I was recently pointed to a site at the U.S. National Library of Medicine that uses a popular literary figure to inspire kids to learn real science: Harry Potter’s World Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine. They have both an English-class lesson plan (7th–10th grade) and a science-class lesson plan (7th–11th grade). I was prepared to praise them for this integrated curriculum, which seems to me like an excellent way to try to bridge C.P. Snow’s two cultures in academia.
But I glanced quickly down their list of resources and saw Human Mendelian Traits and Human Mendelian Traits for Teachers. A quick look revealed that both were propagating serious myths about human genetics—myths that have been comprehensively debunked at Myths of Human Genetics.
Unfortunately, the myths form a core part of the lesson, and so there is not a lot salvageable once the myths are removed. I think that it may be appropriate for the NLM to take this lesson plan off their site until they can rework it into something consistent with what is known about human genetics. They are not doing anyone a favor by putting their brand name on junk science.