Here's a wonderful video of Carl Sagan discussing how the persistence of apathy towards scientific advances could lead us back into another Dark Ages, as he calls "a thousand years of darkness."
And crap. I actually shed a tear watching the next video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JX_-jaJOrU
He was so enthusiastic about his work! He's an inspiration to all of us, especially those who wish to uncover nature's secrets, and share them with the rest of the world.