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?
Mujer Spot On Tiras Metálico Sandalias/Graduación Zapatos f10841,Jessica Simpson Womens Plemy Open Toe Special Occasion Ankle Strap Sandals,New Teva Women's Azure Flip Flop Sandal - Size 7 - Raya Teal - Free Shipping!,Michael Antonio Women's Liric-Sue Heeled Sandal Yellow Size 10.0,Carlos by Carlos Santana Womens Malor 2 Fabric Open Toe Casual, Brulee, Size 9.5,Man/Woman Seychelles Footwear Lofty Sandal - Women's Special price New style Exquisite processing,Down To Earth F10698 Ladies Wedged Summer Sandals,Man/Woman Flache Sandalen mit Jets 41118 Big clearance sale Trendy Preferred boutiqueBirkenstock Madrid 2018 Collection Birko-Flor two-strap classic Womens SandalsMen/Women Womens Spot On Heeled Tassel Sandal fashion Fine art Human border,Summer Skintone/Gold Buckles/Rhinestone Ankle Strap Sexy Sandals Size 8.5Mujer Rieker Antiestrés Tacón Cuña gancho y lazo CIERRE ADHESIVO Sandalias-62470Donna Spot On Sandali stile - F0896,femmes Padders cuir nubuck crochet et Boucle Velcro pied large Sandales campagne,Man/Woman Gorgeous gold leather Repot Signature sandals Every item described is available online shop Reliable reputation,REEBOK WOMENS CROSSFIT SPORTS SANDAL SLIDE FOAM CUSHION BLACK RED SIZES 5-10,Mia Adrianna Womens Flat Sandals Nude 7.5 US / 5.5 UK,Naturalizer Womens Yanni Leather Open Toe Casual Slingback Sandals,Rieker Donna 65969 a Strappo Zeppa Bassa Casual con Cinturino Estate,Gentlemen/Ladies Fluoreszierende Sandalen treffen auf Mintjahre 513 Not so expensive International choice Full range of specificationsBANFI ZAMBRELLI SZ 7.5 M HOT FUCHSIA NEON PATENT LEATHER SLIDE SANDALS HEELS,Men's/Women's Donna Easy B Sandali Susie Strong heat and wear resistance real Outstanding style,Man/Woman Nine West Women's BARTILLY Metallic, excellent quality The latest technology Direct business,Abeo Biomechanical Footwear Sandal Womens 8 Light Tan Leather Comfort Shoe,Mr/Ms Mujer Clarks Chanclas ' pical lipson' Attractive and durable High-quality materials As of the latest model,ROBERT CLERGERIE Paris LEATHER/BLACK/TAN ANGLED PLATFORM SANDAL 9M,Women's Henry Ferrera Comfort-18 , Floral / Brown / White , Size; 8Man's/Woman's Børn Womens Beige/Pewter Wedges 9 Queensland a variety of Outstanding function,Donna Savannah con zeppa punta aperta estivo floreale sandali f1r0789Born Women's Brown Leather Leather Upper, Cushioned Insole, Sandals Size 10 EUC,
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?
New with box: A brand-new, unused, and unworn item (including handmade items) in the original packaging (such as ... Read moreabout the condition
|Altura tacones:||Plana||Estilo:||Profesional De Los Zapatos|
|Material principal:||Sintético||Color principal:||Blanco|
|Número de Producto:||4520020|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Carlos by Carlos Santana Frauen Lillith Offener Zeh leger Leinen Sandalen mit Ke,FLEXUS COAST-BGE - COAST Size: - Color:,Alegria Carina Noche Floral Thong Leather Sandal CAR-852,Teva Ventura Cork Wedge Platform Sandals, Womens Size 8 Shoes (4220),Grazie Wedge Bling Jewelled Black Patent Leather Sandals Size 8.5 EUC,EASTLAND Womens Leather Slides Sandals Comfort Brown Size 8M Slip OnNURTURE 8.5 M GOLD LEATHER ANKLE STRAP WEDGE PLATFORM SOLE LKNEWBY415 TRES JOLIE shoes white multicolor leather women sandalsMen's/Women's Steve Madden Women's Sillly Dress Sandal Wear resistant Order welcome Clearance saleCalvin Klein Hazel Black White Platform Wedge Sandal Size 8 New In Box NIB,Thalia Sodi Riya Womens Wedged Sandals Rose Gold 9 US / 7 UK,Sole Society Leather Quarter Strap Sandals - Gemma PICK SIZE & COLOR NWEasy Street Womens Savvy Open Toe Casual Platform Sandals,Womens Dunlop Diamante Sandals Ladies Cushioned Flat Slingback Beach Shoesfemmes Leather Collection ENTRE-DOIGT Sandales LE STYLE f00077 ~ N,AC808 SUKY BRAND schuhe pink lack damen sandalen,Gentlemen/Ladies Sandalen auf dem Keil Caprice 28701 High-quality Let our products go to the world Highly appreciated and widely trusted in and out,Sandali Alexander McQueen Donna - Camoscio (520061WHAA0),Vince Sorce Metallic Slingback Sandal Pewter Lea SIZE 10 Mfemmes eaze Sandales compensées F3111 - DGentlemen/Ladies Wear.Ever. Selma Women's Sandals Black Reputation first modern Perfect processing,BRAND NEW! WOMEN SANDAL FLIP FLOP REEF CHAKRAS 6 Med White/White Free ShipGentleman/Lady Mujer Rohde Sandalias 5279 Many varieties Lush design Current shape,Alegria Vanessa Leather Thong Sandal Chrysalis Black VAN-259,Tory Burch Logan Embellished Sandals $348.00 Mult Sz,Topline Emit Sandals, Women's Size 6.5, Taupe,DONNA BRONZO LEATHER COLLECTION CHIUSURA A FIBBIA SANDALI "F0897",Alegria VER-669 Womens Size 36EUR Tan Leather Slingback Adjustable Sandals BG18,Journee Collection ainsli Womens Heeled Sandals Taupe 5 US / 3 UK,PAUL GREEN Múchen *US 8* Smoke Gray Metallic Leather Slides Heels VGUC!,
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.