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Boaty McBoatface Loses Name Game to Sir David Attenborough

Image: Boaty McBoatface Loses Name Game to Sir David Attenborough
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By    |   Friday, 06 May 2016 12:07 PM

Boaty McBoatface didn't hold water for British officials, despite public favor for the silly name, and they opted instead to call their new polar research vessel the Royal Research Ship Sir David Attenborough, after the noted broadcaster and naturalist.

No worry. There will be a baby Boaty McBoatface aboard.

"Boaty McBoatface" easily won a public poll to name the $300 million ship, raking in 124,109 votes, CNN reported. But Natural Environment Research Council officials named the boat Royal Research Ship Sir David Attenborough instead, after a campaign called for a more respectable name for the world-class vessel.

Sir David Attenborough received 11,000 votes in the poll.

NERC officials gave a nod to the public choice by naming a remotely operated vehicle aboard the ship Boaty McBoatface. The government also will invest in a program to inspire young people to engage in polar exploration.

"The NERC Name Our Ship campaign has engaged the public with the ship's mission on a huge scale and we are very grateful for the support and enthusiasm shown by the public in contributing to naming for our new research vessel the RSS Sir David Attenborough," chief executive Duncan Wingham said in a NERC news release. "The new Polar Explorer programme will continue to inspire future generations in this important area of environmental science. We are also very happy to recognise the overall popular choice through naming one of the ship's robotic vehicles Boaty McBoatface."

The Evening Standard, which launched a campaign in favor of naming the ship after Attenborough, called the decision "an elegant compromise."

Attenborough, who turns 90 on Saturday, has raised awareness about environmental science with books and documentaries, including the 1993 BBC series "Life in the Freezer."

“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,” he said, according to the Evening Standard. “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.”

UK Science Minister Jo Johnson posted about the decision on Twitter.


Twitter users shared mixed reactions to the decision.

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Boaty McBoatface didn't hold water for British officials, despite public favor for the silly name, and they opted instead to call their new polar research vessel the Royal Research Ship Sir David Attenborough, after the noted broadcaster and naturalist.
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Friday, 06 May 2016 12:07 PM
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