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?
Gentlemen/Ladies Cudas Women's Warwick Flip Flop Special price Beautiful appearance Easy lifeLadies Sole 2Inch MicroFibre Wedge Heel Sandal Label-F10535AE43 FASCINO DONNA schuhe weiß leder nieten damen sandalenINC International Concepts Frauen Flache Sandalen Gold Groesse 5 US /35.5 EU,HAVAIANAS BRASIL ZEHENTRENNER SANDALE BADELATSCHEN BROWN 4000032.0727Ted Baker Eliyza Donna Navy Gold Sintetico Sandali,BY406 TRES JOLIE shoes grey patent leather suede women sandalsFirts Love By Penny Loves Kenny whisper Rose Gold cage sandals Size 7 new,Debut - Pink 'Delia' high stiletto heel ankle strap sandals UK Size 4,Daya by Zendaya Frauen Salem Offener Zeh leger Knoechel Riemen Sandalen Schwarz,new fashion sexy women high heel sandals thin heels platform Gladiator shoes,NWT SAKROOTS WOMEN'S SARRIA/NEPTUNE ST NAVY CROCHETED SANDAL SIZES: 8 & 9' Donna Easy B' SANDALI CASUAL - Bliss,Bar III Frauen selenaf Geschlossener Zeh leger Mules Schwarz Groesse 6 US /37 EU,Nike Benassi JDI Women's Slide 343881-614 US6-9 07'New Look Womens Fifi Open-Toe Sandals Blue (Mid Blue) 6 UK,Bluepoint Heel Wedge W Soft Centre - Size 6-8,a.n.a. wedge sandals Womens size 8.5 M solid black slip on shoes Ladies FREESHIPMan's/Woman's Reef Stargazer Flip Flops in Iron selling price Online The first batch of customers' comprehensive specifications,Espadrillas Brillantini Sandali in pelle Avarcas Sling SpagnaLAUREN by Ralph Lauren Frauen Hasel Offener Zeh leger Leder Riemchensandalen Bra,Helle Comfort Green Embossed Leather Mules Kitten Slip On Metallic Spain Sz 4.5,Gentlemen/Ladies LADIES GABOR SANDALS 22716 Black main category Known for its good quality Tide shoes list,Sandalo Wedges Arabel Keilsandaletten leder braun 168995Victorias Secret Pink Logo Single Strap Pink Glitter Bling Slide M NWT,Gentlemen/Ladies Ladies Rieker Wedge Heel Sandals 62460 flagship store Optimal price Acknowledgement feedback,New CARLOS by Carlos Santana Women's Piper Black Sandals size 8.5,AC801 SUKY BRAND schuhe braun leder damen sandalenGentlemen/Ladies Nine West Women's Starspirit Fabric Sandal Big clearance sale Win the praise of customers Breathable shoes,Men/Women White Mountain Frauen tanner Oxfords economic Low price Vintage 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 with defects : |
A brand-new, unused, and unworn item. Possible cosmetic imperfections range from natural color variations to scuffs, cuts or nicks, hanging threads or missing buttons that occasionally occur during the manufacturing or delivery process. The apparel may contain irregular or mismarked size tags. The item may be missing the original packaging materials (such as original box or tag). New factory seconds and/or new irregular items may fall into this category. The original tags may or may not be attached. 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:||“New with Defects: These shoes are in new condition but there is one detail to be noted: The inner side of the right shoe has a scuff on the strap. Except for this defect, these shoes are very close to brand new condition.”|
|US Shoe Size (Women's):||9||Heel Height:||High (3 in. and Up)|
|Width:||Medium (B, M)||Country/Region of Manufacture:||China|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Traditional Design Handmade Women Mule Leather Winter Shoes Sandal and SlipperLadies Special Occasion High Heels Sequin Diamante Design Silver & Black Colour,MERRELL Tetra Moc Red Bean leather driving loafers Sandals shoes womens 8.5 39,Scott Hawaii Women's Moena Thong Sandal Black SandalsMadden Girl Frauen Offener Zeh leger Knoechel Riemen Sandalen Braun Groesse 8.5,Splendid Women's Blake Sandal Dark Blush Size 9.5,Via Spiga Womens Black Leather Wedges 5.5 M,ANTHROPOLOGIE Seychelles Seafoam Patent Leather Wedge Sandals Size 8 Peep ToeMujer F3107 Sintético Plataforma Cierre Adhesivo Sandalias de Tiras por Eaze,LILLY PULITZER Women's White Patent Leather Peep Toe Wedge 3.5" Heel Sandals 6,Stunning Topshop Sandals New Size 38 Eur 5 Us,BY133 SERGIO CIMADAMORE shoes blue glitter suede women sandals,Puma Womens Fenty by Rihanna Riri White Textile Flip Flops Sandals ShoesLadies Fly London Yuzu Leather Open Toe Mid Heel Cut Out Work Sandals All Sizes,MIA CRUISING WOMEN'S BROWN THONG SANDALS VARIOUS SIZES NEW!,Adrianna Papell Frauen Sandalen mit Absatz Grau Groesse 8 US /39 EU,Aldo Womens Daysie Open Toe Special Occasion Strappy Sandals,Puma Leadcat Patent Donna Pink Sintetico Sandali - 7 UK,Gentlemen/Ladies Ladies Suave Sandals Label Sharon main category Make full use of materials Speed refundGentleman/Lady Bequeme Ledersandalen auf Keilabsatz New Listing New products in 2018 professional designGentleman/Lady LADIES CLARKES BROWN SHOE "FERNLEY DELLA" Modern technology Year-end sale Comfortable and natural,Ted Baker Eliyza Donna Navy Gold Sintetico Sandali,Divaz Ladies Slingback Sandals Style Cyrus Colour Wine Sz 36-41 New,Man/Woman Donna EAZE Sandali con zeppa f30105 Quality products low cost Rich on-time deliveryMan's/Woman's Lisanne Comfort Women's Sandals Beige fashion Attractive fashion Preferential price,Gentlemen/Ladies Jambu Women's Romance Platform Sandal Guarantee quality and quantity product quality Suitable for color,Woman's MASSIMO CAPONI Leather Sandals Light Tan - Size 6.5M,Betsey Johnson Sb- calie Womens Heeled Sandals Black 8 US / 6 UK,Man's/Woman's Onex Women's Sweet Dress Sandal Clever and practical Price reduction cheaper,Man's/Woman's GRANDCO SANDAL LOTUS THONG BLACK SOLE Excellent value Clearance Don't worry when shopping,
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.