If the public is not excited about science, why should they fund research?
Science can be defined as the pursuit of truth, obtained through the scientific method. The motivations behind it can vary, ranging from the selfless pursuits of pure knowledge to the personal pursuits of fame and wealth through the prestige and the patent. Whether direct and immediate application is debatable. For example, quantum mechanics at first had no known practice use, now proliferates our lives. All of this aside, I find it a core responsibility of scientists to be active and honest public informants of their work. Scientists should strive for a world where ignorance is not bliss.
I love to participate in education and outreach activities, in and out of the school classroom. I have participated in a wide variety of activities, including giving academic talks, giving popular science talks at planetariums and for amateur astronomy societies, participating in large science events (e.g., The Bay Area Science Festival), mentoring high school and undergraduate science students, responding to ask-an-astronomer questions, and much more.