There was a time when people with a keen eye and a sharp mind used to see things and observe what was going on about them and this would spark thoughts and ideas which would drive them to discover why 'said' things happened and the forces involved. ISSAC NEWTON, supposedly sat in a garden watching an apple fall from a tree, some say actually onto his head. I would imagine the former being more likely to get a mind formulating the orbits, speed n' momentum of planets and moons within the SOLAR SYSTEM and unlocking the secrets of the force of GRAVITY, whereas the latter option would cause a mild concussive bump on the head followed by a torrent of bad language ,as ,apparently Newton was a bad tempered old fart.
ALBERT EINSTEIN imagined what it would be like to actually ride on a beam of light. This visualisation led to theories os special relativety and E=MC2, etc. In both cases these very special chaps changed the universe for all mankind ,having more effect on our knowledge of life, the universe n' everything than CAPTAIN KIRK, JEAN-LUC PICARD together....Maybe DOUGLAS ADAMS can claim to have made more sense of the universe.
My point ,yes believe it or not, there is one of sorts. Nowadays physicists are on telly in their own shows and guests on comedy chat shows of which there are a few. DR BRIAN COX, has a couple of series of him looking spiritual ,wind swept n' interesting on tops of mountains and glaciers, etc. But the main change is that the keen eyes and sharp minds that observe cause and effect of events around them now use that curiosity to formulate a stand-up routine for their LIVE AT THE APOLLO, or whatever ......Stand up comedy is the new science and discovery. Newtons apple would've gone into a sketch of how they land on your head and never in dog shit which you sit in when you sit under the apple tree, etc, etc. Or if you could ride a light beam, how could you get from home to the local ASDA carpark to get the shopping in, with our human reflexes we would have to put the brakes on instananeously ,but even then we would've circumnavigated the globe 846 times before we could stop at the store, then, of course at a 186,000 miles per second would it be better to use diesel or petrol and how long would it take to fill the tanks the size of Jupiter. Its sad, but the geniuses are being being taken over by smart arsed funny folk, not advancing humanity's knowledge of the universe ,but to get on a comedy panel show on SKY T.V.'s DAVE CHANNEL.