Mai thi nguyen-kim: what makes the woman from mailab tick?

Mai thi nguyen-kim: what makes the woman from mailab tick?

Does mai thi nguyen-kim, the successful scientist, also have an irrational side?? Fear of black cats? Friday the 13th.? She must laugh. "Now i had to think about it," she says. "I am not superstitious at all. I am also not religious. I don’t even play the lottery, I think that’s silly."Her conclusion: "i am a very rational person. But i for example never said that believe is nonsense. I like to get involved in philosophical discussions. Or I don’t think we will ever fully understand something like love. And that’s okay too."

In person, mai thi nguyen-kim comes across differently than in her videos on mailab. On youtube she is very straight, very focused. She has to produce a lot of ruber in a short period of time. But when you talk to her, there are pauses for thought, she even makes a face. Above all, however, she always breaks out in a contagious laughter. For example, when she says that she never really thought the mouth-nose protection was that bad: "at least you don’t have to wear makeup."

Federal cross of merit, journalist of the year, most successful youtube video of 2020, grimme award: it’s all going well for mai thi nguyen-kim at the moment. And now the 34-year-old science journalist is also getting two new formats on ZDF and zdfneo.

The first show starts on sunday (10 a.M.). October) in the second: a terra X three-parter with the title "wonderworld chemistry. For the chemist with a doctorate, it’s a dream come true to present her favorite topic on sundays at 7 p.M.To be able to present 30 o’clock in the known format. "Chemistry is wonderful for me," she enthuses. "Many people know the phrase "we are all made of stardust". That is fact. Every chemical element that exists in the universe and of which we are composed was created at some point in a star. And in the explosion of this star, these elements have spread throughout the universe."

The second project for the broadcasting family from mainz is the science show "MAITHINK X – die show" on zdfneo. Start on 24. October. This is about topics that are discussed in an emotionally charged way. "Our broad goal is to bring some objectivity into it and still be entertaining."

Mai thi nguyen-kim was born in 1987 in heppenheim near darmstadt and grew up in hemsbach, a town of 12,000 people in baden-wurttemberg. Her parents are immigrants from vietnam. Even as a schoolgirl she was inquisitive and ambitious. After graduating with straight A’s, she studied chemistry in mainz and boston from 2006 to 2012. After earning her doctorate in chemistry at RWTH aachen in 2017, she decided to pursue science journalism. It was the early days of donald trump as u.S. President, there was a lot of talk about "alternative facts". She wanted to do something about that.

That’s why she turned down a lab manager position at BASF – much to the chagrin of her father, who is also a chemist. In the meantime he sees things a little differently. The youtube channel mailab, two bestselling books, television hosting – how does she do it all?? She points to her face and laughs: "there are deep circles under here."By the way, she also became a mother last year.

When a friend heard that she was pregnant, he wrote to her that it gave him courage for his own children. Because if she takes such a step, she still has hope for the world, despite the climate crisis. That is also true. But there is another development that worries her even more than climate change. "This is the question of what social media is doing to our human interaction. The hate that is being spread. The fake news. I am much more pessimistic. This is my main concern for my daughter’s life."

But at the same time, the little one had also given her back her belief in humanity. "In journalism, one tends to become cynical. And if you then experience something like this… This first time is already insane. Now she starts talking a little bit. They are so pure, so curious, so happy. She wakes up in the morning and is already radiant. Then I watch it and think: I didn’t know what a great species homo sapiens is."