If we want to develop a science "class", we will need to identify the children who show early aptitude and interest, and then help them develop the discipline needed to carry on professional research. Elitist? Perhaps. Not sure I'd want my kids selected for that track--professional science looks like a lonely existence to me, no matter how the sexay the NSTA wants to dress it.
"Scientist" doesn't strike me as a very desirable job these days. If you're not at the pinnacle of academia, it is a lot of grunt work. Or potentially making a lot of money doing grunt work for Pfizer or something. On a macro scale, we collectively need to know a lot more about science. In the micro scale, I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it as a career.