Last week a delegation from the HMS Beagle project descended on Swindon to meet with representatives from the British science funding councils, the body that channels government funding to science projects. Representatives of the Natural Environment Research Council, the Science and Technology Facilities Council and the British National Space Centre.
It would fair to say they were impressed with our idea and our vision for what we want HMS Beagle to do. We don't expect money from them (although it would be nice - we need £100,000 pronto to get the plan approval process underway) because they have scientists to support and a budget under pressure.
Also in the UK one of our patrons will today be raising our project with Rt. Hon. Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Climate Change forms a large part of their remit.
Given that the majority of the British public is still unconvinced about H. sapien's role in climate change, we hope that the Secretary of State with responsibility for the environment will look kindly on our project: science education and public understanding of science are at the heart of a sailing rebuilt HMS Beagle, and our efforts will be aimed at the generation in school today - young people who will be most affected by climate change and for whom an understanding of science will be crucial in helping departments like DEFRA counter it at a government level.
Beagle Project house keeping: we are at present a not-for-profit company, and according to our legal advisors, the application for charitable status is grinding through the channels.