06 May 2016

Time for a Massive Campaign of Civil Disobedience

The elitists at the UK's Natural Environment Research Council have decided to ignore the will of the people and name their new research vessel after naturalist and documentarian Sir David Attenborough, though they did throw a bone to the general public:
The UK's new £200 million polar research ship will not be called Boaty McBoatface. The decision was announced early on Friday morning by the UK science minister, Jo Johnson. Instead, the new ship will be called the RRS (Royal Research Ship) Sir David Attenborough—a name that also picked up a few votes in the same poll that saw Boaty McBoatface come out way on top.

Showing at least a little bit of political savvy, Jo Johnson didn't completely discard the people's choice: RRS Sir David Attenborough will be outfitted with a number of remotely operated underwater vehicles (see gallery above), and one of those will be called Boaty McBoatface. Hopefully they'll paint a dorky face on the front of its torpedo-like frame.


The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) had originally planned to name the new ship via an online poll. Shortly after the poll began in March, James Hand, a former BBC radio presenter, proposed the name Boaty McBoatface. The name went viral and quickly picked up tens of thousands more votes than any other. The final tally was 124,109 votes for Boaty McBoatface, 34,371 for Poppy-Mai, and then a handful of others at around 10,000 (Sir David Attenborough picked up 10,284 votes).


Yesterday, following the naming debacle surrounding the ship, the UK's parliamentary science and technology committee began an investigation into "science communication" and NERC's approach to naming the ship.

You have to hand it to the science minister: if you're going to take a huge political hit by ignoring the public's choice, naming the ship after one of the few universally loved Britons is really quite smart. No one's going to complain about a ship being named after Sir David—and it's his 90th birthday this weekend. Damn you, Jo Johnson, damn you!
This is an outrage, and clearly it must not be allowed to stand.


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