The scientific method is presented as a self-correcting mechanism which approximates truth over time.
Since most research cannot be afforded by the plebs, and is instead funded by a few rich foundations and the governments, it is possible to fund only researchers that support a certain worldview and not fund a competing worldview.
This way a publication bias for one set of worldviews can be generated which can be sold as a scientific consensus.
Add to it a lack of funding for attempts to replicate studies and we have a fertile ground for tenure-seeking researchers using spurious data mining, to find coincidental patterns unique to their data set. This can be used to strengthen the consensus manufactured above.
Through these means, science can function as religion propagating politically convenient and politically correct ideologies even in the absence of a conspiratorial micromanagement by the elites.