Dear Sir Richard Branson

Dear Sir Richard Branson,

I don’t know if you read DSN. Probably not.  That’s fine. I realize you are probably busy making making money.If you happen to stumble here. Please, please, please, please, please take me along.  I have all the necessary prerequisites. If you don’t think I should participate please read comments below (Note: Readers please help).


Dr. M

In case you don’t know it. Sir Richard Branson has more money than God. And to prove it, he announced this week his quest to explore the deepest points of the world’s five oceans. Key to achieving his dream is the Virgin Oceanic submarine — a one-man submersible that can dive to depths of 37,000 feet (7 miles). The underwater vehicle is made of a carbon and titanium composite and is supposed to reach all the deepest parts of the ocean. The Bathyscape Trieste is only manned vehicle to reach these depths. You will note that compared to traditional subs this is not a sphere but rather designed like a plane.  This will allow a greater range, speed, and maneuverability than achieved before in our exploration of the deep.  Branson will pilot all five of the dives with Chris Welsh.

And if I had the money of God, I too would do the same.  Except I would have a super fancy website about the project done with black background that invoked the feeling of the abyss. Damn. Except I would have some fancy animation to show people what I was going to do just to up the WOW factor.  Wait a minute.

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

8 comments on “Dear Sir Richard Branson
  1. Seriously. Look at this face, Sir Richard. LOOK AT THIS FACE! This is a man who needs to be part of the Virgin Oceanic voyage.

    Also, look at his science. LOOK AT HIS SCIENCE! It is mighty. Clearly, this is a man YOU need to be part of the Virgin Oceanic team.

    How else will you understand what you see when you get down to the bottom?

  2. Dear Sir Richard Branson
    As chief editor of the best ocean blog around, and a man who uses ‘awesomesauce’ regularly, Dr. M not only deserves this, he would be an excellent asset to your team!
    AND if he went along, he’d be able to blog about the expedition so that we mere mortals can all experience it too!

  3. My Cousin is CIO of Virgin American. I posted this on my Facebook page, and urged him to take a look! I am very excited about this project!

  4. Richard, you don’t want a damned academic down there. You want a sailor who knows how to get there and back. Who can fix the plumbing when hydraulic fluid starts spraying. Who isn’t worried when the electrics give their usual partial performance at sea. And who will have fun doing it.

    Take me, instead. ;-)

  5. Who can fix the plumbing when hydraulic fluid starts spraying. Who isn’t worried when the electrics give their usual partial performance at sea. And who will have fun doing it.

    So what you are saying is that Richard needs a deep sea biologist. Cause that is basically what I did for my masters. Need something rigged up on the fly? Deep sea biologist. Got shitloads of PVC and want catch stuff? Deep sea biologist. Need a badass Hydraulically actuated net built? Deep sea biologist. Home madeData loggers leaked, wondering if you can save 2 years of vital temperature data for your half million dollar NSF grant? (Ok, who needed those last 6 six months anyways, cut your losses with a) Deep sea biologist! All of this AND the perfect drinking buddy. Hire yourself a deep sea biologist!

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