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I christen thee RRS Boaty McBoatface?

by • April 17, 2016 • No Comments

Last month, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) invited the public to assist name its new £200 million (US$284 million) polar research ship. When voting closed on the weekend, the winner by a considerable margin was “RRS Boaty McBoatface,” but there are doubts the words “I christen thee RRS Boaty McBoatface” can in fact be muttered.

The new Royal Research Ship (RRS) already under construction at Cammell Laird shipyards is a floating polar laboratory which can replace RRS Ernest Shackleton and RRS James Clarke Ross. The new ship can carry 60 scientists and assist staff and can be utilized in both the Antarctic and the Arctic. When accomplished, it can be 129.6 m (425 ft) long, 25 m (82 ft) abeam, have a draught of 7.5 m (24 ft), displace 12,790 tonnes (14,098 tons), and have 4,200 cubic meters (148,000 cubic feet) of cargo space.

To assist bolster public interest and participation in the project and BAS in general, a competition was opened to invite the public to suggest different types of names for the vessel on the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) website and vote for a favourite. BBC Radio Jersey presenter James Hand’s nomination of Boaty McBoatface caught the public imagination and racked up 124,109 votes – easily defeating the runners up, Poppy-Mai with 34,371, Henry Worsley at 15,231, and It’s Bloody Cold Here scooping 10,679.

But, the NERC says which it reserves the final say on the ship’s name and the UK science minister, Jo Johnson, has told the Daily Telegraph which they are looking for a name which “fits the undertaking and captures the spirit of scientific endeavor,” casting doubts which the name can stick.

Source: BAS via BBC

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