So last night I went to the Graduate Physics Symposium to see Dr. Lawrence M. Krauss talk. It was a really interesting lecture that was aimed at a general public (and not JUST Graduate Physics students). I learned a bunch.
For example a 2001 PEW survey indicated the following three facts:
53% of American adults were unaware that dinosaurs died before the first human arose
50% knew that the Earth orbits the sun and takes a year to do it
53% knew that humans evolved from other animals (1st time this survey indicated that more than 50% knew this)
Those facts alone began an excellent lecture that helped show the flaws in teaching intelligent design in schools, the scientific evidence for evolution and global warming, and approaches to teaching science etc.
What I found most noteworthy is that the easiest person to fool is yourself.
Scientists should be providing the information so that the public and politicians can make decisions based on the facts.
And it's really become a lot easier to provide organized disinformation in the Internet era.
Regardless — you had to be there: it was a great lecture. And it was very approachable for the common person — unlike the poster presentation afterward (where I understood only some of the posters).