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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: 840
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


Sep 20, 2017 Josie Avalos
Sep 18, 2017 Setsuko Yamamoto
Sep 18, 2017 Rebecca Clark
Sep 18, 2017 Juliane Rocha
Sep 18, 2017 Holly Dixon
Sep 3, 2017 Martin Henz
Aug 31, 2017 Lorraine Brabham
Aug 31, 2017 Debbie Meadows
Aug 31, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Aug 29, 2017 Alyssa Oggiono
Aug 8, 2017 Donna Gilbert
Aug 4, 2017 Laurine League
Aug 3, 2017 J. Scott
Jul 29, 2017 Georgi Mortensen
Jul 29, 2017 Patricia E Anderson
Jul 27, 2017 Maryann LaNew
Jul 22, 2017 GERARD FABIANO
Jul 22, 2017 melissa suarez
Jul 22, 2017 Steven Schueller
Jul 22, 2017 Susan Schueller
Jul 22, 2017 Leigha Henson
Jul 20, 2017 Catheryn Sproull
Jul 17, 2017 Linda Cypert
Jun 27, 2017 tasha j
Jun 24, 2017 Nathan Fisher
Jun 14, 2017 Patti Mealy
Jun 3, 2017 Connie - please Raper
Jun 3, 2017 Frédéric Jaubert
Jun 2, 2017 Margo Salone
Jun 1, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jun 1, 2017 (Name not displayed)
May 29, 2017 Janet Pickard
May 29, 2017 Jona Milo
May 29, 2017 John Chambers
May 22, 2017 Kelsey Reinhard
May 20, 2017 James Deschene
May 20, 2017 Shirley Troia
May 19, 2017 Anne Bekkers
May 10, 2017 Lix Tuls lixl0000000@gmail.com
May 9, 2017 (Name not displayed)
May 5, 2017 Michalla Sutton
May 1, 2017 (Name not displayed)
May 1, 2017 Betty Moran
Apr 24, 2017 Elise Buffie
Apr 21, 2017 Nicholas Lee
Apr 16, 2017 Lanette Norris
Apr 14, 2017 Natasha Jenkins
Apr 11, 2017 Katherine Babiak
Apr 2, 2017 Lane Page
Apr 1, 2017 Kathleen Siskron

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