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?
Ivory Wedge Sandals by Nina with Emebellished Satin Rosette Straps,SOFFT Womens Sz 11 M Slingback Wedge Open Toe Wedge Sandal EUC,Ecote Tan Woven Leather Sandals Flip Flops Sz 8Unity By Carlos Santana 'Satisfy' Black Rear Zipper Flat Sandals Size 5M,Magellan Womens Size 8.5 M Brown Sandals Shoes Leather Ankle Strap Cutouts,Women Rose Gold Glitter Open Toe Slip on Cushioned Footbed Flat Sandals Shoes,Men's/Women's PUERTO WOMENS SANDAL SIZE USED VGC Elegant and sturdy set meal New in stock Don't worry when shoppingkhaki size 7.5 8 RAMPAGE rhinestone embellished jewel nubuck gladiator sandalsJellypop Budapest Black & White Ankle Strap Wedges Sandals Women's Size 8.5M,Anne Michelle Ladies Open Back Heeled Sandals,Tigerbear Republic gelé Chaton «rebelle» FEMMES NOIR TEXTILE CONFORTBERTIE SANDALS BLUE WEDGE ROPE PEEP TOE ANKLE STRAP SUMMER HOLIDAY,CLARKS Women's Bendables Brown Leather Mule Heel Slide Sandal Shoe Size 8,Men's/Women's Green Sandals High security Attractive fashion Export,Donna anne michelle sandali con cinturino alla caviglia l3402 stile ~ K,Clarks Leather Sandals Womens 8 Slingback Heel Open Toe Brown Black Casual (C),MG35 Siera Rhinestone T-Strap Flat Sandals 761, Black, 7.5 US,Sam Edelman Womens Black T-Strap Sandals Size 6.5 (323974),Red punjabi jutti khussa indian shoes mojari flip flop flat shoes jooti USA-8,Skechers Womens 14682 Black Slides Size 5 (289021)FRENCH CONNECTION HALLIE WOMENS OPEN TOE SLINGBACK SANDALS SHOES SIZES 6.5-10,New!! Women's Juicy Couture 73277 Coco Slingback Sandals Yellow/Wht SIZE 8.5 E53,Yellow Box Nicole Size 10 Sequined Brown Copper Women’s Shoes Sandals,Women's Black Wedge Sandals With Animal Print,Men's/Women's similicuir noir semelle compensée Sandales spartiates Online Shopping special function cheaper,Reef Fanning Flip Flops Women's Sandals 8 Shoes Thongs Black Bottle Openers,B Makowsky Paul Black Leather Studded T-Strap Sandal 11 Sale,Women's Mountain Sole Sable Cork Wedge Strap Sandals Cute Black Size 8.5 M NWT,Womens Mossimo Supply Kassandra Gladiator Sandals NWOB C176Gentlemen/Ladies Savannah f0r988 damen-blume detailliert Zehenstegsandalen feature Sufficient supply buy online
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:||“one shoe inside slip have small marks please check pictures”|
|Country/Region of Manufacture:||China||Theme:||Jelly|
|Style:||Flip Flops||Country of Manufacture:||China|
Does not apply
|US Shoe Size (Women's):||5||Occasion:||Beach|
|Heel Height:||Flat (0 to 1/2 in.)||Brand:|
|Material:||MAN MADE||Heel Type:||flat|
|Width:||Medium (B, M)|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Ipanema Beach Womens Flip Flops Grey, Navy, Plum, Black, Rose Gold/Brown. White,Teva Flip Flop SANDALS WOMEN'S SIZE 10,BAMBOO Silver Open Toe Ankle Buckle Closure Womens Sandals Shoes Size 7.5,G.H. Bass & Co. Women’s “Santina” Beige Tan Leather Sport Sandals Size 10,St723 Bass Sunjunsoft Women's Tan Brown Summer Wedges 6 Medium,Sanuk Yoga Sling It On Tie Dye Sandals Size 7,NEW 2 Lips Too Women's Shoes 5.5 Gold,New Women Qupid Alanis-66 Mix Media Open Toe Woven Criss Cross Slingback Sandal,VINICI SHOES // Size 40 41 // Black Leather Brazilian Summer Sandals,WOMEN'S SONOMA GOODS FOR LIFE STRAPPY THONG SANDALS MULTIPLE SIZES NIB MSRP$50,Brand New Chic & Gorgeous Thalia Sodi shoes size 7 Retail pice $59.50,Cobian LUCIA Womens Synthetic Leather Strap Flip-Flop Sandals 8 Natural NEWCallisto of California Becca Nude Patent Slip On Wedges Women's Shoes Size 7 M,Molix Appâts artificiels Trago Vib leurres équipement pêche TRV12-48Man's/Woman's EB SANDALS WOMEN'S SIZE 8 wholesale King of quantity Caramel, gentle,Circus by Sam Edelman Women's Barbara Flat Sandal, Cashmere/Natural Naked, 8.5 M,LADIES ANNE MICHELLE DIAMANTE SANDAL WITH SLING-BACK STRAP (2 COLOURS) L3415,Indigo Rd. Frauen Surie Offener Zeh leger Flache Sandalen,Gentlemen/Ladies Hush Puppies Gr.39 Many varieties Reliable performance unique,New Tommy Hilfiger 8.5 Flats in Black and Cream,Mr/Ms women sandals size 7 Strong heat and wear resistance Attractive fashion Fine wild,Man/Woman women sandals size 8 Beautiful design Primary quality Beautiful and charmingUS 6-11 Indian Handmade Ethnic Kholapuri Slipper In Silver color For WomenBass Womens Beige Leather Slip on Strap Heel Sandals Shoes Open toe Italy 7.5M,StepIndia Casual,Party wear Multi Colored Embroidery Velvet Ethnic Rajasthani Ja,Ausverkauf Anne Michelle f10277 hautfarben Wildlederimitat 5.1cm Keilabsatz,EASY STREET Red Patent Embellished V-Strap Low Heel Slingback Sandals - Size 9,Muk Luks Brick Red Low Cut Womens Shoes Size 9 New With Tag Ballet HeelVince Camuto Womens Silver Flip Flops Size 6 (324020),Navy Blue Flat Toe Loop Thong Sandals Size 7M *NEW,
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.