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?
Man's/Woman's NEW Grant Slip-On Dress Shoe Complete specification range discount price The first batch of customers' comprehensive specificationsGiorgio Brutini Men's Black Dress Shoes Size 11 Slide On Slip OnLucio Ricci Men's Premium Black Leather Loafers Professional Formal Size 11.5,Santoni Italian Men's Leather Tassel Loafers, Brown 10-1/2 B,Men's/Women's B Collection Women’s Shoes.Size 10 UK New varieties are launched Let our products go to the world Known for its excellent qualityNunn Bush Mens Shoes Size 8.5 Black LeatherBostonian Impression Oxblood Leather Cap Toe Brogued Oxford, Men's US 10 EEE/E,Franco Fortini Classic Slip on Loafer Leather Black Casual Shoes Sz 13M,Clarks Mens Brown Leather Oxford Dress Shoe Size 12 M,Bruno Donnari NN900 Uomo Scarpe Slip On Nere pelle to12 (R30A)( Kett ),Men's Johnston Murphy Black Tassel Dress Shoe 11.5M,Giorgio Brutini Penny Loafer Steven Men's US 12 Brown Loafer Casual Dress,GUESS Men's Valund2 Black Loafer Size 9.5Gentleman/Lady GBX Men's Amaro Oxford Strong heat and wear resistance the most economical Popular recommendation,Man's/Woman's Mens Shoes Brogues 9 Black~MJ2674 New product Affordable Suitable for color,Gentlemen/Ladies Mens casual shoes size 7.5 fashion Sales Italy wonderful,KIT for Men Black Leather Slip On Buckle Shoes Size 10,COLE HAAN Men's Brown Leather Tie Shoes Size 7.5,Men's/Women's Thomas Brooks Men's Shoes Reasonable price fashionable Current shapeSTACY ADAMS Men's 7 M Genuine Snake Bicycle Square Toe Oxfords Brown Dress Shoes,Amputee Florsheim 12 D Mens Shoe Loaf Dress Slip on ONE SHOE,Men's Borelli Black stitched leather shoes Size In Excellent Condition,Mens Shoes New Casual Black/Brown Leather Designer Boots Chelsea UK SIZE: 6-11,Men/Women UOMO LAMBRETTA scarpe eleganti 3701 Queensland High-quality materials Personalization trendMens Cole Haan Black Dress Shoes Size 9.5,NUEVO Hombre Casual Formal Encaje Inteligente Boda Zapatos de oficina GB Tallas,Gentlemen/Ladies JOHN WHITE monkstrap shoes...size 8...mint condition... Various goods cheapest Various,Gentlemen/Ladies Hombre Maverick Zapatos sin Cierres Every item described is available Comfortable touch Pick up at the boutique,CLAIBORNE Men Bicycle Oxfords Size 8 Brown Leather Dress Shoes Size 8M NWT Scuff,ALDO MEN'S TAN LEATHER SHOE SIZE USED ,VGC,
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:||“Excellent pre-owned condition.”|
|Country/Region of Manufacture:||China||Color:|
|Width:||Medium (D, M)||Listing Code:||518HOH999|
|US Shoe Size (Men's):||11.5||UPC:|
Does not apply
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Dexter Men's Wingtip Oxford Dress Shoe Size 10.5M Made in USA Leather Sole,Silver Street London Bourne Black Leather Formal Monk Shoes RRP Free UK P&P,Red Tape Brown Shoes - Size,Kenneth Cole Stay Put Oxford Leather Shoe Men 13 Brown Silver Technology Comfort,Bally Men’s Dress Shoes (RRP $1,250) US11,BASS FLEX Leather Tassle Loafers Slip On Shoes Sz 9M Brown Career Dress,Cole Haan Men's Oxford Black Shiny Leather Shoes #C00588 Men's 12 D,Johnston Murphy Cellini Mens Size 8 M Brown Leather Tassel Dress Loafers Italy,Prime Shoes Gr. 6,5 * 40 Budapester Leder schwarz,MENS PREMIUM COMFORT LEATHER SHOES SIZE BROWN,marks and spencer autograph mens black shoes loafers size 11,Skechers Loafers 60660 Size 10M White Lesther Slip On Excellent Condition,Cole Haan Mens Black Oxford Size 12,DAVID & JOAN COUTURE OXFORD DRESS CAP TOE SHOES ITALY black weave SIZE 10 mens 2,Allen Edmond Leyland Shoes Black Size 11D,Mens Brown Leather Smart Shoes Size 9.5Gentlemen/Ladies Lascoste Men Black Shoes Size 7 service Medium cost Outstanding functionMens Shoes Size 10.5 Black And Red Light Weight Style Shoes By Shoens.,UOMO MAVERICK ALLA MODA SCARPE con lacci,MENS LEATHER DRESS AND CLUB SHOES Size 12,Dune London Chestnut Brown Brogues - Size 10Men/Women mens size 8 brogue shoes The color is very eye-catching Carefully selected materials Fair price,steve madden mens shoes size 12 Black Leather Upper. T2,New MENS MEMORY FOAM SLIP ON GEORGE SIZE 11 BROWN DRESS SHOES,STEVE MADDEN Men US 10 Black Leather Upper Classic Moc Toe Loafer Casual Career,Cole-Hann Men's Size 9M Leather Nikeair Soles Casual Dress Loafers (j-138),Red Tape Southill Black Patent Leather Mens Formal Shoes,M&S Mens leather AIRFLEX size 7 tan very comfortable shoes worn 10 hrs- Cost,Men's/Women's Mens Maverick Slip On Formal Shoes Best-selling worldwide cheapest professional designKenneth Cole Reaction Men's Layer It On Black SU Oxford 11M
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.