Shifting gears a bit. As a continuation off the first post about how science is not just done by scientists, is the fact that we are immersed in the resultants of scientific progress, every day.
It's not always easy to foresee the immediate benefits from scientific research. To demonstrate the significance of basic scientific research is to look at something we see nearly everywhere: The MP3 player
Do you know how your cell phone really works? Someone created it by challenging common knowledge. Thankfully, people are not black boxes.