While I originally was talking about educated men in one field speculating on other disciplines or using thier position as a forum to bring together other scientists to discuss a lot of these big questions we like to discuss here that don't neatly fit into one scientific field...
That's not a new thing. Scientists have been doing that since the enlightenment for one purpose or another (the first high profile case was the debates over whether or not meteor craters were caused by volcanic or meteorite action). That is a very different issue from scientists using their expertise in a specific field as a platform for speculation in a totally unrelated one (for example: when Stephen Hawking says something like "The biological, Darwinian phase of human evolution is over." WTF does a physicist
know about evolution?)