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Gut (Giulia Enders)

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The Gut project is a one-person project founded by Giulia Enders, with the aim to explain the functionality of a very complex organ, the gut, in a basic language that is understandable for the general audience. The project also wants to initiate discussions around this topic, which are usually avoided by people.
As a PhD student in Medicine, Enders was fascinated with the functioning of the gut. So she decided to investigate and study this complex organ, the importance of which is usually underestimated. After her success in several science slams in 2012, she got an offer to write a book about the gut. Her book (published in March 2014) was a huge success, because of the way she explains the complex process of digestion. She presents facts in a simple way, understandable for the broader audience, and she uses a lot of humour at the same time.


Giuliana Enders, the founder of the project, initiated the dissemination. Her goal was to inform the society as a whole about the importance of a complex organ, the gut, and the process of digestion.

What & How?

One of the first dissemination activities were a number of science slams, in which Giulia Enders gave a talk about the gut. After the science slams and especially after publishing her book “Darm mit Charme” (translated into English, French and Italian) she gained a lot of popularity. She was invited to different TV shows and her story was covered by well-known newspapers. Her book readings were also very well visited.


Dissemination started with the first science slam that took place on 23 January 2012 in Freiburg. Giulia Enders gave a talk about the gut that was very well received from the audience and she won the first prize. The most interesting part of her talk was the way she explained the digestion. She was able to explain a very complex process in a very simple and understandable way and with lots of humour at the same time. Two other science slams, where Giulia Enders also placed first should follow.
So, the first dissemination activity happened (not planned as such) after the Design research lifecycle phase, in terms of the science slam. All other dissemination activities took place after the fifth phase - Publication.

Relation to Open Science

The rights to the book “Darm mit Charme” are held by Ullstein Buchverlage GmbH, Berlin. The YouTube videos are published under the Standard YouTube License. Therefore, none of the materials are open as defined by the Open Definition.


Giulia Enders interviews and her audiobook are conducted by professionals and are of a high quality. Dissemination costs are estimated as medium (< EUR 50,000).


The Gut project was very well received by the target audience. It is Giulia Enders’ special way of explaining the gut organ and the complex process of digestion that made this project a huge success. Individuals loved her sense of humour while explaining medicine in such simplified way. From the comments of YouTube videos it is obvious that the Gut project had a huge impact: more than 1 mil copies of the German version of the book have been sold; the science slam videos on YouTube received between 600,000 and 1 mil views.


The project was founded by women, Giulia Enders, who also wrote the accompanying. No evidence is found about the gender of the readers of her book. From the talks of Giulia Enders and the German version of her book, one can realize that she does not explicitly use gender-sensitive language. To illustrate the point, in German one could distinguish between a male and female scientist - Wissenschaftler/Wissenschaftlerin. In the book illustrations, male and female individuals are equally represented.


Method: Science Slam

Science slams are short talks where researchers explain a scientific topic to a non-expert audience. Giulia Enders won the first prize in a science slam that took place on the 5th of March 2012 in Berlin with her fascinating talk about the gut. The YouTube video of her talk received over 1 mil views. After this success, she got an offer to write a book about the gut and the digestive system. Her book “Darm mit Charme” was translated, among others, into English, French and Italian.


For a more extensive analysis of the Gut (Giulia Enders) case study, please follow the link: http://openup-h2020.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/OpenUP_D4.1_Practices-evaluation-and-mapping.-Methods-tools-and-user-needs.pdf

Additional Info

  • I am a: Young scholar, Researcher, Project manager, Publisher
  • Domain: Scholarly Dissemination
  • Type of resource: Case studies
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