No worries - Glad to help
There are a few problems, both within science and with the way that people view it.
For example, I have a friend who found a job with a major oil company after graduation. Her job was to 'check' that the refinery was not polluting the estuary. Of course, she was told what results she was going to find ie. No Pollution
This is the problem with the private funding of science - research science is poorly paid and scientists have families. Therefore, they are at the whim of the paymaster. As for pharmaceuticals...
Creationists are much the same - I have yet to find a single piece of ID research that holds up under scrutiny.
Before anybody rides my ass, government funding has problems, too.
The other problem is the mass perception of science. A few months ago, I read a GW paper about acidification of the seas. The researchers were very careful, made no sweeping generalisations, and were careful to use such language as 'may,' 'might,' and 'possibly.' Cue the media headlines that proclaimed 'The Seas are Going to Acidify and we are all Going to Die.'
I can understand why people are sceptical of GW - I am pretty undecided, certainly as far as man-made GW is concerned. However, the idea that 'it isn't happening because Al Gore said it is' does not wash with me, much as I detest the man. The shambles of 'Cap and Trade' is political, not scientific - I try to find the high quality research before forming an opinion, not the latest op-ed in a newspaper or major news channel. Adsense Strategies has been saying it all the way through - most people do not understand climatology, which muddies the waters.
As for your idea about the degree: If you produced a paper titled 'Mating Habits of the Amazonian Guppy,' if you followed the accepted procedures of writing style, citations and impartiality (as far as is humanly possible), I would happily use it in a paper. An op-ed by a PhD holder would not make the grade. A degree certainly is not absolute and even the most distinguished scientists have to learn and change their opinions. Science is not absolute, but people do not always understand that. For example, scientific evidence in courtrooms tends to be swallowed by juries, a dangerous path.
I try to assess things on a case-by-case basis. I am certainly not infallible, but it does weed out the worst excesses