Good science and technical knowledge always challenges power and power will always fight back – dirty.
The take over of many State’s and the national government by deeply conservative politics and politicians who promote anti-science and anti-intellectual behaviors is proof that the decades of pop science educational efforts are probably not only a waste of time and resources but counterproductive and actually cause attacks on science, facts and the scientists and professional intellectuals who produce the new knowledge.
Here is the core problem, well aside from human nature being instinctively fearful ad against new ideas and knowledge, we don’t have any real peer-reviewed experimental studies of what kinds of approaches about scientific/technical knowledge will effect behavior. For example, the above article has zero citations, data, facts and evidence. Now hand-waving and platitudes are fine but won’t solve problems.
Further, we have no coherent theories of models of behavior, in any animals, let alone primates, let alone humans, let alone humans exposed to technical knowledge. We have no idea what the independent and dependent variables are. Without testable and workable models of what causes behavior we are flying blind.
Finally, what evidence we have is that the human brain loves magic and fear-triggers, e.g., ethnic hatred, and HATES science and facts. This is why the professions were invented. For example, in USA roughly 80% believe that: Satan is a walking around thing, that aliens have visited earth, miracles, guardian angels, etc. Exactly what percentage of the 80% that believe in Satan will learn anything about science, policy or anything technical?
In fact, there is anecdotal evidence that pop science and science education actually causes blowback and attacks against good policy and scientists.