A British scientist known for building the largest space telescope ever built has been given her very own Barbie doll.
Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock is immortalized as a one-of-a-kind plastic toy in recognition of her achievements in making space and science accessible to girls.
The 54-year-old woman, who was recently appointed chancellor of the University of Leicester, is a former president of the British Scientific Association and the first black woman to win a Physics News Gold Award.
She is best known for hosting the BBC’s The Night Sky.
Made by toy company Mattel, her doll wears a fitting starry dress with a telescope accessory – a reference to her relationship with James Webb Space Telescope.
The telescope, the successor to Hubble, is a joint venture between various space agencies and scientists, and launches in December 2021.
Dr Aderin-Pocock receives a Barbie doll as a gift to mark International Women’s Day and British Science Week.
“Since falling in love with space travel at a young age, I’ve spent my career trying to show girls how fascinating space science can be,” she said.
“I want to inspire the next generation of scientists, especially girls, to know that Stem (science, technology, engineering and math) is for them.”
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Dr. Aderin-Pocock’s Barbie, which will not be on sale, is one of seven custom dolls Mattel created to celebrate women’s breakthroughs in the subject of Stem.
Others include YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki and German marine researcher Dr Antje Boetius.
Dr Aderin-Pocock hopes that expanding the range of Barbie dolls will help “break down stereotypes”.
“Barbies didn’t look like me when I was little, so creating a Barbie who looked like me was incredible,” she said.
“What an honor to receive this doll that celebrates my achievement…my daughter and I danced in our living room!”
She added: “I hope my doll will remind girls that anything is possible when you reach for the stars.”