With Sackerson away, Paddington will post some (possibly) off-topic comments.
The technology that enables 7 billion of us to survive, and provides creature comforts to those in the industrialized world, is due to a tiny percentage of talented and creative scientists, together with a core of engineers who adapted and refined the results, and a larger number who actually produce the products that we use.
Despite that, I am hard-pressed to find a society anywhere that gives those people the level of respect or adulation awarded to sports figures and entertainment personalities. The monetary rewards are far less than for the average investment or insurance agent, lawyer, accountant, or medical doctor.
In the extremist Muslim world, much of science is decried as 'anti-Islam'. Evolution, physics, and geology are under attack in at least 37 US states by creationists. Much of science is also discounted by the New Age thinkers, who don't like facts to get in the way of their own comfortable beliefs.
Yet our leaders believe that the answer to our economic meltdown is to throw money at the people who caused the crisis, and who produce nothing at all. Even at universities, where some rational thinking should be expected, the sciences are de-emphasized, since they are 'hard' and unpopular, while we build programs in psychology and business management.
Without a cultural change in these attitudes, I am fearful that we may see the end of technological civilization within a few generations.