Nature: Ernest Moniz, director of the MIT Energy Initiative, appears to be President Obama’s choice to follow Steven Chu as secretary of the Department of Energy. Unlike Chu, who was considered a government outsider, Moniz has previously served in several government positions. From 1995 to 1997 he was an assistant director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and then served until 2001 as an undersecretary of energy. For the last four years while working at MIT, he has also been a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. A nuclear physicist with experience working on clean and alternate energy programs, Moniz is expected to continue Chu’s efforts to refocus DOE’s research in those areas. However, he has faced some criticism for a 2011 report on natural gas that suggested that hydraulic fracturing could help expand the US natural gas industry. A sense of Moniz’s policy positions can be found in the article “Meeting energy challenges: Technology and policy,” which he wrote with Melanie Kenderdine for the April 2002 issue of Physics Today.