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?
French Connection Slides Bronze Synthetic Women Shoes Size 8.5 Medium (B, M),Nine West Laughaloto Women's Black Patent wedge sandal, size 7.5,American Eagle Outfitters T-Strap Brown Leather Women Sz 9 Medium (B, M)Hersheys Kisses Sandals Teal Flip Flops omens,NEW LADIES WOMENS COMFORT ELASTICATED WEDGE SANDAL TAUPE - SIZE 6,Fergalicious Womens Flat Sandals Coral 6.5 US / 4.5 UKMunro American Women's Wedge Slip On Sandals Metallic Leather Size-us-8,Anne Michelle F10411 Ladies Shoes Yellow UK Sizes 3 to 8 (17B),Men's/Women's Donna Savannah Sandali L6734 Year-end special promotions High-quality materials Highly appreciated and widely trusted in and out,F1R0325 Down To Earth Mujer con Tira Trasera Punta Abierta Tacón Cuña Baja,NEW Candie's flat sandals size 9.5 shoes Caares Gold and Cognac,Bandolino Red Flip Flop Sandal 9.5 M,Men/Women LILLY PULITZER FLIP FLOPS SIZE 7-8 High quality and low overhead cheapest General productSpot On Mujer Tacón Mediano Frontal Zip Verano Hebilla Sandalias Tira en Tobillo,40% off, Now $19.95--Women's Flat Thong Sandal-laze ToeBjorndal "Highlands" Black Leather Sandals Women's Size 9.5 M,SOFT LINE LADIES ANKLE BOOTS SIZE 4 (37 H) BROWN,Earth Spirit Flip Flops Red Synthetic Women Shoes Size 9 Medium (B, M),Man/Woman Ladies Savannah - T-Bar Sandals Reputation first Beautiful appearance British temperamentJ Renee Womens Black Flip Flops Size 6WOMEN"S BANDOLINO BDFAYETTE SIZE 7 1/2 (US) SANDALSClarks Sandals Brown Slip Ons Strap Low Heels Womens Size 8 Adjustable,Man/Woman Ladies Spot On Ankle Buckle Sandals Complete specification Preferred material Pick up at the boutique,NEW *Movintage" Mootsies Tootsies Pink Slip On Flip Flop Sandal Butterfly 10M8 M | Aerosoles A2 Women Black Open Toe Hook Loop Ankle Strap Flat Sandal,Man's/Woman's New Heavenly Soles Wedge Shoes Adequate supply and timely delivery Preferred material SimpleAmanda Smith White Leather Buckle Cross Strap Heels Slides Sandals Size 6M,**not rated Sandals, Women's Size 10, Grey,Man's/Woman's Tuscany Easy Street Sandals - 9M The color is very eye-catching Primary quality fine,Man's/Woman's NEW LOOK white stiletto shoes wholesale Win the praise of customers Popular tide 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:||New without box : |
A brand-new, unused, and unworn item (including handmade items) that is not in original packaging or may be missing original packaging materials (such as the original box or bag). The original tags may not be attached. For example, new shoes (with absolutely no signs of wear) that are no longer in their original box fall into this category. See all condition definitions- opens in a new window or tab
|Seller Notes:||“it comes with poly bag.”|
|Style:||T-Strap||Country/Region of Manufacture:||China|
|Width:||Medium (B, M)||Shade:||Aqua blue|
|Heel Height:||Flat (0 to 1/2 in.)||Heel Type:||Flat|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
SANDALE COMPENSE MARRON T 36 * STREBOSKI * NEUVE,Gentlemen/Ladies bass sandals 9 Moderate price Medium cost Exquisite workmanship,GUESS By Marciano Women's Bronze Leather Gerri Slip On High Heel Sandals Sz 8.5M,Mr/Ms Spot On Womens Toepost Sandals Promotion Online export store Official website,Pull And Bear Women Flat Slingback Shoes Size 2,Kinder Mädchen Hautfarbe Lack Keilabsatz Sandalen Sommer Urlaub Schuhgrößen 9-2Womens Firetrap Vela Ftbed Black Summer Slip On Ladies Sandals,Man's/Woman's Dr. Marten Sandals Mens Size 7 Queensland fashionable various kinds,Womens Girls Summer Sandals Flip Flops White Size 5,NEW Women‘s Summer Comfort Casual Thong Flat Flip Flops Sandals Slipper Shoes,BOC Born Concept Women's Blue Leather Sandals Flowers Cork Wedge Size 8,Dream Products Women's 85911 Massaging Comfort Slides GG8 Pink/Black Size US:6,Gentleman/Lady femmes Anne Michelle Sandales Soirée L3349 fashion new Beautiful and charming,Sandals Real Fox Fur Ball Slipper Slider Indoor Outdoor Flat Sandals Flip Flops,ALFANI Voyage Comfy Elastic Straps T-Strap Wedge Sandal Womens 8.5 M Pink Orange,Men's/Women's *Graceland*39*mittelbraun*Kunstleder*wie neu*Plateau*zum Reinschlüpfen* Big clearance sale Various types and styles Characteristics,Kaari Blue, Caylan, Navy floral/Rosegold, Size 10M, New!Sbicca Womens Brigit Black Harness Wedge Booties Shoes 10 Medium (B,M) BHFO 7321White Stuff size 7 green suede platform cork wedge heel sandals,Kurt Geiger white leather gladiator sandals size 40,Savannah l6060 mujer flores Sandalias Disponible en 2 COLORESI35 Gabbye Studded Ankle Strap Sandals 252, Black, 8 US,Call It Spring Richichi Womens Flat Sandals Bone 6 US / 4 UK,Womens Size 4 Silver Sequin Slip On Shoes Brand New From Boohoo,CLARKS ARTISAN Collection Brown Leather Sandal Flat Flip Flop '73863' sz 11M,Havaianas Pink & Lilac Snoopy Sandals Toddler Girls Size 8C New with Tags,WHITE STAG GOLD SLIP ON SANDAL Size 8.5,Mujer F00061 Sintético Sandalias por Savannah Collection Venta Ahora,Biviel Women Anthropologie Women Black Green Peep Toe Leather Sandal Shoes 38/ 7O'Neill Frauen Flache Sandalen Schwarz Groesse 6 US /37 EU,
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.