There are multiple different answers to the first question, which tell us something about how to answer the second question. So let’s look at some of the many different findings before looking at the second question.
In 2010 the Australian National University (ANU) published a study on people’s attitudes to science that headlined with the finding that Australians are more interested in science than sport.
The study found a whopping 90% or more of those interviewed (1,200 people by random phone poll) stated they were very or moderately interested in new scientific discoveries. (Which is not quite the same as being interested in science itself, of course.)