Space scientist and broadcaster, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, has been named as a Barbie Role Model for her work promoting science careers to girls.

The Sky at Night and CBeebies Stargazing presenter was honoured with a Barbie doll as part of International Women's Day on Wednesday and British Science Week from 10-19 March. Earlier this month, the astronomer became the new chancellor at the University of Leicester, which is known for space research.

Acknowledging the honour, Dr Aderin-Pocock said: "I hope my doll will remind girls that when you reach for the stars, anything is possible. Her doll has a starry dress reminiscent of the night sky and comes with a telescope accessory for stargazing, in relation to her work looking deep into space with the James Webb telescope.

"I want to inspire the next generation of scientists, and especially girls, and let them know that STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) is for them. These subjects are just too important to be left to the guys because through science, you can literally change the world."

She did go on to say: "When I was little, Barbie didn't look like me, so to have one created in my likeness is mind-boggling. It's such an honour to receive this doll that is celebrating my achievements."

In an interview with The Yale Centre for Dyslexia & Creativity, Dr Aderin-Pocock discussed her dyslexia diagnosis when she was eight years old as she struggled to read and write. “I was lucky because I got inspired by science, and I had an aptitude for it,” she recalled. Toy creator Mattel, known for releasing dolls in honour of celebrities, is also recognising six other STEM professionals globally.

Other Barbie Role Models include Covid-19 vaccine creator Prof Sarah Gilbert, broadcaster Clara Amfo, sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, teen skateboarder Sky Brown and boxer Nicola Adams.