Hopes to call a polar research ship ‘Boaty McBoatface’ may have sunk, after a government minister stepped in and said he wanted something that would ‘capture the spirit of scientific endeavour’.
The Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, has said that while the public has come up with some ‘very imaginative’ suggestions for the ship’s name, they’d all be ‘reviewed’ before a final decision is made. What a spoilsport.
And his comments left no doubt that he doesn’t see himself as bound to the results of the Internet poll, Sky News reports.
— My Brain Hurts (@dect69) April 17, 2016
The competition to name the vessel was staged by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and ‘RRS Boaty McBoatface’ was the runaway winner taking 124,109 votes.
In second place was the ‘RRS Poppy-Mai’, named after a 16-month-old girl with terminal cancer, with 34,371 votes.
— Skeptical Dinosaur (@skepticosaurus) April 18, 2016
In third place was the more conventional ‘RRS Henry Worsley’, a tribute to the Antarctic explorer, with 15,231 votes, while ‘RRS It’s Bloody Cold Here’ came fourth with 10,679 votes.
Although we still think ‘RRS Boatimus Prime’ was the obvious choice, as it so obviously conveys both power and leadership!
— Cro D E Wiffen (@craigwiffen) April 18, 2016
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that the £200 million research vessel will go with the winning suggestion, and the final decision lies with Mr Johnson.
Worst of all Johnson told The Telegraph that Boaty McBoatface chances have most likely hit the rocks.
You won’t be surprised to know that we want something that fits the mission and captures the spirit of scientific endeavour. The public has come up with some fantastic and very imaginative suggestions. We are reviewing all of them.
The NERC said the name of the new research vessel would be announced ‘in due course’, but we can’t help but think that if they’re not going to go with the public’s choice, then what was the point of the vote in the first place?