Given the state of things in science in general (the rise of careerism, grants, bureaucracy, mediocracy, management, and so on) – things that often don’t coincide with doing one’s best to figure out the truth – what is someone who wants to do real science to do?
I think the answer lies in the time of some of the greatest science done, and in particular, the ‘amateur scientist’ or ‘aristocrat-scientist’ model. Darwin, for example, was both of these.
The basic idea is to reduce the social pressure from people who aren’t necessarily interested in the truth (real science), by reducing one’s reliance on funding from various institutions where the primary goal isn’t truth.
One way to do this is to make money in some other way, and then do science with your spare time.
Second, now that one is free from institutions that don’t regard truth as of primary importance, one can be selective about the associations one has, and so build a network of like-minded people.
This probably applies to academia in general – not just science.