Science is about theories, and is indeed theory-driven - when it is being done properly (which, nowadays, is almost-never). One implication of the primacy of theory; is that theories can never be contradicted by facts.
This ought to be a truism - since everybody 'knows' about Thomas Kuhn's 1962 Structure of Scientific Revolutions; but the book was fatally misleading, because it called metaphysical assumptions 'paradigms' - and people have since assumed that paradigms were something distinctive to science.
There is a stubborn notion that scientists ought-to abandon theories when they are contradicted by observations; but from-within a theory (and all science is done within theories - albeit the theories are seldom recognised, often denied) observations never contradict the theory. There are always many (unbounded in number) of possible alternative explanations for an observation, or for the assertion of a fact.
For example, and it may indeed be true, the provenance of a fact may be challenged: i.e. a reported fact/ observation is disbelieved because the reporter is not trusted; because - that is - he is regarded as incompetent, ignorant, corrupt, insane or deliberately-misleading.
This can be seen in public discourse. Two major scientific theories, upon which (it often seems) almost the entirety of modern policy hinges, are psychological differences between men and women and racial differences in intelligence. From the perspective of normal science, there is a colossal amount of evidence that there are significant biological differences between men and women, and between races, that affect behaviour in multiple ways.
But public policy is based upon the assumption that all such sex and race differences are a consequence of social circumstances. We can see, as a matter of everyday reality, that once the assumption is in place - all actual and possible observable differences between men and woman, or races, will be found due to social policies and practices - and Not due to biological differences. There is no possible evidence, and no conceivable amount of evidence, that can ever contradict these assumptions under any circumstances.
This shows that evidence is irrelevant. Completely and totally irrelevant.
Of course, evidence is cited by both sides; but that is rhetorical and expedient, not scientific - because the quality and quantity of evidence have no effect on the conclusion. And this applies all through science. It is only within a set of assumptions that evidence has the effect of changing sub-theories; when it comes to different assumptions, evidence is irrelevant - calling something 'evidence' is just an aspect of persuasion, or coercion.
This is pretty much undeniable as a description of how things are; and the usual response is to ask for greater 'rigour' in science, in applying science - or perhaps greater honesty (because dishonesty is endemic and pervasive in modern professional research). But these don't address the fundamental aspect that assumptions utterly and necessarily over-ride facts.
What is needed, but which almost-never happens, is a thorough examination of the assumptions - a recognition of the fact of assumptions, a clarification and a critique of these assumptions... Do we really believe our assumptions? - or are they unconscious, unexamined, implausible?
This is what is needed, but this is precisely what is resisted - tooth and nail, by fair means and foul - resisted step-by-step, with escalating vigour, and with no surrender: in a fight to the finish. People Will Not acknowledge their assumptions, because one of their core assumptions is that they do not have any assumptions; but that their personal views are wholly a product of evidence, facts, observations...
What a weird situation! A world in which evidence, facts and observations are utterly and completely irrelevant - yet a world in which everything is supposedly dictated-by evidence, facts and observations...
We inhabit a world wholly dependent on human judgment (wrt. assumptions) - that is simultaneously a world which claims we have zero need for human judgement!