It's a time when global conflicts revolve around issues that require a grasp of basic science principles. The Iran imbroglio has caught the imagination of the global media who cannot stop providing questionnaires on uranium enrichment and nuclear research. The BBC sent out an exhaustive Q&A on all that one needs to know to appreciate the finer points of the crisis.
Similarly, President Bush's "Advanced Energy Initiative" in his State of the Union address got everyone talking on the American dependence on oil. Terms like clean energy fuels, hybrid cars and ethanol-based petrol are gaining currency even among the hoi polloi.
Not just on the science front, the success of Brokeback Mountain has launched a debate on the rights of gays and lesbians and what modern societies need to do to grant greater adoption and property rights to them.
The so-called negative news carries with it knowledge-enhancing dimensions these days.