The Guardian has an article about how "take our young children to science museums, then as they get older we stop. In spite of threats like global warming and avian flu, most adults have very little understanding of how the world works. So, 50 years on from CP Snow's famous 'Two Cultures' essay, is the old divide between arts and sciences deeper than ever?"
It's fairly thought-provoking, as someone with a fairly science-based education and a "pop-sci" reading habit, though, I don't necessarily think it applies to me.
I think one of the things making science feel less important is that people don't tend to fix things anymore, and in many cases are actively discouraged from doing so.
TV is almost certainly to blame. I'd guess up until the arrival of a TV in a house if something was broken then somebody would have the know-how to fix it, but once the TV came and, lately, DVD players priced at disposable levels if it is broke the best thing to do is to replace it.