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Science tackles Nazi evils

Children will be taught about the Nazis' pseudo-science of eugenics and their technologies of death in a new module for the science curriculum on the Holocaust.

Neil Herrington, principal lecturer at East London university's school of education, will present the module, Hitler's Scientists, at the Association for Science Education conference today.

He said: "From their pseudo-scientific point of view, there was a logic that led them from their ideas about race to a position where it was right - in their eyes - to carry out the exterminations."

The Holocaust is often taught in history, religious education and citizenship, but its inclusion in the science curriculum is believed to be a first. Mr Herrington, whose mother-in-law is a Holocaust survivor, insisted there was no danger of glamorising the Nazis' atrocities.

"People need to be prepared to deal with sensitive issues," he said.

The optional module will be taught to trainee teachers.

The Holocaust Educational Trust supports the move. Karen Pollock, its chief executive, said: "Ethical issues raised through the Holocaust can be studied effectively within science, as science and pseudo-science formed an important part of Nazi ideology."

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