It involves using half the name for one of the ship's sample-gathering vehicles.

By David Meyer
May 6, 2016

The British government has found a way to deal with its embarrassing Boaty McBoatface conundrum.

In case you missed this glorious example of democracy gone awry, the U.K.’s National Environmental Research Council is building a new polar research vessel, and it asked the public to name it through an online poll.

The British public overwhelmingly opted for Boaty McBoatface, to which the government said something along the lines of “Er, no.”

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On Friday, the government said the £200 million ($254 million) ship, which will set sail in 2019, would instead be named the Royal Research Ship (RRS) Sir David Attenborough, after the naturalist and broadcaster whose dulcet tones have graced many documentaries about the natural world (and whose 90th birthday is on Sunday).

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said the name “captures the ship’s scientific mission and celebrates the broadcaster’s contribution to natural science.”

But this isn’t an outright rejection of Boaty McBoatface—that first half of that name will adorn one of the remotely-operated submarine vehicles on the RRS Sir David Attenborough, which will help the crew collect samples from the Arctic and Antarctic depths.

“The ship has captured the imaginations of millions, which is why we’re ensuring that the Boaty name lives on through the sub-sea vehicle that will support the research crew, and the polar science education program that will bring their work to life,” said science minister Jo Johnson in a statement.

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