The government has stopped short of naming a new Arctic research ship “Boaty McBoatface” and has instead bestowed the name “Boaty” on a remotely operated submarine.
Despite Boaty McBoatface comfortably topping a public poll to find a name for the new vessel, it will instead be called the RRS Sir David Attenborough, a suggestion that came fourth in the vote organised by the Natural Environment Research Council (Nerc).
A statement by Nerc said Sir David’s name had been selected because it “captures the ship’s scientific mission and celebrates the broadcaster’s contribution to natural science”.
Some social media users were less than impressed with the decision, however, calling it an affront to democracy (with varying degrees of seriousness):
Labour members vote for Corbyn. Labour MPs know better. People vote for #BoatyMcBoatface. NERC knows better. Democracy in the UK in 2016.— Marcus Chown (@marcuschown) May 6, 2016
Another user, Matt Hunter, suggested getting Sir David “blind drunk” and changing his name to Boaty McBoatface in order to achieve “justice”.
1. Get David Attenborough blind drunk— Matt Hunter (@HunterMatthew_) May 6, 2016
2. Get him to a courthouse
3. Get him to change his name to #BoatyMcBoatface
Other Twitter users said that the vessel to be named Boaty needed a different name as it was not really a boat.
Next week Nerc’s chief executive Duncan Wingham and head of communications Julia Maddock will be questioned about the poll by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.