No wonder so many people don’t like academics. Many people after all, don’t like to change their ideas.
However, knowledge is something that is fluid. It absorbs new ideas and leaves old ones behind. How to get to the point of changing existing ideas is by selling a new one.
A society that vilifies academia, is a society that is stagnating, and stagnation is a step before regressing.
Knowledge is important. Discourse is important. They are both important because they create the values of society and society itself is just about the most important thing there is.