When there is a scientific breakthrough, people will of course talk about it, but most of the time, people talk more about art. Of course, most of the time, it isn't even about "fine art," which might also be intellectually stimulating, but rather pop culture. Our society is unfortunately obsessed with vapid pop cultural things. Look at how channels like The Learning Channel that used to show a lot of interesting science and historical documentaries are now all weird and stupid reality shows.
Yes, people pay more attention to artists and give less importance to science and technology. This is because artists generate more income for promoters and wider markets than science and technology do. Science and technology usually only make a profit for the company and stockholders who have invested in it. Science and technology can create or improve one item that will make you buy it, but one artist is capable of generating nonstop income for several years or more. If an artist is popular enough with the right age group, they could end up on cereal commercials, have dolls named after them and their likenesses on twin sheets and pillowcases.
When you are hanging out with friends, talking with family, or just posting online people are always talking about musicians, actors and other artists. Art and entertainment are things people choose to interact with on a day to day basis and form a strong bond about. Those songs and movies become part of their core identity. Sure, science is very important and people use technology all the time, but this love and interest that people have about artists is not there for the more impersonal tech.
A man who makes a breakthrough in cancer-cell research, for example, will not be as famous or acknowledged as an artist who painted a portrait of the queen, or who did some contriversial street-art.
Although the scientist will recieve some sort of science award, he will still never recieve the acclaim that a famous artist will.
People who are artists are much less likely to receive recognition than scientists who create the latest gadget or technological advancement. Also, art is a more human expression than science or technology, so it should be recognized and rewarded more highly in society, but it is not. Artists deserve far more recognition than they get.
Artist are often looked down upon by society. Only a very small minority of them go on to be accepted and rise to super stardom. The rest are shown no respect, make less money, and have to chose between their artistic integrity and selling-out just to meet ends meet. Science is more objective. Even a great artists has his naysayers, but a scientist that finds a cure for a disease is given universal acclaim.
While people are personally obsessed with entertaining themselves and that generally involves art of some kind, in general our society puts its money in the mouths of scientists and engineers. For every mega-artist whose name resounds (Spielberg?) there are millions of artists who can't afford to make a living with it, and everyone scoffs at people who say they are going to school to study art or literature. But virtually everyone who goes to school and gets a science or technology degree makes a more than sufficient wage that enables them to live a fairly affluent lifestyle. And the government funnels far more in grants to sciences (NIH, NSF) than to arts and the humanities. If you follow the money, you will find that as a society the US at least values science and technology far more than art.