Indeed, Greene contends that now more than ever, there's a need to keep science in the forefront. From stem cells to space travel, from global climate change to urban agriculture and the personalization of health care, "it's just an endless list of things that we need to address or deal with or make use of that all have science at their core," he said.
Scientists agree that's why it's crucial to get the next generation of scientists interested in the possibilities of their field.
"The Mr. Wizard kind of approach to science, it's not bad," Greene said. "But I do have a real concern about it. There are many people who think that the only way you can bring science to kids is to blow things up, to bring balloons and confetti and bulbous letters and lots of exclamation points.
"I think it's a big mistake when one underestimates what kids can take on board," he added.
"It's our duty to do this," Kaku agreed. "You know, Einstein spent a lot of time talking to school children."
Learn more at www.worldsciencefestival.com.