Lego paleontologists

‘Boys as well as girls should be able to play with the same Legos’, that is one of the ten commandments of Lego (Yes, the company came up with that themselves). However, most Lego characters are still men, discovered the Dutch scientist Ellen Kooijman. Kooijman works in Stockholm as an isotope geochemist, a field somewhere on the border between chemistry and geology, and is a great fan of Lego. Kooijman did raise an eyebrow at the clichéroles given to the female Lego figures, from princesses to mermaids. When Lego figures show a profession it’s most often a male figure. ‘I missed the female Lego figures at work. It would make the Lego community much more diverse,’was her opinion.
Then Kooijman discovered a call to design your own Lego figure and she decided to enter. Inspired by her own background she thought of scientists: a paleontologist, an astronomer and a chemist. All three of them female. None of the women wear pink; a conscious choice. The idea was picked up online and quickly gained many supporters. When it reached ten thousand supporters Lego decided to make the set a reality, it will hit stores this month.
Kooijman hopes that the new set will show girls that science is just as viable a career choice for them as it is for boys. She is satisfied with the way Lego executed her design. Although she has one small criticism of the female chemist: ‘I highly discourage wearing make-up in the laboratory. It can contaminate the materials you work with!’
Photo: Shutterstock/ Stefano Tinti

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Lego paleontologists

‘Boys as well as girls should be able to play with the same Legos’, that is one of the ten commandments of Lego (Yes, the company came up with that themselves). However, most Lego characters are still men, discovered the Dutch scientist Ellen Kooijman. Kooijman works in Stockholm as an isotope geochemist, a field somewhere on the border between chemistry and geology, and is a great fan of Lego. Kooijman did raise an eyebrow at the clichéroles given to the female Lego figures, from princesses to mermaids. When Lego figures show a profession it’s most often a male figure. ‘I missed the female Lego figures at work. It would make the Lego community much more diverse,’was her opinion.
Then Kooijman discovered a call to design your own Lego figure and she decided to enter. Inspired by her own background she thought of scientists: a paleontologist, an astronomer and a chemist. All three of them female. None of the women wear pink; a conscious choice. The idea was picked up online and quickly gained many supporters. When it reached ten thousand supporters Lego decided to make the set a reality, it will hit stores this month.
Kooijman hopes that the new set will show girls that science is just as viable a career choice for them as it is for boys. She is satisfied with the way Lego executed her design. Although she has one small criticism of the female chemist: ‘I highly discourage wearing make-up in the laboratory. It can contaminate the materials you work with!’
Photo: Shutterstock/ Stefano Tinti

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