I'm writing with regard to your article "Turning science into policy: What scientists should (and should not) do when talking to policy-makers" (MEAM 8: 3).
Career scientists may have a pretty high comfort level with placing some theoretical constructs between the data and their functional interpretation. It's one of the best ways to make a career, in fact. However, in the policy-making world, the comfort level with such practices is much lower. There are several reasons, although "policy-makers are just not smart enough to understand ecological theory" is not one of them. Part of the reason is just the opposite: policy-makers feel that may be just as good as scientists at filtering data through theoretical constructs.