As famously uttered through Kevin Spacey’s portrayal of Frank Underwood in the hit Netflix series, House of Cards, “Democracy is so overrated”. And it is, at least for NERCScience and UK science minister Jo Johnson.
As you can tell by the title, and the hundreds of thousands of tweets causing it to be the third top trend in the UK, we have to wave goodbye to the name ‘Boaty McBoatFace’, the beautiful name put forth by innovator James Hand.
Johnson stated that there were more suitable” names, and perhaps there are in the world of science, but not in the world of the Internet. NERC opened up the suggestions for the public to make, and the public spoke with clear majority. If this was a political race, we would be under the rule of Boaty McBoatFace without second thought.
However, as they have now chosen to settle for “RSS Sir David Attenborough”, a homage to the UK’s naturalist treasure, aged nearly 90, democracy has died in this instance.Obviously, in a serious world, the new name fits the scientific vessel perfectly, however it was opened to the Internet to decide. The same Internet that trended ‘Cut for Bieber’ and memes of a cartoon frog. The same Internet that, despite its child-like humour, holds democracy and freedom of expression beautifully in most developed and developing countries. Today, we have lost a piece of this democracy.
I hope you’ll join me in prayer for the loss of Boaty McBoatFace, and who knows, maybe one day she may grace the frosty arctic oceans combatting icebergs and waves.
-Benjamin John Wareing