Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim receives GDCh Prize for Journalists and Writers
First day of the GDCh Science Forum Chemistry 2021 with numerous highlights
The German Chemical Society (GDCh) will award the GDCh Prize for Journalists and Writers 2020 to science journalist Dr. Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim on August 31, 2021. She will receive the award on the first day of the GDCh Science Forum Chemistry (WiFo) 2021. The same day, the GDCh will award Professor Dr. Eva Hevia, University of Bern, with the Arfvedson-Schlenk Prize. Furthermore a plenary symposium with prominent speakers will address the question of how future pandemics can be prevented. Other sessions will focus on current research results from various fields of chemistry. In a public evening lecture, science journalist and astrophysicist Professor Dr. Harald Lesch invites the audience on an exciting journey into the world of science.
The GDCh Prize for Journalists and Writers, which is endowed with 7500 euros, honors outstanding journalistic or writing achievements that contribute in a special way to the dissemination of chemical science content in the German-speaking world. Dr. Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim receives the award, which could not be presented last year due to the pandemic, for her journalistic work in which she conveys scientific contexts with competence and humor. The GDCh pays special tribute to her skillful use of classic and new media formats. With her expertise and enthusiasm, she succeeds in arousing interest in chemistry and the natural sciences among people of all ages.
Dr. Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim studied chemistry at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. During her doctoral studies at RWTH Aachen University, Harvard University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research, she was already intensively involved in science communication and launched her YouTube channel „The Secret Life of Scientists“. Subsequently, Nguyen-Kim built up the multiple award-winning science channel „maiLab“ at funk, the online service of ARD and ZDF. Her video „Corona geht gerade erst los“ was the most viewed YouTube video in Germany in 2020. On television, she hosts the science magazine Quarks as the successor to Ranga Yogeshwar and appears for science education on political talk shows, Tagesthemen or heute journal. Her books „Komisch, alles chemisch“ and „Die kleinste gemeinsame Wirklichkeit“ reached top positions in the bestseller list of the news magazine „Der Spiegel“. Nguyen-Kim has received several awards for her work, including the Federal Cross of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz) and Journalist of the Year 2020.
Also on August 31, the GDCh will award the Arfvedson-Schlenk Prize, worth 7500 euros. The prize, which is sponsored by Albermarle Germany GmbH, honors scientists for outstanding work in the field of lithium chemistry. This year’s award winner is Professor Dr. Eva Hevia, University of Bern. With her outstanding work, she was able to show that fundamentally important organolithium and lithium amide reactions can proceed without the exclusion of air and that the presence of moisture can even improve reaction kinetics in some cases. This makes it possible to replace toxic volatile organic solvents with bio-renewable solvents and paves the way for sustainable organolithium chemistry.
Professor Dr. Eva Hevia graduated with a PhD in chemistry from the University of Oviedo, Spain, in 2002. She subsequently moved to the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom, where she held the Chair of Inorganic Chemistry as Professor from 2013 to 2019. In 2019, she accepted an appointment at the University of Bern, Switzerland, where she also holds the Chair of Inorganic Chemistry. She has received numerous awards for her research, including the 2019 Excellence Research Award in Organometallic Chemistry from the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry and the 2017 Corday-Morgan Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).
The award ceremonies are embedded in the scientific program of the GDCh Science Forum Chemistry 2021. The morning of the event day already starts with a very current plenary symposium. Under the motto „How to Avoid the Next Pandemic – Fighting Infectious Diseases of the Future“, Dr. Michael J. Sofia, Arbutus Biopharma, Warminster PA/US, Prof. Dr. Helga Rübsamen-Schaeff, AiCuris, Wuppertal, and Prof. Dr. Stephan A. Sieber, TU Munich, will give presentations and discuss possible ways of dealing with or preventing future pandemics.
At 5:30 p.m., science journalist and astrophysicist Professor Dr. Harald Lesch invites everyone on an exciting journey to the origins of the chemical elements. His lecture will focus on the origins of the atoms of the chemical elements that we stand on, breathe in, live with and that give us energy. Are we ultimately all made of stardust? All interested persons can register for the public evening lecture (independent of participation in the WiFo). The participation is free of charge. Registration details will be announced in time on the WiFo website.
Numerous other sessions will be dedicated to current research results from different fields of chemistry. A poster session offers young scientists the opportunity to present their own research to an international audience and to establish and expand their professional network. In addition, the lecture program of the GDCh Career Service provides helpful information on starting and planning a career. At the ChemSlam, a science slam with a focus on chemistry, scientists or students present topics from chemistry in a simple and entertaining way and show how understandable and exciting – maybe even funny – chemistry can be. And a virtual exhibition, in which numerous companies and institutions present themselves, offers many opportunities for interaction and networking.
Further information on the conference is available at www.wifo2021.de
The GDCh Scientific Forum on Chemistry (WiFo) – in a nutshell
The GDCh Science Forum Chemistry 2021 will take place online under the slogan „Chemists create solutions“ from August 29 to September 1. Participants can expect a varied program of plenary lectures, main symposia, a poster session and an industrial exhibition. Numerous prestigious awards will also be presented. Registration will be open from May 25 at www.wifo2021.de.
With around 30,000 members, the German Chemical Society (GDCh) is one of the largest chemical scientific societies in the world. Every two years, it organizes the GDCh Science Forum Chemistry at alternating locations in Germany – this year online for the first time. To this most important German chemistry congress, the GDCh also invites international scientists of distinction to give lectures.