As an educator on behalf of science, Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim has been in the spotlight for some time. The chemist with a doctorate has received numerous awards, including the Federal Cross of Merit. Made famous by her YouTube channel, she is now receiving her first own program (“Maithink X – Die Show”, every Sunday from October 24th, 10:15 pm, ZDFneo), and she also hosts three “Terra X” episodes on ZDF (” Wunderwelt Chemie “, Sunday, 10th, 17th and 24th October, each 7.30 p.m., ZDF).
Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim: “I’ve got thick skin”
But the public attention also has downsides, as the 34-year-old now reveals. Although she has never regretted having commented on the corona crisis, she told the teleschau news agency: “But it is exhausting – because I am always in the focus as a person”.
In the social media in particular, “people often overreact. There is outrage very quickly, and it quickly becomes insulting. That is not my style and it does not have to be,” said Nguyen-Kim. However, she “fortunately grew in a little bit”. Already on her YouTube channel she had “experienced a lot in this regard and was therefore not caught off guard”. In an interview with teleschau, she admitted: “I’ve got a thick skin. Christian Drosten, for example, who is thrown from his science in the laboratory into the media circus, must have felt very differently.”
“I will not be intimidated”
Her handling of hatred and attacks seems clear: “I will not be intimidated,” says the native of Hesse. This includes “constantly concentrating on the content; not being distracted by the extremes and marginal opinions”. Very often, for example, it is a topic in Telegram groups of lateral thinkers: “When we post a new video, there is often a whole flood of comments from this site. But I know very well that this is a small number of people. They are not representative . That’s why I won’t let that deter me. “
People like “the blatant vaccine opponents who really believe that the pharmaceutical industry wants to poison us” cannot win them over with “rational arguments,” said Nguyen-Kim. “If they are convinced that I am part of this conspiracy, then they cannot believe anything that comes out of my mouth.”
This part of the population is stuck. But: “A much larger proportion have questions, are skeptical – but in this case perhaps not against vaccination in principle. These people, in turn, have heard contradicting things and are understandably unsettled and are looking for answers”. According to the journalist and scientist, this is more of the target group she wants to reach.
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