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Science Ship

Speed up science by at least 20 Knots.
  [vote for,

So you're in possession of some shiny-new lovely science funding to explore the effects of caramel micro-domains on peanut-peanut interactions, or whatever it is you do. You want the best possible value for your funding and the least Red Tape, and there's a lot of Red Tape in science.... risk assessments for this, can't make a virus for that, not allowed to graft those on there, that's criminally irresponsible/needlessly dangerous and so on. Now, welcome aboard the SS Science Ship... the SS SS if you will. Shortly after stocking the ship's freezers with miscellaneous science stuff, we will head out to International waters where pretty much anything goes. There will be no safety inspections during the voyage, so any dangerously unpainted wooden surfaces or slightly mis- used radioactive tape will go unnoticed. Furthermore, all paperwork with sections on 'ethics' can be simply filled in with 'N/A'. This will save valuable time and money.

There are other advantages too, Ph.D students and post docs will be a maximum of 100m from the lab at all times, large steel bulkhead doors help contain the occasional explosion, there's plenty of water at hand, electrophysiologists will enjoy the overall Faraday cage theme suggested by an enormous steel hull. Students and staff will be simple to attract due to the cruise-ship appearance and balmy cruising environs, cheaper to pay, due to a lack of tax and easier to motivate due to the ship's brutal discipline system. Pirates and ethical protesters will be fought off with a combination of Flying Death Robots, Fluorescent Attack Monkeys and the Laser-Guided Long-Range Impotence Ray.

bs0u0155, Jul 24 2012

Waterworld http://filmconnoiss...aterworld-1995.html
An example of such a Science Ship [sqeaketh the wheel, Jul 25 2012]


       A flawless idea.   

8th of 7, Jul 24 2012

       Illegal offshore scientific reasearch? I'm in for a bun!
Alterother, Jul 24 2012

       I have seriously considered doing this - apparently some decommissioned naval ships can be had quite cheaply. Something like an aircraft carrier would be ideal - the below-decks hangars would make great labspace, and the ship would be big enough to be fairly stable.   

       The Ark Royal was for sale recently, and may still be.   

       However, I wouldn't particularly seek to do illegal or frivvling experiments (I do those in my day job). The main advantages would be (as you indicated) a freedom from some of the arbitrary and unnecessary local regulations.   

       The ship would have to be set up as a research institute, I think, with many permanent scientists. You'd also have to work out how to get deliveries: there is no way on earth to stockpile everything that biologists (say) might need. However, if it's an aircraft carrier...   

       Anyway, a definite [+].
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 24 2012

       Decommissioned Predator drones, replace the Hellfire missiles with floating parcel-bombs... then get a long boat hook.
bs0u0155, Jul 24 2012

       BUNGCO is on its 3d Science Ship. The first was found adrift with no remaining crew or passengers but some very interesting and proprietary science still aboard. #2 is semiautonomous and we are negotiating for release of the remaining postdocs. #3 is in drydocks being retrofitted to facilitate its rapid launch into the sun, should that prove necessary.
bungston, Jul 24 2012

       [21Q], that was exactly the point I was making, so calm down dear. Strangely enough, there are a few scientists who don't go into research with the sole aim of sticking pins into kittens*.   

       If you want an idea of the stupidity of some regulations, take for example:   

       (a) I can go to our lab stores and take out £1000 worth of expensive enzymes, and drop them in the nearest bin; but if I want to order a ball point pen from a supplier, I have to get the order approved. This is, in some way, helping to prevent me from defrauding the taxpayer.   

       (b) My PhD. students are required to go on a certain number of courses per year, and to prove they've been (though not that they've learned anything), and the courses have to be On The List. A week spent learning a technique, or attending a superb practical course that's not on the list, doesn't count; but "Stress Management" or "Work-Life Balance Skills" do count, and at least give them a chance to catch up on some sleep.   


       (*obviously, this doesn't apply at NUFSPIK, the National UK Facility for Sticking Pins In Kittens.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 24 2012

       Will there be cake?
Custardguts, Jul 24 2012

       //My point was that there was no mention of such restrictions in the post.//   

       Fair point. I believe that, on merchant vessels and naval ships outside territorial waters, there is a shipboard tradition of sticking pins in cats at the change of watch. I have no idea how this can be prevented but, by god's pancreatic ducts, we shall try.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 24 2012

       You are clearly unaware of the origin of the cat o' nine tails.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 24 2012

       I'd go asailing on this ship. Yay. +
blissmiss, Jul 24 2012

       I b'lieve such a well meaning Science Ship was the actual origin of the floating petrol tanker in the movie Waterworld. And see what that devolved into, what with Dennis Hopper and his eye patch and all the grad students devolved into scary low lifes. I don't think I'd let my grad students sign up for such a cruise.
sqeaketh the wheel, Jul 25 2012

       //Pirates and ethical protesters will be fought off //

Pirates & Protesters would be the least of your problems, I suspect. An unregulated & lightly guarded chemical & biological factory floating around in international waters would be resounding with the clangy noise of military boots echoing off metal walkways before you could light up your Bunsen Burner.
DrBob, Jul 25 2012

       //I'm sure you know full well I was refering to arms proliferation treaties.// Headline: "Head of arms procurement shoulders burden, foots bill."
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 25 2012

       // lightly guarded //   

       Since some of the first projects will involve Stealth technology, backbreeding velociraptors from fossil blood, and Feline Large Accelerator Technology, the term "lightly guarded" may be a misnomer.
8th of 7, Jul 25 2012

       lightly guarded? You did read the phrase 'Laser- Guided Long Range Impotence Ray'?
bs0u0155, Jul 25 2012

       /I'd go asailing on this ship/   

       If you brought a W you could even go wasailing. Among the waves so green.
bungston, Jul 25 2012


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