The academic world cultivates independent thinking, careful analytic reasoning, and a willingness to challenge authoritative claims in the interests of the advancement of human knowledge. These qualities do not always sit well with conservative worldviews, since the latter demand some measure of unquestioning respect for traditional social orders, religious tenets, or implicit cultural norms. Conservatives in academia are generally more moderate than conservatives in the greater world, and always take a more sophisticated and nuanced perspective on conservative values.
People in the physical and mechanical sciences more or less reflect the political distribution of the communities they are drawn from, though they are less likely than the general population to take extreme views. Anything that demands obedience to authority, adherence to doctrine, or blind acceptance of received knowledge rubs the wrong way against the academic mindset. People in the social sciences and humanities — along with certain human-adjacent physical sciences, like evolutionary biology and climate science — tend to lean Left, because their subject matter explicitly calls on them to examine and critique human traditions, norms, and/or behaviors. Few people enter the social sciences with the preconception that the world is just peachy as it is, and that all we need is more of the same. Academia as a whole tends to be slightly left of center: uncomfortable with staunch, inflexible conservative norms and unwilling to engage liberal activism wholeheartedly.