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Home » The Surprisingly Charming Science of Your Gut: Giulia Enders (Transcript)

The Surprisingly Charming Science of Your Gut: Giulia Enders (Transcript)

Giulia Enders

Here is the full transcript of German author and scientist Giulia Enders’Talk: The Surprisingly Charming Science of Your Gut at TED conference. She is the author of the book Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ.


A few years ago, I always had this thing happening to me, especially at family gatherings like teas with aunts and uncles or something like this. When people come up to you, and they ask you, “So, what are you doing?” And I would have this magical one-word reply, which would make everybody happy: “Medicine. I’m going to be a doctor.” Very easy, that’s it, everybody’s happy and pleased.

And it could be so easy, but this effect really only lasts for 30 seconds with me, because that’s then the time when one of them would ask, “So, in what area of medicine? What specialty do you want to go into?” And then I would have to strip down in all honesty and just say, “OK, so I’m fascinated with the colon. It all started with the anus, and now it’s basically the whole intestinal tract.” And this would be the moment when the enthusiasm trickled, and it would maybe also get, like, awkwardly silent in the room, and I would think this was terribly sad, because I do believe our bowels are quite charming.

And while we’re in a time where many people are thinking about what new superfood smoothie to make or if gluten is maybe bad for them, actually, hardly anyone seems to care about the organ where this happens, the concrete anatomy and the mechanisms behind it. And sometimes it seems to me like we’re all trying to figure out this magic trick, but nobody’s checking out the magician, just because he has, like, an embarrassing hairstyle or something.

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