All science, the social sciences, and the arts and humanities have collapsed into a single academic research subject: that subject is getting funding.
Short-termist and low status research is about getting this particular grant; the difference between the 'also rans' and 'successful' academics is that high status researchers are confident and competent enough to look-ahead at optimizing future grants.
Funding determines what scientists do (i.e. whatever gets funded), how they do it (ditto), and how they report it (i.e. whatever is best for getting more and larger future grants).
And in this fund-seeking process; vocation, interest, usefulness, beauty, truth and honesty have zero part to play.