IDK, I think scientists have always inclined towards patronising the general public. You get the occasional gifted communicator like Carl Sagan or David Attenborough, but more often scientists assume lay people won’t listen to detailed arguments, and need stuff dumbed down to the point where it sounds like religious dogma. And in fairness, that is broadly true.
Suppose you want people to make scientifically informed choices about vaccinating their kids. Ideally you would say “here’s the available evidence; you do the math”. But most people can’t do the math, and of those who can, most never will, and of those who do, most will cherry-pick, and employ motivated reasoning, and otherwise fail to employ the rigor which is the entire point of science. So if it matters, what you actually have to say is “I’ve done the math, and I’m the scientist. Vaccinate your damn kids.”
Granted, there are more and less tactful ways to go about this, but we do an injustice to climate scientists and vaccination proponents by saying “why can’t you be more like Carl Sagan”. People are happy to be told that iron comes from exploding stars, because they couldn’t actually give two shits where iron comes from, and that’s a fun story. People are not happy to hear their SUV is causing catastrophic climate change, and it doesn’t make much difference how well it’s being communicated to them.
I absolutely agree that this antagonism is bad for science as an institution, but I think the problem is, like, 10% academic arrogance and 90% endemic scientific illiteracy. Like with a lot of things, there are valid debates to be had, but we can’t have them so long as we give equal weight to flat-out ignorance.