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Sorry, Trolls: UK Won't Give You 'Boaty McBoatface'

Science minister says name shouldn't be 'completely frivolous'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2016 11:04 AM CDT
Sorry, Trolls: UK Won't Give You 'Boaty McBoatface'
Boaty McBoatface, or maybe not.   (NERC)

(Newser) – The winning campaign to name the UK's new $300 million research vessel Boaty McBoatface has hit a wall, er, iceberg. Britain's science minister says that while many of the public's suggestions in a naming poll "were imaginative, some were more suitable than others," per Newsweek. "We want a name that lasts longer than a social media news cycle and reflects the serious nature of the science it will be doing," including investigating climate change and rising sea-levels, Jo Johnson says, per the Guardian. Since the vessel requires a royal warrant, Johnson adds he'd be embarrassed to ask the queen "to give a warrant for something that was completely frivolous," reports the Mirror.

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He hasn't confirmed Boaty McBoatface will be ignored but says officials are reviewing all 7,000 suggestions. The Natural Environment Research Council says a decision "will be announced in due course." Nicky Campbell of the BBC says choosing any other name than the one that won the public vote would be to "ride roughshod over democracy," while the editors of the Times argue Boaty McBoatface would "heighten long-term interest in the important research that the vessel will undertake." However, the man who came up with the name says there are "plenty of worthy winners." His once-favorite, Clifford the Big Red Boat, probably isn't under consideration, per NPR. (Read more Boaty McBoatface stories.)

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