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On May 6, 2016, the NERC announced they would be naming their new research vessel RRS Sir David Attenborough after the renowned British naturalist. One of the ship's robotic submersibles -- though technically not a boat -- will be named Boaty McBoatface, as consolation to the voting public. However, the ship's mission does not begin until 2019, so there is still time to urge the NERC to give this ship (and its submarine) a more proper name!
Goal: 84,000 Progress: 771
Sponsored by: The Rainforest Site

In 2019, the United Kingdom's high-tech polar research vessel will begin exploring the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Before its maiden voyage, it needs a name.

Britain's Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), who run the UK's polar research program, hoped to stir excitement for the expedition by asking the public to help name the watercraft. NERC put up a poll and teased, “imagine one of the world's biggest research labs travelling to the Antarctic with your suggested name proudly emblazoned on the side!” One name stood out, receiving far more votes than any other: RRS Boaty McBoatface.

The name was so popular voters crashed the NERC's website, according to the Guardian. When the poll closed on April 16, 2016, RRS Boaty McBoatface accrued more than 124,000 votes — about 84,000 more than the runner-up. Alas, not everyone was convinced of the name's brilliance.

After the poll, Science Minister Jo Johnson suggested decision-makers "want a name that fits the gravity and the importance" of the boat's purpose. The NERC plans to review all 7,000 submissions before its final decision — which ultimately resides with NERC's Chief Executive Duncan Wingham, who has not directly commented. If he stands with his colleagues, Wingham may choose to shipwreck RRS Boaty McBoatface before she even sets asea.

Polar research is vital to our understanding of climate change and the health of the world. Giving schools, parents, and other fans a chance to explore with the charismatic RSS Boaty McBoatface gives the NERC a whole new platform to share the science behind these important issues. If the downside is being undignified, imagine the multitude of upsides — not the least of which is an engaged and interested public.

Urge Chief Executive Duncan Wingham to embrace public enthusiasm, and christen the NERC's new vessel the RRS Boaty McBoatface.

Sign Here






Dear Chief Executive Duncan Wingham,

In March 2016, you asked for the public's help in naming the NERC's new research vessel. When polls closed one month later, the public's decision was clear: RRS Boaty McBoatface.

From the beginning, you've made it clear that the NERC will make the final decision on naming the ship. However, we believe that as an advocate for conservation-based scientific research, it is your duty to name this world-class ship the RRS Boaty McBoatface — in the name of public enthusiasm for science.

Although the name may seem silly, it has the potential to bring enormous opportunities for polar research publicity. As you may know, garnering public interest for oceanic research is difficult, and may at times seem impossible. But if a breach in research vessel naming convention can change all that, why not embrace the opportunity? Giving students and fans the chance to follow the adventures of the RSS Boaty McBoatface could open the world of oceanic research to a whole new generation!

The public showed confidence in you with a £200 million government grant to build this state-of-the-art ship. By honoring the public's vote, you have a chance to return that confidence in a significant way.

We urge you to help keep the public interested in polar research. Turn the RRS Boaty McBoatface, and the NERC, into household names!

Thank you.

Petition Signatures


Feb 19, 2017 Julie Martin
Feb 19, 2017 Dulcie Camp
Feb 16, 2017 M Kent
Feb 15, 2017 Linda Howe
Feb 15, 2017 Lea Faulks
Feb 12, 2017 andree leplay
Feb 11, 2017 Tristin Pollet
Feb 9, 2017 Leslie Dancer
Feb 7, 2017 Raleigh koritz
Feb 5, 2017 Anna Tangi
Feb 5, 2017 Diane Wildes
Feb 5, 2017 Stacey Govito
Feb 4, 2017 Cindy Ray
Feb 4, 2017 Mark Hayduke Grenard
Feb 3, 2017 Maria Angeles Leorza Arechavaleta
Jan 31, 2017 Ertie Evangelista
Jan 31, 2017 ivan mesic
Jan 31, 2017 sanja Valecic
Jan 30, 2017 Jeffrey Bains
Jan 30, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 29, 2017 Henna Kevin
Jan 26, 2017 Nico Sandman
Jan 22, 2017 Patricia Nenadich
Jan 21, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 20, 2017 raju gupta-chaudhary
Jan 10, 2017 julian zrnic
Jan 10, 2017 Tracy Birrell
Jan 7, 2017 kimber hawkey
Jan 5, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 5, 2017 Laurie Fisher
Jan 5, 2017 GIUSEPPINA BERTANI
Jan 5, 2017 Alexandru Sonoc
Dec 24, 2016 Joy Smiley
Dec 16, 2016 Geraldine Rondeau
Dec 15, 2016 pille pierre
Dec 10, 2016 Manuel Davila Rodriguez
Dec 8, 2016 Judith Brown
Dec 3, 2016 Emiliana Ribeiadio
Nov 29, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Nov 22, 2016 BobbyKat LittleCub
Nov 22, 2016 Virginia Dempsey
Nov 19, 2016 HOWARD STAFFORD I think the name "Boaty McBoatface" is absolutely ridiculous and can't believe you would be involved with this
Nov 17, 2016 K Zoll
Nov 16, 2016 Keith Vega
Nov 14, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Nov 13, 2016 Filippo Garofalo
Nov 13, 2016 Silvia Grazioli
Nov 9, 2016 karla Price
Nov 9, 2016 Garo Kassabian
Nov 7, 2016 Carlos Otero

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