All of us in science are only human. We have at least our fair share of failings. Still, we do try to make useful increments to our collective understand of Nature.
But because we have to earn a living, want recognition, and need job security, and because science is not generally something you can do without funding, we are under pressures other than just the desire to follow our instincts and do the best science, for its own sake, that we can think of.
It's also true that science, like the rest of society (we're only human, after all!) goes in for fads and fashions. So a question has been asked, whether the problems in science are due to its fad-following, or to its chasing after money. That means playing politics.
The answer is that these things--intuition, imitation, and politics--are thoroughly intertwined. Original thinking and deep insight are both rare commodities, despite each of our desires to manifest these notable traits. And funding is a group decision: peer review, peer views on what's important for whatever reason, and funders' mandates about what they will support. We have leaders in science and leaders in funding agencies who, however they got or earned their positions, determine within some bounds what will be funded. Thus we have to keep an eye on that and do what we need to do to be part of the funded world.
Faddishness is part shallowness and part fish-schooling wherein we chase the smell of the green stuff. None of these can be avoided, probably. While each of us may dream that we're the conceptual leader or innovator, few of us really are. Science does progress, even if more slowly or indirectly towards objectives than we might wish. But in science, like society at large, utopian thinking--that what we want could, if people just did the right thing, be achieved--is probably more dream than reality.
We use our forum here on MT to note things we believe are misguided or mistaken, as well as hopefully pointing out what seems sound, or what might be a more sound way to view the evidence. But others have alternative views and platforms for proclaiming them. It's a hurly-burly world!
One view is that people should see the reality in which we live and go with the flow: do what people at a given time think is cool (follow the fad) and do what in a given time seems viable (follow the funds). Another view, and basically one that we hold and try our best to practice, is to object and resist where we see that to be appropriate, and try at least to be a corrective voice even if few in power pay any attention or would act differently even if they agree with the points we try to make. A minority view rarely 'wins', but science is supposed to be about Nature's truth, not just temporary fashions.
In the end of course as we know from history, only history shakes away the chaff so that the grain becomes clearly visible.