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?
Easy Street Womens Eloise Closed Toe Classic Pumps, Black, Size 6.5Crocs Adulto Deporte Ocio obstruir Crocband(TM) Negro Blanco,Naot Women Sandals Size 9 Euro 39 Bronze Rhinestone Cork Leather Footbed,as75 EDDY DANIELE schuhe multicolor leder perlen damen sandalenMen's/Women's Born Mujer Rojos Sandalias 10 B41 Fine processing Pleasant appearance Fine wildKelly & Katie Cleo Womens Heeled Sandals Light Pink 6.5 US / 4.5 UKClarks Kendra Charm Navy Suede Open Toe High Heel Platform Sandals SizeKorks Women's Brown Leather Strappy Ankle Strap Wedge Sandals Size 8,Men/Women Sperry Womens Sandals Reliable quality Stylish and fun Strong heat and heat resistance,Man/Woman Zehenstegsandalen schwarz CK40P schwarz Wear resistant Online export store Different stylesnew STEVE MADDEN 8 Carrson Women Leather Open Toe High Heel Sandals Blush NudeIpanema Anatómica Brillante III Fem Chanclas Sandalias Chanclas 80403-8544,Ecco Brown Leather Womens Open Toe Adjustable Cushioned Comfort Sandals Sz 10/41,Clarks Arla Shaylie Cloud Stepper Stretch-Strap Sport Sandals 5 Medium Sand,Splendid Women's Bridgette Sandal, Navy, Size 7.0,Zara Femme Plat Glissières avec Sangle de Cheville US6, EU36, 5605/201,NEW YOKI SHIRLS BROWN STRAPPY SANDALS WOMENS 8 FREE SHIPBEL CANTO - SANDALS BABIES FLANGE SCRATCH LEATHER NAVY BLUE 37 38 39 40 41 NEW,LFL by Lust for Life Frauen perk Offener Zeh leger Gleit Sandalen Braun Groesse,ERIC JAVITS New York Brown Leather & Raffia Italy Sandals Slides 9.5,Easy Street Dreamer High Heel Womens Sandals High Heel High Heel,Teva Womens Sandals Size 7 Butterfly Sport AdultM & S Footglove tan leather mid heel sandals,STUART WEITZMAN ONCROSS WEDGE ESPADRILLE PLATFORM CAMEL ALEX HOOPLA SANDAL 9.5,Chaco ZX2 CLASSIC Womens Apex Grey J106102 Adjustable Strap Sandal Shoes,Ava & Aiden Embellished Leather Stiletto Sandal,Poetic Licence Retro Jelly Jangle Black Thong Sandal NEW,Marc Fisher Frauen Flache Sandalen mehrfarbig Groesse 7 US /38 EU,Easy Street Frauen Sandalen mit Absatz Gruen Groesse 7.5 US /38.5 EU,LADIES Lotus ZABRY WOMENS SLING BACK SANDALS WEDGE,
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
|Couleur dominante:||Marron||numéro de produit:||81958-8227|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Gold Leather Cork Footbed Gladiator Sandal 9 Nature Breeze Ankle Strap Buckle,FRANCO SARTO SLIDE FRENCH LILAC SUEDE ANKLE STRAP SANDAL SZ 10M,Men's/Women's Mephisto Women's Paris Quality queen discount price Exquisite processingCL by Laundry Ilissa Wedge Sandals, Women's Size 8, Burnished Nude,femmes f0896 Sandales Sangle Cheville par cuir collectionMan/Woman Elorie Jeweled Suede Thong Sandal Moderate price The latest technology Modern mode,Leather Collection Ladies - Slingback Mule Sandals,aw384 EDDY DANIELE shoes multicolour leather beads women sandals,Womens Reef Rover Catch Pop Bright Coral Toe Post Flip Flops Sz Size,Ladies Birkenstock Gizeh Birko-Flor Toe Post Thong Flip Flops Sandals All SizesEarth Shoes Women's Sandals Size 7 Leather Brown Slide Slip on Slippers Floral,Down to Earth F1R0422 Pink/Blush Ladies Sandals UK5 - 7 (R25B),Born Black Leather Shoes Women's 10 M Fisherman Closed Toe Medium Heel Sandals,Anthropologie Sam Edelman pony hair Cheetah Gladiator Sandal 6.5,Ladies Anne Michelle Synthetic Buckled Chunky Heel Sandal *Style 645*BY288 OLGA RUBINI schuhe blau lack damen sandalenLadies Girls Reef MISS J-BAY Flip Flops Leather Upper Brown / Brown, Tan / White,Men's/Women's Naot Women's Fiona Slingback Good design Upper material Maintenance capability,Zalo Needlepoint Lady Bug Slide On Sandals Size 8.5 M - VGPC!!,Man's/Woman's Donna Spot On Sandali F0895 Consumer first Attractive fashion Known for its beautiful quality,White Mountain Krissy Blue Thong Sandals Size 9.5M EUC,Sandales Un dimanche à Venise par KALLISTE T37 Neuves cuir,New Delman Ankle Strap Peep Toe Sandals Size 6 B,Mr/Ms Manebi Leather Wedge Sandal Ideal gift for all occasions Modern design As of the latest model,Clarks Women's Sultana Rayne Sandal,Donna Spot On Slip On Apertura Sul Retro Sandali con Tacco,Mr/Ms Cream marilyn anselm sandal 37 Comfortable feeling Moderate cost General product,Tahari Frauen Flache Sandalen Rot Groesse 9 US /40 EUAvarcas Sandalias Alpargatas Mujer Piel Sandalias Honda España Piel SandalsINC International Concepts Witley Womens Wedged Sandals Black 8.5 US / 6.5 UK
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.