"We'd do it all again" say Boaty McBoatface competition creators

Lynsey Barber
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The name the ship competition got a little out of hand (Source: NERC)
he creators of the competition which ended up producing the name Boaty McBoatface for a billion pound science research ship have no regrets and said they would do it all over again, despite the whole thing descending into farce.

Appearing in front of MPs on the science and technology committee today, the National Environmental Research Council (NERC) bosses Duncan Wingham and James Wilsdon defended the public poll, which saw the comedy name voted to the top.

Wilson even admitted that he voted for the name himself.

The science group said the campaign raised huge awareness, reaching 250m people, with 23m voting and 60,000 views of the video about the ship. The name may be trivial, but people are interested in the science, they said.

Read more: Don't let Boaty McBoatface put you off crowdsourcing

The name caused consternation among many, who believed a more appropriate name should be given to the polar research vessel.

It was eventually named after beloved scientist, broadcaster and national treasure Sir David Attenborough, with a smaller submarine belonging to the ship taking up the funny moniker.

The issue even caused a split in the government. Science minister Jo Johnson took the decision to go against the public vote, but digital minister Ed Vaizey said the "will of the people" should be respected.

The public - or Twitter users, at least - has decided it was a public engagement triumph rather than a PR disaster, despite the fuss, according to a poll by the Science and Technology Committee.

Meanwhile, the fact this has spurred something as serious as a government enquiry on the matter has not gone unnoticed.


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