What's more, the public gives American scientists more credit for their brilliance than scientists give themselves.
Here is the published research, and here is an excerpt from the New York Times article linked to above:
[The research] found that at least two-thirds of Americans hold scientists and engineers in high regard, but the feeling is hardly mutual.
The report said 85 percent of science association members surveyed said public ignorance of science was a major problem. And by large margins they deride as only “fair” or “poor” the coverage of science by newspapers and television.
Only 3 percent of the scientists said they “often” spoke to reporters.
Here's one reporter that loves to hear from scientists and engineers any time they're willing to talk.