giving it future wriggle room – asked for ideas to be inspirational.

Some undoubtedly were, with its website, which kept crashing on Sunday under the weight of traffic, showing dozens of serious suggestions connected to inspiring figures such as Sir David Attenborough, or names such as Polar Dream.

But the bulk of entries were distinctly less sober. Aside from the leading contender, ideas included Its Bloody Cold Here, What Iceberg, Captain Haddock, Big Shipinnit, Science!!! and Big Metal Floaty Thingy-thing.

by Peter Walker, The Guardian |  Read more:
Image: NERC