I think that is one of the biggest issues with science together with how difficult is to raise funding for even the most basic research. Scientists should try to communicate better what's the ultimate outcome of their projects, as small as they could be, and what's the ultimate benefit for the public, even if it's something purely economical in the short-term (creation of jobs and such).
But that is the problem - pure research doesn't have a goal other than to find answers to questions or to test an idea.
The LHC is built primarily to test theories in particle physics. Who know whether it will have any long term economic or commercial benefit. That really isn't the point.
Bohr, Heisenberg, Pauli, Rutherford and the rest spent decades (some their whole professional lives) theorising and arguing to build an understanding of the subatomic world - there was little or no economic or commercial motivation (not even political kudos as it was a broad international collaboration). As far as I know none of them ever saw a practical outcome to their research but now our entire life style is based on quantum theory. Without it we wouldn't have computers, digital television, mobile phones, modern cars, robot controlled factories and most large scale medical equipment in centres around the world to name a handful of practical applications.
Who would have expected the Curie's discovery and theory of radioactivity to have such a remarkable impact on medicine and power generation? Radioactivity was indirectly responsible for the death of Marie Curie after all but during her own lifetime 'little curie' radiography units were used to treat wounded soldiers in World War I.