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?
Men's/Women's High Heeled Shoes Size 5 Best-selling worldwide Won highly appreciated and widely trusted at home and abroad International big name,Gentleman/Lady Ladies Spot On Heeled Wellington Boots With Floral Design Diverse new design Order welcome Excellent function WW1605Nicole Miller Slingback Peep Toe Black White Patent Leather Heels Women Size 9,"PREVATA" WOMENS NEW VISTA BLACK WEDGE HEEL SHOES SIZE 6.5B,Kelly & Katie Women's Black & White PUMPS Size 9.5Gentlemen/Ladies Zara Peep Toe Ankle Boots New varieties are launched excellent Very practical,Gentlemen/Ladies Ladies Black Platform Shoes Easy to clean surface Brand Very good classification,Isola Delanna Black Leather Platform Pump Sandals Women's Shoes Size 9 M,Gentlemen/Ladies Womens Ladies Smart High Heel Stiletto Sexy Evening Court Shoes Pointed Toe Size Fashion pattern Beautiful Cheap order RV3412,Men's/Women's Ladies Brown Wedges Debenhams Size 5 High-quality Good market Fair price,PL-10A New Buckle Wedge Party Prom 5" High Heel 2" Platform Women Shoes FuchsiaUniversal Thread Women shoes slip on Sandals Size 7.5 Blue Jean New With Tags,WOMENS OFFICE TWO PART SANDAL YELLOW SUEDE HEELS SIZE 41 MORE A 40 NEW IN BOX,KHAKI GREEN BARELY THERE STILETTOS STRAPPY SANDALS HIGH HEELS SIZE,BCBGeneration BCBG Black Wedge Fabric Sandal Pumps Heels 6.5B 6.5 MSRP $89.,Clarks bendables 10 M clogs mules buckle comfort slip on brown sandals leather,Lucky Brand Wedge Espadrilles Sandals Heel Beige Women's Sz 10M EUC multi color,Men/Women DKNY PURPLE SHOE Excellent value New products in 2018 Characteristics,Black crinkled Patent block heel court shoes with pointed toe,Man's/Woman's New Kardashian Kollection Womens Rosie Fashion Stiletto Heel Sandals Elegant and sturdy set meal the most economical Rich on-time delivery RR3538,Gentlemen/Ladies Ladies footwear size 5 Complete specification First quality Fine wild,$70 UNISA WOMEN 8 PINK Rose Open Toe HIGH HEEL SHOE PEEP Floral Wedge Heel EUC,Gorgeous 9 & Co. Multi-color Peep Toe Pumps-sz 6M--"JJINDIGO"-Chic Spiky HeelWomens Guess Wedge Sandals Size 5 Cork Wedges,Betsey Johnson Shoes Barrow Light Pink Floral Embroidered Tan Suede Mules Sz 8Gentleman/Lady Karen Scott Frauen Clancy Spitzenschuhe Klassische Pumps Various goods New products in 2018 Immediate delivery WG453,Madison 3" Heel Womens Shoes Brown Ankle Strap Cute Summer Style Size 6.5 M,Gentlemen/Ladies Marichi Mani Gold Sparkly Platform Stilettos Reliable quality The highest quality material Complete specifications,Ladies Wedge Shoes Black Suede Size 4,Rangoni red leather shoes, black heels, made in Italy, sz. 7B
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?
Pre-owned: An item that has been used or worn previously. See the seller’s listing for full details and ... Read moreabout the condition
|UK Shoe Size (Women's):||UK 3|
|Heel Height:||Med (1 3/4 to 2 3/4 in)|
|Heel Type:||Kitten||EUR Shoe Size (Women's):||EUR 36|
|Main Colour:||Beige||Toe Style:||Pointed|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Wittner Mules Size 6 37 Black Leather Slip On Wooden Heels Faux Snakeskin New,Silver sequin shoes. Size 5. New look,**Loslandifen Studded Heels - Women's Size 10.5/11- Light Pink,Gentleman/Lady Unze Donna MARIAH bianco zeppe Fashion pattern auction Exquisite (processing) processingRedtoo♡ Ladies Shoes Size 8.5 white heels nwd,A35 Jeules Classic Pumps 957, Dusty Rose, 10 W US,Dorothy Perkins Grey Mid heel shoes boot size 5 in original box Nigella DP,River Island Black Ankle Shoe Boot Cut Out Buckle Design Size,F & F Nude Pink Faux Suede Court Shoes 8Ladies Court Shoe Size 5 Black Patent,Alex Marie Pearl Brown Patent Leather Peep-Toe Pumps Size 7.5 M Heels,WOMENS LADIES MODA IN PELLE LILLIA SHOES BNIB RRP,ABBEY DAWN BY AVRIL LAVIGNE WTH PEEP TOE STUDDED LEOPARD PLATFORM SHOES,TOPSHOP Navy Blue Suede Stiletto Shoe Boots - Size 7 6,Easy Street Light Taupe Square Toe Career Dress Pumps Womens Size US 7.5M,Mr/Ms Satin high heel sling back shoes with large diamante bow selling price comfortability Exquisite (processing) processing WV524Man/Woman Ladies faith shoes size 6 Many varieties New design Excellent workmanship,Bakers Platform Shoe Size 8.5 Nude Neutral Color High Heels Round Toe Suede,Men's/Women's Report Sawyer Sandal bargain Modern and stylish fashion Reliable reputation,irregular choice abigails third party black size 6Kenneth Cole Reaction Peep Rise Metallic Brown Leather Heel Pump Shoe Womens 8 MCalvin Klein Wedge High Heels Size 6.5 M Women's Black Leather Round Toe S386,SHOES OF PREY Red Peep Toe Pumps with Glitter Heels, , 39 = 8 B M,Ladies cream leather sling backs by Florence and Fred - good condition,Banana Republic classic beaded dress pumps heels size 6,Men/Women Ladies Faith Shoes Size 6 Uk New Listing Orders are welcome Fashion dynamic,Jennifer Moore Ankle Boots Ladies Size 7.5 Black Leather Upper Side Closurewomens liz claibrone bravo black fabric square toe heels shoes size 10LADIES BLACK STILETTO HIGH HEEL MARY-JANE PLATFORM SLIP-ON COURT SHOES SIZES 3-9New Women Pierre Dumas Rita-1 Patent PU Pointy Toe Single Sole Stiletto Pump
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.