LEGO announces female scientist set

Lego Female scientistsLEGO has announced it is going to release a ‘Research Institute Set’ that features female scientists doing science.

The set was a crowd-sourced LEGO Ideas concept, created by Swedish geochemist Dr Ellen Kooijman who wanted to see more female LEGO characters in interesting professions. That her original concept was titled simply ‘Female Minifigure Set’ says something about how scarce female characters remain in the LEGO world. That original concept also included women in a range of other professions including firefighter, mechanic and construction worker.

Glasses = clever
Glasses = clever

The actual set will be a paleontologist, an astronomer, a chemist and “all their awesome equipment” and will be available in August this year after having been worked over by the LEGO professional designers. It will be interesting to see what the LEGO professionals do with Dr Kooijman’s concept. Certainly one thing I’d like to see is that the figures do not feature glasses – it really shouldn’t be necessary these days to signal that the character is clever by painting on a set of spectacles, especially when they can’t be whipped off with a shake of lustrous hair at some point in the narrative.

It’s great to see positive messages being sent about women as scientists and the sets themselves do look to include some genuinely cool LEGO equipment – that dinosaur is great. I can’t help thinking that this sort of subtle positioning will be far more useful and effective than efforts like the European Commission’s ‘science – it’s a girl thing’ video disaster of a couple of years ago. So all-in-all a good thing.

Of course the big question is whether the LEGO professionals will manage to work some pink into the packaging so that the set can safely be presented in the girls’ toys isle of the toy shop…

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