Integrating rigorous, relevant science into policy is therefore essential. This may sound counter-intuitive, but many good scientific papers are let down by simplistic, grandiose or silly policy implications sections.
Policy papers are written efficiently.
Some ostensibly policy-relevant social research is methodologically weak. Then the policy question needs to be asked: what is the evidence about the available options for things we can do to resolve the problem?
A policy problem is not usually the same as a scientific problem, and may have several scientific problems incorporated within it. Barriers include the evidence not being there; lack of demand by policymakers; academics not producing rigorous, relevant papers within the timeframe of the policy cycle.
Evidence in support of a position is crucial. The first is simply that the research has not been conducted; for many important policy decisions it is impossible to be evidence-based because the evidence is currently not there.
Models unfortunately tend to induce extreme reactions in most people, including policymakers, who are not modelers.
A data-based paper which makes a single policy point well backed up and with all the limitations laid out is frequently extremely influential in policy decisions.
Finally, it is rare that all the evidence needed for a moderately complex policy problem comes from a single discipline, and rarer still that it comes from a single study.
Policy-making is generally extremely fast by academic standards.