LEGO Realizes There Are Female Scientists

The Research Institute set includes an astronomer, a paleontologist, and a chemist -- all female.

The Research Institute set includes an astronomer, a paleontologist, and a chemist — all female.

It would seem that all is possible in the mix-and-match world of LEGO, but if anyone wanted to have a female scientist LEGO minifig, you had to build it from the base of a male scientist character. But as a result of widespread support for a proposal from a female geochemist/LEGO fan, the company has come to the realization that a Y chromosome — even a plastic one — is not needed to do science stuff.

“The idea for the project came very naturally,” writes Ellen Kooijman, whose proposal on the LEGO Ideas platform quickly reached the 10,000 votes needed for the company to review it. “As a female scientist I had noticed two things about the available LEGO sets: a skewed male/female minifigure ratio and a rather stereotypical representation of the available female figures. It seemed logical that I would suggest a small set of female minifigures in interesting professions to make our LEGO city communities more diverse.”

And so, after considering her project, LEGO announced earlier this week that it will be introducing three female scientist minifigs — under the label of “Research Institute” this August.

“This awesome model is an inspiring set that offers a lot for kids as well as adults,” writes the company.

Some hope that presenting female scientists to children will encourage girls to consider the sciences, a field that is still predominantly male in the U.S.

At the very least, you can’t complain about having new LEGO characters to build with.

In other gender-centric toy news, Disney announced today that it is releasing several new products featuring Princess Leia, Business Insider reports.

While that might not sound surprising, what with all the new Star Wars movie excitement, it kind of is. In May, the company told a parent that there were no plans for Leia products.

Following the statement, fans quickly turned to Twitter, creating the hashtag #WeWantLeia to voice their disappointment with the company.

A spokesperson for the company says the new products will be rolling out over the next several months.

[Via Washington Post]