I think the general public is very much aware of conflicting narratives from different sciences. The evolution of the food pyramid in my own lifetime has been an interesting case study of this. How many times has the egg been pronounced healthy or unhealthy, for instance? How much debate is there between whether milk protein is good for you, carcinogenic, or somewhere in between? And, every time these debates crop up, the same vested interests are arrayed on the various sides of the arguments.
Even the seemingly stupidly innocuous line “4 out of 5 dentists agree” raises the question: what about that fifth dentist? We see the same question arise in global warming. What about that other three percent? Why are they saying global warming is not real, or, at least, not a product of human activities? Why are they calling it climate change instead of global warming?
And, in the world of science communication, it is no accident that NASA devotes virtually none of its budget to education and communication. It is no accident that the NIH has absolutely no portion of its budget specified as going to communication or education. It is not an accident that openly anti-scientific people helm the EPA and the Department of Education. It is not an accident that the President of the United States is on record saying that climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese, or that the State Department is run by a former Big Oil CEO. The lack of education in schools is by design. These are products of a lengthy campaign of erosion of public trust in science, and much of this has been built on the corruption of scientists and educators.