By Laura Kemp • 04 August 2021 • 16:27
Barbie of Oxford Covid vaccine creator Dame Sarah Gilbert. Image - Mattel.com
Scientist Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert said of the Barbie doll that she found it “very strange” at first but that she also hoped that it would be an inspiration to children.
“My wish is that my doll will show children careers they may not be aware of, like a vaccinologist,” she said.
Dame Sarah’s Barbie is one of six made to honour women who are working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).
Other dolls that have been created include a medic from Australia who helped to create a reusable gown for health workers and a biomedical researcher from Brazil.
Dame Sarah, who was given her damehood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, started to design the vaccination against Covid at the beginning of 2020 when the virus was first reported in China.
The Oxford AstraZeneca jab is now the most commonly used vaccination across the world with doses sent to over 170 countries, according to BBC News.
“I am passionate about inspiring the next generation of girls into Stem careers and hope that children who see my Barbie will realise how vital careers in science are to help the world around us,” said Dame Sarah.
Mattel has recently come under fire over claims that their Barbie dolls set an unrealistic image of women and womanhood, particularly for young girls.
The toymaker now offers dolls that are themed around careers such as doctors, astronauts and firefighters. They have also created dolls with a range of skin tones, moving away from its first doll released in 1959, which was white with blonde hair.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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