I would argue pop(ular) science is both an oxymoron and causes more blowback then support — but we have very little data or few studies on any of this.
I am a professional marketer. It is long past time to seriously study how the communications of information may, or may not effect behaviors. Frankly, what scientists and institutions are doing is both naive and deeply uninformed. We just don’t have the kind of double-blind experimental evidence needed to even create theories of effecting behavior, of voters, decision makers, etc. Part of the obstacle is we don’t have decent models of animal behaviors, let alone humans, let alone humans in critical problem-solving setting — let’s be honest.
We are wasting resources and precious time until we get more professional and evidence-based in “science” integration.