Along with running the free world, President Barack Obama has spent the past seven years guiding U.S. science and technology policy. The initiatives and goals he puts in place—in clean energy, space, medicine, education, nanotechnology, and more—help direct research, which in turn directs the future. With one year left in the Oval Office, the president talks about what he’s achieved, what’s left to do (a lot), and why being a nerd is one of the best ways to serve your country.By Cliff Ransom Photography by F. Scott Schafer
Popular Science: You have been a very pro-science president. Why do you see science and technology as being so important?
Men's/Women's America Romero Men’s Shoes Size 7,5 Good design Online export store Popular tide shoes,G.H. BASS Mens Burgundy Brown Leather Tassel Weejuns Dress Shoes Loafers 11.5 D,Men's Fratelli Select Brown Leather Dress Shoes Size 10.5,Popularity Fashion Fine Leather Dress Shoes Size 10,Classic Loake Men's Black Leather Brogue Shoes Size 9.5,Gentleman/Lady Mens Smart Shoes Elegant and sturdy set meal Cheaper than the price Excellent function,Mens Bostonian Size 10.5 W Leather Loafers Black,Vtg Florsheim Leather Loafer Slip On Dress Shoes Sz 1 3E EEE Extra Wide USA Made,hommes MAVERICK a2066 CHAUSSURES LE STYLE ~ K,Mens Dress Formal Faux Leather Shoes Pointy Toe Bridegroom Party Casual Loafers,Mens Cole Haan Black Split Toe Oxford Dress Work Shoe Size 11 MSRP 119.00,Gentleman/Lady UOMO MAVERICK - Scarpe eleganti quality Carefully selected materials high quality product,a1r043 MAVERICK Hombre Punta Cuadrada Mocasines de vestir Zapatos TrabajoMen's Kenneth Cole Reaction Brown Suede Shoes Business Casual Size 8,Mens Slip On Loafers Driving Shoes Casual Moccasin JAS Fashion Brand Size UK,Tods Men's Shoes & Cole Haan Loafer Size 10Dexter Men's Black Oxford, Black Dress Shoes 162313 Size 6 1/2 NWT!! Super,COLE HAAN CITY (10-3507)- Cordivan Leather, Men's Slip.On Tasseled Loafers-(8.D),Nunn Bush Kent - Black Leather Kilt Tassell Moc Loafer Shoes Sz. 9 M,ROCKPORT Dressports Wingtip Sz 8 M Men Brown,Johnston & Murphy Deerfield Tassel Wingtip Mens Black Shoe Loafer Sz 7.5 D,Mens Rockport Black Oxford Shoe Genuine Leather Kinetic Air Circulation Size 10M,Mens Smart Heel Italian Slip On Shoes Wedding Suit Formal Party Size Tan New,Redfoot TSF REGOLA BLACK Men's Derby Shoe RRP,Man/Woman BacheLOR Mens Black Shoes Size 41 The color is very eye-catching Reliable performance Famous store,Gentlemen/Ladies Uomo Spot On Scarpe con lacci Strong heat and wear resistance Sufficient supply Don't worry when shopping,Gentlemen/Ladies Mens 11 Leather Wingtip Oxfords Reasonable price comfortability Acknowledgement feedback,jcdees n2r005 nero da ragazzo Scarpe stringate (r59b) ( Kett ),G.H. BASS felt Emmie Oxfords Shoes Grey Womens 8.5 M,Bottesini Men's 9 Leather Loafer Slip On ITALY Black Formal Comfort Shoes
PS: Among your White House initiatives, you’ve focused heavily on improving STEM education in America. What’s your proudest achievement on that front?
BO: There’s a lot to be proud of. We now graduate 25,000 more engineers per year from our colleges and universities than we did when I took office. We’re more than halfway toward our goal of preparing 100,000 new math and science teachers by 2021. We’ve secured more than $1 billion of private investment for improving STEM education, and commitments from college and university leadership to help underrepresented students earn STEM degrees. There’s also something that’s harder to measure, but every bit as important: all the young people, including minorities and young women, who are more excited than ever about pursuing their passions for STEM.
One of the new traditions I’ve started as president is the White House Science Fair. We ought to celebrate science fair winners at least as much as Super Bowl winners. And when young people are excited about science, technology, engineering, and math, that’s not just good for them. That’s good for America. We want the next game-changing industry or life-saving breakthrough to happen right here in the United States.
PS: Do you consider yourself a nerd and, if so, what’s your nerdiest pastime?
|Condition:||Pre-owned : |
An item that has been used or worn previously. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections.See all condition definitions- opens in a new window or tab
|Seller Notes:||“Great condition, Shows some signs of use. Please see pictures for full condition.”|
|US Shoe Size (Men's):||10||Width:||Medium (D, M)|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
STACY ADAMS HIGH QUALITY GREY LEATHER PLEATED SLIP-ON LOAFERS, SPAIN MEN'S 8MMens Base London Formal Shoes - Bugsy MTOMens Dexter dress shoes - black - style Fulton size 11,Nunn Bush Mens Black Leather Slip On Loafers Shoes 12M Sheepskin Lined 81044-007,Florsheim Kenmoor Men's Black Wingtip Oxford Shoe 10M,Gentlemen/Ladies mens dockers shoes Customer first discount VariousJohnston & Murphy Black Cap Toe Oxford Size 10 D,G. H. Bass Logan Men's Black All Leather Moc Toe Penny Loafers Size 9.5 D,Men St John's Bay Shoes Black Size 10 M Excellence Condition Upper Leather Used,Rockport DresSports Men's Sz 9.5m Brown Leather Slip On Loafers (tu24),Men's/Women's Ashwood Size 9 Black Formal Shoes Economical and practical fashionable classic style,Tommy Hilfiger Brown Fairly Oxford Wingtip Shoes Size 12 US Men's,Nunn Bush Brown Tassel Loafers 12 M Comfort GelBLACK PARAGON HANDCRAFTED MENS LEATHER LOAFER SLIP ON SHOES SIZE US 9.5/UK39,Gentlemen/Ladies Mens Black Guess Loafers 9.5 Good world reputation Quality First Sales online store,BRAND NEW MEN'S SMART WEDDING BUCKLE LOW HEEL FORMAL SHOES UK SIZE 6-11,Mens Capizio EJ1A Black Leather Jazz Shoe Size 13.5 Wide In Box,GIORGIO BRUTINI MEN'S LEATHER BROWN TASSEL LOAFER SHOES SIZE 8 M,Hombre MAVERICK a1094 Formal Zapatos sin cierres,Men/Women Cole Haan - casual leather shoes Excellent value King of quantity As of the latest model,Nunn Bush Black Cap Toe Comfort Gel Oxfords Men's Shoes SZ 10 M,Mr/Ms Men brown oxford shoes Size 9 Reliable quality New design Highly appreciated and widely trusted in and out,Mens Casual High Top Shoes Johnston & Murphy Brown All Leather - Size 10M,Gentlemen/Ladies Canali mens shoes Crazy price, Birmingham product quality Official website,JOHNSON & MURPHY CELLINI BURGUNDY BROWN LEATHER MEN'S LOAFERS SHOES 9.5 ITALY,Cole Haan Air Jackson Black Leather Dress Loafers Mens US Size 11.5 MRed Tape Bromham Tan Suede Mens Formal Dress Shoes,Mens Black Leather Hush Puppies Size 9.,New Mens Italian Style Formal Heel Smart Wedding Pointy Slip On Shoes UK SizeMen's Maverick Casual Sandals The Style - A0041,
BO: When it comes to precision medicine, advances in technology, data science, and clinical research are already curing diseases that were once thought to be incurable. It’s entirely possible that a decade or two from now, treatments would be tailored not just to the disease, but also to the individual patient. We’re being careful to protect patient data and to make participants partners in this work. Because if we embrace precision medicine in the right way, the possibilities for better treatments are practically endless.
The BRAIN Initiative is another project whose time has come. Right now, we can identify galaxies billions of light-years away. We can study particles smaller than an atom. But we still haven’t unlocked the mystery of the 3 pounds of matter that sits between our ears. I believe that with America leading the way, we can change that. Hundreds of scientists and dozens of universities, companies, foundations, and other organizations have stepped up to help us tackle this challenge.
PS: You’ve also advocated the development of a private space industry to work alongside and complement government efforts. What is your vision for space exploration and commercialization? Who does what?
BO: I’ve laid out a vision for space exploration where our astronauts travel out into the solar system not just to visit, but to stay. To build a sustainable human presence in space, we’ll need a thriving private-sector space economy. I see the expanding space industry as an addition to, not a replacement for, the extraordinary work of NASA. With industry taking over tasks like ferrying cargo and crew to the International Space Station, NASA can focus even more intensely on the most challenging exploration missions, like landing astronauts on Mars or learning more about Earth and the rest of our solar system.
As we set our sights toward other planets, we can also create good jobs here on this one. American companies have begun to reclaim the lucrative market for launching commercial satellites. That’s just one example of the way that a growing space economy can help American workers succeed.
PS: If you were to end up on Mars, who would you want as your companion: Mark Watney from The Martian, or Ellen Ripley from Alien?
BO: As long as it’s a hypothetical question, can’t I pick both? If I’ve got Matt Damon growing potatoes and Sigourney Weaver taking care of any unwelcome intruders, I like my chances.
PS: It’s been barely two months since a climate agreement was struck in Paris. How do you think the agreement will be remembered 20 years from now?
BO: I believe the Paris agreement can be a turning point for our planet. It’s the biggest single step the world has ever taken toward combating global climate change. When I traveled to Paris at the beginning of the climate conference, I said we needed an enduring agreement that reduces global carbon emissions and commits the world to a low-carbon future. That’s exactly what we achieved.
The American people should be proud because this historic agreement is a tribute to American leadership. The skeptics said that taking action to transition to a clean-energy economy would kill jobs. Instead, we’ve seen the longest streak of private-sector job creation in history. We’ve driven our economic output to all-time highs, while driving our carbon pollution to its lowest level in nearly two decades.
These kinds of concrete steps helped bring more countries to the table. With our historic joint announcement with China last year, we showed it was possible to bridge the old divides between developed and developing nations that had stymied global progress for too long. And that accomplishment inspired dozens and dozens of other nations to follow our lead and set ambitious climate targets of their own.
BO: Before you can solve a problem, you have to understand it. That’s why we’ve fought hard to protect the funding for the U.S. Global Change Research Program, a government-wide effort to help us see what’s happening in the present so we can better predict the future. Thanks to their efforts, our satellites, aircraft, ships, buoys, and terrestrial-monitoring systems are providing indispensable insights and strengthening the models that tell us what to expect going forward.
My administration hasn’t just helped to advance climate science—we’ve also made good use of the results. We used the most up-to-date insights from climate science as the basis of our national Climate Action Plan. And we’ve begun to develop accessible climate databases and tools that help governments, businesses, and citizens protect themselves from the effects of climate change that we can’t avoid.
President Obama, photographed on January 4 at the White House
BO: Fifteen of the planet’s 16 warmest years have come in the first 16 years of the 21st century. The warmest year yet was 2015. The Pentagon is warning us that climate change will threaten our national security by fostering instability overseas. Here at home, we’re seeing longer and more dangerous wildfire seasons, coupled with devastating droughts. Last year I visited Alaska, where towns are literally being swallowed up by rising sea levels. Miami now routinely floods at high tide. So this debate is over. The question now is what we do about climate change because there is such a thing as being too late. And I think that regardless of their party, if candidates for elected office want to resign your children and grandchildren to a world that’s broken beyond repair, then there’s simply no way they deserve your vote.
BO: Well, here’s what we’ve done. Over the past seven years, we have transformed America into the global leader in fighting climate change. We’ve set new fuel standards for cars and trucks, invested more than any administration in history in growing industries like wind and solar, taken unprecedented steps to protect our natural resources, and set limits on the amount of carbon pollution that power plants can dump into the air. Most important, we’ve proved that we don’t have to choose between a growing economy and a safer planet for future generations. We can have both.
But in the end, when I think about our efforts to combat climate change, I don’t just think about CO2 emissions levels or degrees of global temperature rise. I think about my two girls, and the grandchildren I’d hope to have one day. I imagine myself pushing a little boy or girl on a swing set, out in the open air, looking up at the sun. In that moment, I want to know that the planet’s going to be in pretty good shape. And I want to have contributed to that.
Because that’s our goal: to leave behind a better, safer, more prosperous world for our kids and grandkids. That’s our most important mission in the time we have on Earth. And after seven years as president, I’ve never been more confident that together, we’ll succeed.