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Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim

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Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim
Nguyen-Kim in 2017
Born (1987-08-07) 7 August 1987 (age 36)
Heppenheim, Hesse, West Germany
Alma materUniversity of Mainz
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Occupation(s)Chemist, science communicator, television presenter and YouTuber
AwardsSee Awards

Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim (born 7 August 1987) is a German chemist, science communicator, television presenter and YouTuber. In June 2020 she was elected to the senate of the Max Planck Society.[1][2]

Life and education[edit]

Nguyen-Kim was born in 1987 in Heppenheim, Hesse; her parents are from South Vietnam, her father is also a chemist.[3] She completed the Abitur in 2006 in Hemsbach. She studied at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[4] She worked on her doctorate at RWTH Aachen University, Harvard University, and the University of Potsdam; completing it in 2017.[5] She rejected a job offer from BASF to focus on science communication.[4] She is married and has a daughter born in January 2020.[6][7]


Nguyen-Kim and Tom Buhrow at Media Convention Berlin 2019

Nguyen-Kim started the YouTube channel The Secret Life Of Scientists in 2015. She began another channel, maiLab (originally named schönschlau), which is funded by German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF and as of September 2020 has over 1 million subscribers, in 2016.[8]

She published popular videos about the COVID-19 pandemic on maiLab which made it into German YouTube trends and reached several million viewers within a short time.[9]

She also contributed a widely noticed commentary on this topic in the German news programme Tagesthemen (ARD)[10] and was invited as an expert in various talk shows.[11]

On German television, Nguyen-Kim presents the science show Quarks (WDR Fernsehen) since 2018, alongside Ralph Caspers.[4] With Harald Lesch and Philip Häusser [de] she presents the online video series Terra X Lesch & Co [de].[8]

Since October 2021, she presents a TV show called MAITHINK X – Die Show on ZDFneo.[12]

Her book Komisch, alles chemisch (transl.Weird, all chemical) published in March 2019 has been on the Spiegel bestseller list since November 2019.[7]



  • Nguyen-Kim, Mai Thi (2019). Komisch, alles chemisch! (in German). Droemer Verlag. ISBN 978-3-426-27767-6.
  • Nguyen-Kim, Mai Thi (2021). Chemistry for breakfast: The amazing science of everyday life. Greystone Books. ISBN 978-1-77164-748-9.


  1. ^ Nguyen-Kim, Mai Thi (23 June 2020). "Freunde der Sonne, ich wurde in den Senat der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft gewählt!". Twitter. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Übersicht über die Zusammensetzung des S E N A T S der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. V." (PDF). Stand: 27- MPG-Senat.pdf. Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. V. 1 July 2020. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  3. ^ Wolff, Beate (1 May 2019). ""Alles Chemie" – Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim". WDR 5 (in German). Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Agarwala, Anant (5 June 2019). "Bei ihr macht's klick". Zeit Campus (in German). Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  5. ^ a b Bernardy, Katja (27 August 2019). "Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim spricht in Trier – "Sind YouTuber die besseren Lehrer?"". Trierischer Volksfreund (in German). Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  6. ^ Nguyen-Kim, Mai Thi (1 April 2020). "Unser Baby ist da. Es ist supersüß, schon 11 Wochen alt. #maiLab geht wieder los, morgen 9 Uhr – es wird interessant". @maithi_nk (in German). Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  7. ^ a b "maiLab: "Je länger wir für die Recherche gebraucht haben, desto besser kommt es an"". www.brandeins.de (in German). Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Nachgefragt – bei Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim" (Interview) (in German). Wissenschaft im Dialog. 25 October 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Wissenschafts-Youtuberin maiLab erklärt Corona-Szenarien: Warum "Flatten the Curve" nicht reicht". rtl.de (in German). Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Herdenimmunität? @maiLab kommentiert in den tagesthemen". YouTube (in German). 9 April 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim kritisiert bei Lanz Lockerung der Corona-Maßnahmen". YouTube (in German). 17 April 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Pressemappe: Dr. Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim im ZDF und in ZDFneo: ZDF Presseportal". presseportal.zdf.de. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  13. ^ "Grimme Online Award 2018 — Die Preisträger" (in German). Grimme-Institut. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  14. ^ ""maiLab" gewinnt Webvideopreis 2018". funk.net (Press release) (in German). 30 November 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  15. ^ "Die Journalisten und Journalistinnen des Jahres 2018". Medium Magazin (Press release) (in German). 18 December 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  16. ^ ""Ausnahmetalent": WDR-Moderatorin Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim erhält Hanns-Joachim-Friedrichs-Preis". presseportal.de (Press release) (in German). Westdeutscher Rundfunk. 13 May 2019. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Levit, Drosten und Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim mit Bundesverdienstkreuz ausgezeichnet". rnd.de (in German). RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland. 1 October 2020. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  18. ^ Oberhummer-Award für Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim
  19. ^ "Auszeichnung: Grimme-Preis für Wissenschaftsjournalistin Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim". Zeit Online (in German). 11 May 2021. Retrieved 11 May 2021.

External links[edit]

Short video excerpt (15 s)