Sunday, May 8, 2016

Boaty McBoatface Won't Explore and Study The Arctic

Unfortunately, this research veseel won't really
be named Boaty McBoatface 
Never conduct an online poll when you want to name something.

That's something the United Kingdom science ministry learned after they put out the poll to name the new $200 million (actual pounds convert) polar research ship.

As you might have heard a month or two ago, the winning name on the island poll was Boaty McBoatface.  

Which really isn't the most dignified name for a serious polar research operation.

The Boaty McBoatface idea came from former BBC presenter James Hand, who proposed the silly name, notes ArsTechnica. 

The idea went viral and the there you go.

However, British scientists with the Natural Environment Research Council decided it was best to renege on the idea of Boaty McBoatface, which is too bad.

On the bright side, they decided to name the boat RRS Sir David Attenborough, named for the famed British naturalist. Also on the bright side, Sir David Attenborough did get votes on the online poll, but it wasn't the winner.

More bright sides: Although the research vessel won't be named Boaty McBoatface, remotely controlled underwater vehicles will be given that name.

As ArsTechnica says, I hope they paint a dorky cartoon face on these underwater vessels. That'll scare the hell out of any submarine life up there in the Arctic.

Sir David Attenborough said he was honored the boat was named after him and certainly bears no ill will for partisans of Boaty McBoatface.

"I am truly honored by this naming decision and hope that everyone who suggested a name will feel just as inspired to follow the ship's progress as it explores our polar regions. I have been privileged to explore the world's deepest oceans alongside amazing teams of researchers, and with this new polar research ship they will be able to go further and discover more than ever before."

Maybe a U.S. research ship could be named Boaty McBoatface instead.

After all, the Boaty McBoatface crisis won very valuable publicity for the National Environmental Research Council. 

It never hurts to be silly. Even if you're a scientist.

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