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?
Trotters Womens T1110-012 Black Suede Wedge Heels Size 7 (228421),Hokus Pokus Womens Brown Ankle Strap Heels Size 11 (373152),Paolo Women's Vallery Black Suede Pump Heels Shoe Size 8.5 M with box,9 M BAMBOO Ladies Shoes Cork Wedge High 5" Heels Stilettoes Coral,Naturalizer Womens Black Pumps Size 7 (C,D,W) (363926),Easy Spirit Purple Leather Mid Heel Pumps Size 6B,Pumps Rot Gr 36 Leder aus ital. Boutique,DEX FLEX COMFORT Dexter 7 Black Peep Toe Heels Sling Back Padded Insole Shoes,LIZ CLAIBORNE FLEX WOMENS BROWN LEATHER KITTEN HEEL Slingback Shoes Sz 6.5 MAnn Marino Shoes Floral Peep Toe Ankle Strap 3 1/4" Sandal Heels Size 8M,New Womens Zip Back Slim Stiletto Multiple Buckle Strap Style Heels In White 3-8,Jessica Simpson Womens Waleo Medium Beige Pumps Size 4.5 (235646)ALDO JOLIVET Beige Studded Leather Pointy Toe Ankle Strap Heels Women’s Size 7.5,WOMEN LADIES MID HEEL PLATFORM FLATFORM FULL TOE WEDGES COURT SHOES SIZE 5 38 41ZARA women size 3 Black & Navy Blue Faux suede pointed toe court heels,Van Dal Ladies Court Shoe In Chestnut Size 6dPink purple Flower Betts"KIKI" High Heel Stilettos Shoes Size 40 Eu/7 Uk/ 9 Usa,Apart Black Pump Heels Green Silver Slip on Dress Women Shoes Size US 7New Hispanitas Womens Beige Sandals Size 9,NWOB~ GH Bass & Co ~8.5M~ Beige Canvas Penny Espadrilles Slip On Heel Wedge ShoeM&S Footglove Brown Leather Wedges Strappy Dark Brown Shoes Heels,Irregular Choice Poetic License Black And Silver Shoes Size 5/38,NEW BOXED LADIES JONAK BLACK T-STRAP 4 INCH HEELED SHOES SIZE 41Paul Green Womens Black Ankle Strap Sandals Size 7 (363950),New Clarks Womens Caslynnshae BlackNubuck Ankle Strap Sandals Size 12Qupid Womens Pink Pumps Size 8.5 (267689),Vince Camuto Womens Black Size 8.5 (357244)Nine West Cheetah Crowl Leather Open Toe Sling Back Heels Size 8M Career Wear,6C9 Charles David Arizona Sandals Platforms Wedges Espadrilles Women Shoe Sz 10M,Metal Mulisha Scarpe Frenesia Sandali Ciabatte Flipflop Donna Donne Scarpe Fmx,
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:||“In good used condition with just very minor to the very back above the heel.”|
|Pattern:||Wet look, Shiny|
|Shoe Size:||UK 8||Heel Type:||Stiletto|
|Main Colour:||Black||Width:||Standard (D)|
|Exact Heel Height:||4in||Lining:||Synthetic Leather|
|Heel Height:||High Heel (3-4.5 in.)||EAN:|
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?
Paul Green Womens Black Ankle Strap Sandals Size 7.5 (363866),NEXT BEAUTIFUL BROWN LEATHER ANKLE BOOTS SIZE 5UK / 38,BNWT red suede occasion platform shoes size 5 by M&S,Mujer A&M CLASSIC Cruzado Sandalias de Tacón,Clarks Indigo Woman's Brown Slip On Mules Shoes SIze 7 B ~Comfy~,New David Tate Womens Charlotte-289 Nude Sandals Size 8 (AA,N)Men's/Women's Missguided Porcelain Print Heels. Size 3 High security Fast delivery Cheap order,New Nine West Womens 25026308 Black Open Toe Heels Size 9,Covington Dark Brown Leather Chunky Heel Womens Cute Summer Shoes Size 8.5 M,Ladies Girls Nude Suede Shoes Heels Size 6,STUART WEITZMAN 3.5" Heels Shoes Women Size 7W EUCWomen Dress Shoe by "J RENEE" Black 6.5mNew Sesto Meucci Womens Euclid941891-001 Black Sandals Size 5FOREVER 21 LADIES FASHION CUT OUT ANKLE BOOTS BLACK SIZE NEW,Libby Edelman womens sandals espadrille wedge shoes 7 M earth tone faux snake,♡ Plateau High Heel Schlange Pep Toe 39 Lack AbsatzTommy Girl, Women's Shoes. Heel 3" Inches Size 8.5 Brown Colorwomens american eagle white eyelet wedge heels shoes size 7 1/2 W,Aldo Open Toe Reptile Print Statement Heels Size 39 (US 8.5)New LifeStride Womens B5988s Taupe Pumps Size 11 (C,D,W),NEW WOMENS SHOES LADIES PUMPS COURT POINTY TOE GLITTER OCCASION PROM PARTY STYLE,INC International Concepts Women's Vernaa Peep Toe Classic PumpsGUESS pale GOLD open toe PLEATED LEATHER metallid heels pumps 6.5 PILSNER $79,womens fioni gold thing strap wedge heels shoes size 6,Naturalizer Beige Ivory Heels Peep Toe Sling Back Leather Pumps SZ 8 Narrow,Cole Haan Air 7B Suede Pumps Snakeskin Print Covered HeelBANDOLINO DEVA Women's Dark Brown Crocodile Wedge Shoes Pumps Heels 7.5,Nina Womens Silver Wedge Heels Size 7.5 (292646),New Ladies Women's Green Suede Platform Wedge Ankle Boots,Rampage Womens Silver Ankle Strap Heels Size 10 (382017)
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.