Commons committee question Natural Environment Research Council head over ship-naming competition as part of inquiry into science communication

No sooner had MPs taken their seats than it began. “Will the minister ask you to walk the plank?” asked Nicola Blackwood, chair of the Commons science and technology committee. Her question was directed at Duncan Wingham, head of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), who had been summoned to Westminster to answer questions on the Boaty McBoatface episode.

The committee had long planned an inquiry into science communication, and NERC’s Name Our Ship competition – won with massive public support by Boaty McBoatface, only for the name to be vetoed by Science minister Jo Johnson in favour of the RRS Sir David Attenborough – was a natural place to start. Was it a PR triumph or a PR disaster? The MPs wanted to know.

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Source: Guardian Environment