Seems scientific rot's set in except for the Russians.
"Science is kind of like breathing. If you stop doing it, you die."
Correct! However, unfortunately, much of what passes for scientific research today is little more than alchemy aimed to fool the public and funding bodies.
Science is on a precipice, especially in the English-speaking world. Unless there's better general funding of science--more science for science's sake, knowledge for knowledge sake (as was once the case 40+ years ago) instead of monies being dished out for hyped-up, trumped-up projects etc., then we're likely to descend into a scientific dark age. Science must have continued rigour or interest in it will die.
Some recent examples of the rot setting in in science are the lies, exaggerated claims and bullshit coming from both sides of the climate debate and the closure/lack of funding for NASA's space shuttle. We wouldn't see such instances in a more scientifically enlightened world.
The public is becoming bored with hyped-up scientific pronouncements about science especially when there's little real result. For instance the cure for cancer, where for more than 60+ years, seemingly never a week goes by without a 'promising cure' announcement coming from the scientific establishment, yet in practice bugger-all real cures being delivered within this time. It doesn't bode well for science that promotional exaggeration by scientists is all too commonplace.
To give scientific research a new breath of life we should begin with school science. Turning the dumbed-down mumbo-jumbo that passes for today's classroom science into the rigorous exacting subject that it once was and making it compulsory for every schoolkid to study at least some basic science would be a good place to start--having a scientifically literate public will ensure science is kept on course not to mention better scientific outcomes for society.
BTW, when I was a kid the thought of having to train NASA astronauts Russian because NASA could no longer deliver them into space would have been absolutely unimaginable. Alone, this ought to be an excellent rot-level indicator.
Give thanks the Russians still have some interest in the subject.