The Significance of RRS Discovery
Discovery is listed on the UK Core Collection of important vessels drawn up by the National Historic Ships' Committee. She is the only scientific research vessel on the list.
• Discovery was the first ship in the world to be specifically designed for scientific research.
• Discovery was one of the last wooden three-masted sailing ships to be built in Britain. She is the only example of the type to survive.
• She was built in Dundee because of the city's special expertise in constructing such strong vessels and was modeled on the lines of traditional Scottish whaling ships used in the ice packed areas of the Arctic. As such she is a rare survival of Dundee's proud shipbuilding past.
• Discovery played a significant role in the development of ship construction, particularly for exploration and use in Polar Regions. She incorporates a number of design features which are the only examples of their type to survive.
She was involved in three pioneering areas of research :-
• The British National Antarctic Expedition 1901-04 - the first extensive scientific exploration of the Antarctic land mass under Captain Robert Falcon Scott.
• The Discovery Oceanographic Expedition 1925-27 - the first maritime research undertaken to explore the natural habitat of the whale and its exploitation as a resource.
• The British Australian New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition 1929-31 (BANZARE) - an extensive survey of the land masses and oceans of the South Atlantic and Antarctic.
• Discovery is associated with many famous explorers and scientists – Captain Scott, Dr Edward Wilson, Sir Ernest Shackleton, Sir Alister Hardy and Sir Douglas Mawson to name but a few.