A British scientist, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, has been honoured with a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll in her likeness in celebration of International Women’s Day and British Science Week. Dr Aderin-Pocock is best known for presenting BBC One’s The Sky At Night and has been made a “Barbie Role Model” for her achievements in making space and science accessible to girls.
The doll, created by toy company Mattel, wears a starry dress and has a telescope accessory, a nod to Dr Aderin-Pocock’s work with the James Webb Space Telescope. As a black woman in science, she hopes that her doll will inspire the next generation of scientists, especially girls, to see that Stem (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is for them.
Barbie is also donating Dr Aderin-Pocock’s book, Am I Made Of Stardust?, to schools across the UK through partner charity Inspiring Girls. In addition to Dr Aderin-Pocock, Mattel has recognised seven other women who are “trailblazers” in their field, including Susan Wojcicki, long-time chief executive of YouTube, and Professor Dr Antje Boetius, a German marine researcher and microbiologist.
Mattel will expand its Barbie Career range with a marine biologist doll this spring, joining Stem figures including a doctor, a vet, a scientist, and an astronaut. Dr Aderin-Pocock’s doll is not available for sale to the public, but is a one-off given to her by Mattel.
Dr Aderin-Pocock expressed her joy and honour at receiving the doll that celebrates her achievements. As a child growing up, she played with Barbies and now enjoys playing with them with her daughter. She hopes her doll will remind girls that anything is possible when you reach for the stars.