I blame Sesame Street.
Bert, Ernie, and company conditioned generations of kids to demand their information in tiny bites. And that learning must entertain. We can't require any of that pesky thinking and effort.
And the results? Pop-ups on TV remind us what we're watching. And newspaper audiences, like SF fandom, have become gray. For too many, news must fit on a screen -- and that screen is becoming an iPhone.
Mastering science takes time and effort. Ditto opening a new frontier. And -- here's a shocker -- both keep fading in popularity.
Why read the literature of the final frontier if you can't imagine ever getting there?