Science has caused controversy for centuries. But scientific developments, such as addressing climate change, applications of biotechnology, and the use of stem cells or GM crops, and the resulting debates are becoming ever more central to our national economies and global wellbeing. Influencing those debates is, as a result, becoming more important to those on all sides of the arguments and those debates becoming ever more polarised; and protests increasingly violent. The greater part of the problem may not be public understanding of science, but rhetoric and values. Managing the emotional debate may be critical to future policy development and science based industries.