Scitweeps: LEGO minifigs of scientists and "science popularizers"



Maia Weinstock (Twitter) creates these these neat minifigs of various personalities in science, space, and internet media. I first learned about this when I was attending a lecture by Carolyn Porco with Richard Dawkins, and Maia presented Dawkins with a teeny-tiny LEGO version of himself.

Maia has an ever-growing photo set of these LEGO figures here. They include @carolynporco, @pzmyers, @sciencegoddess, @badastronomer, @plutokiller, @richarddawkins, @profbriancox, @flyingjenny, @janegoodallinst, @milesobrien, @sallyridesci, @toastforbrekkie, @bluerules, @lukedones, @astroengine, @lirarandall, @jcventer, @algore, @oliversacks, @planetdr, @therealbuzz, @seanmcarroll, and @jenlucpiquant.

And here's how she came up with the idea, and a video re-creation in LEGO minifig of Porco's TED talk on Cassini. Her behind-the-scenes "making of" snapshots are fun, too.

Inset, space and science journalist (and friend), Miles O'Brien. Above and further below? Well, that would be me.




  1. You know you’ve “made it” when:

    1) Weird Al parodies your song
    2) They make a bobblehead of you
    3) Someone makes a Lego minifig of you


  2. I like how yours is easily recognizable even without the iPad, PZ is also spot on, but most rely a bit too much on their surrounding objects I think. Also, Richard Dawkins is obviously a Ravenclaw ;)

  3. My first thought on seeing the one with white hair and a leather jacket: Andy Warhol was a scientist?

  4. The (late) Jack Horkheimer figure comes complete with bad weather so that anytime he says there is something cool in the sky it will be cloudy.

  5. I’m saddened by the lack of a Richard P. Feynman minifig. Someday, I’m sure.

  6. Can I get some of these for my kid? Especially my son….. there are so FEW female lego figures, let alone any who are cool….

  7. It’s nice that they’re doing something to make science popularizers more accessible and relatable to the general public. Sure, within the science popularizing community there’s always a lot of disdain for “popular science popularization,” especially when science popularizers popularize popular science themselves (instead of their “real” work of science popularization) but it’s important even if it doesn’t seem like it. Kids need to know that science popularization isn’t some remote, forbidding thing that only other people do, and science popularization popularizing is how that happens.

  8. No offense, but isn’t Maggie and not Xeni the actual science popularizer on boingboing? I’m not saying I don’t enjoy Xeni’s posts, but I never would have considered her a “science popularizer”.

  9. What about populizers of pseudo science? I’d love to see the minifig based off of Giorgio Tsoukalos, that guy with the wild hair on Ancient Aliens.

    That’s probably already plastic!

  10. I want Sagan! I think I was playing with Legos when I first saw Cosmos on TV. Little Lego tweed with elbow patches!

    1. Is Sagan a variety of weed? That’s what I thought of from your strangely worded post, not a desire for a Sagan Lego figure.

      (yes, Sagan was apparently a huge pothead!)


    My children are obsessed with both science and the Lego minifigs, so this is the ultimate combo. :)

  12. Thanks for the nice feedback, everyone!

    @johan,karlskrona Nope, haven’t done a Hawking fig yet, but perhaps he’ll be in a future batch…

    @Jonathan Badger I do figs for folks I admire who are involved in some way with either studying or promoting science/technology. Those are my criteria.

    And to those who have suggested others like Feynman and Sagan…I may open it up to famous nonliving scientists at some point, but for now the other conceit is that they all have to be currently on Twitter, either themselves or someone tweeting officially for them. Otherwise, they’d be just scipeeps, not scitweeps ;)

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