Carl Sagan always used to say that when he was trying to explain something to someone, he would go back to that time when he didn't understand it, and then he would retrace his thought steps so that he could make it absolutely clear, and that's one of the infinite number of things I learned from him.
We may be living at that moment, on the cusp, when we go from being a species that feels a kind of loneliness in the cosmos to actually one sometime in the not too distant future being able to confirm the existence of other intelligent life.
The aspirations of democracy are based on the notion of an informed citizenry, capable of making wise decisions. The choices we are asked to make become increasingly complex. They require the longer-term thinking and greater tolerance for ambiguity that science fosters. The new economy is predicated on a continuous pipeline of scientific and technological innovation. It can not exist without workers and consumers who are mathematically and scientifically literate.
Well, I actually grew up in the sixties. I feel very lucky, actually, that that was my slice of time that I was dealt. Let's remember that the real motivation in the sixties, and even in the fifties, was the Cold War.
I believe that we are a story-driven species and that we understand how things are put together, in the context of narrative. It's a shame that science hasn't been taught that way, in a long time. It's usually the fact completely devoid of any human experience or any idea of how the scientist came to that conclusion.