Rush Holt, a physicist and Democratic congressman from New Jersey, was named today as CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a nonprofit that promotes science and publishes the Science family of journals. When he retires from his eight terms in the U.S. House of Representatives in a few months he will succeed Alan Leshner, a neuroscientist, who has held the AAAS job since 2001. During Holt’s tenure on Capitol Hill he has been a strong advocate for integrating science into decision-making. Holt was only the second physicist elected to Congress, after Vern Ehlers, a Republican from Michigan who served from 1993 to 2011. Holt spoke with Scientific American today to talk about his time representing New Jersey and his next steps at AAAS.