Just a hint of frivolity

The British Antarctic Survey is seeking a name for a new research vessel:

[Natural Environment Research Council] invites you to submit your suggestions for a name for the new polar research ship, currently under construction at Cammell Laird’s yard in Birkenhead. The closing date for entries is 16th April 2016.

Submit your suggestion online here and tell us why your idea is suitable for a polar ship. NERC will apply to register the new ship as a Royal Research Ship (RRS) so the name format is RRS NAME. An expert panel will review all suggestions before making the final decision.

Some sensible names have been proposed — among them, RRS Henry Worseley and RRS David Attenborough — but the current front-runner is, um, RRS Boaty McBoatface.

I’m sort of hoping British whimsy is honored here, no matter how ridiculous it sounds.


  1. fillyjonk »

    20 March 2016 · 1:03 pm

    This is why I’m not a Big Famous Researcher: I think “Boaty McBoatface” is an excellent choice.

    Probably won’t make it, though, they will probably go with something staid and proper. And biography of the person it’s named for will be thoroughly combed-through so there’s no hint of Wrongthink anywhere in their past.

    (It’s like much public art: it’s uninteresting precisely because it must not offend.)

  2. CGHill »

    20 March 2016 · 1:26 pm

    The world needs a Bill of Non-Rights, rights that don’t exist and never properly will, and the right not to be offended must be included.

  3. McGehee »

    20 March 2016 · 7:41 pm

    Ironically, those most wanting a right to not be offended seem most likely to exercise their right to take offense.

    What would they do if the former were to eradicate all excuses for the latter?

  4. Chuck Pergiel »

    23 March 2016 · 8:15 pm

    Boaty McBoatface? I howled!

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