Research grants and agenda shaping
Grants are essential for some scientists to do their research, and receiving them can be a mark of status. Grants are supposed to be awarded on merit, but there are many deviations from this ideal. There are a few publicized cases in which grants to dissident scientists have been blocked. Far more common, though difficult to prove, is routine bias in grant committees toward favored applicants and dominant views and against dissidents and competitors. This sort of bias can reflect altruism toward those with personal connections or ideological affinity with grant givers. Most grant systems serve to orient researchers to the agendas of government and industry. This is a systemic process independent of biases against individuals or topics.