Whereas the consequences of modern science and technology dominate our lives and thoughts, we have been slow to incorporate scientific concepts into our culture. We often resent the way science challenges our deeply-held assumptions and beliefs. Increasingly, people are being asked to question the judgment of scientists on issues ranging from nuclear power to GM foods. Will science continue to be the cultural 'superpower' in Western society? The collections of the Science Museum include many items used to teach and symbolise science, from the orrery to the chemistry set. We look to science for the solutions to our problems, yet have doubts about the answers scientists give us. Many people prefer to put their trust in religion or a love of nature. Concepts incompatible with mainstream science – astrology, homeopathy, even alchemy – still attract widespread support. The tensions of our relationship with science are revealed by popular films, which either portray scientists as heroes or madmen. In response to this growing distrust, scientists have sought to explain and justify their activities in simple terms.