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?
VANELI $129 Patent Leather Round Toe Wedge Heels Shoes Size 8 N,Women's Nine West Wild Thing Cork Wedge Heel Sandal Spice Multi size 9MLADIES ANNE MICHELLE LILAC HIGH HEEL SHOES F9913,Zapatos ALTRAMAREA cuero rojo T 36 MUY BUEN ESTADO,Next Ladies Nude Peep Toe Shoes Size 4 Wide FitGentleman/Lady Ladies platform shoes size 3 Strong heat and wear resistance Let our goods go to the world wonderful,Topshop size 6 (39) pewter leather and navy mesh high heel sandals,high heel wooden wedges US 5.5 RRP 49.95 + FREE GIFT,SAM EDELMAN Women Open Toe Stiletto Heel Size 6M Gold Leather,Alfani Maddy Womens Shoes Size 8.5M Red Classic Platform Pumps Round 4" HeelsMen/Women Spot On Ladies - Wedge Pumps Customer first Known for its good quality Seasonal promotionSteve Madden Womens P Starla Open Criss Cross Wedge Sandal, Natural, US 10,Gentleman/Lady Topshop Shoes size 3/36 service Beautiful Excellent workmanshipPRE-OWNED Ladies Kate Kuba Green Detailed 3.5 Inch Heel Shoes Size 39,LIFE STRIDE 3 inch Sandal Heels SLIDES 8 1/2 M MULTI COLOR Beach Cruise,Ladies Real Leather Black Shoes By Clarks K By Clarks Size 6 SALE priceJUICY COUTURE Black White Platform Wedges Heels Sandals Shoes SZ 10 NEWGentleman/Lady Aldo Stiletto Heels Innovative design New products in 2018 Fine wildMOOTSIES TOOTSIES Pewter Glitter Wedge Perspex Heel SandalsLadies Next Purple Patent Shoes - UK Size 5,Anne Michelle F9914 DONNA Fucsia/MICROFIBRA Décolleté TO 8 (R1B)Etienne Aigner VALENCIA Pearl Nude Croc leather pumps 3” heel 11 M,Marc Fisher Black Patent Leather Cork Wedge Slide Platform Heels- Size 8.5Man's/Woman's Heels Charming design Impeccable Clearance sale,NWT AEROLOGY by AEROSOLES Woman's Brown Suede Mules Fleece Insoles 7.5 M,BLACK SIMPLE SINGLE SOLE OPEN TOE HIGH HEEL STILETTO FASHION NEW HOT PAT LEATHER,Man/Woman orlando ladies shoes Modern technology Elegant and sturdy packaging Characteristics,Qupid Silver Strappy Heels*** size 10***,Ashro Shoes 9.5 M Womens Blue Gold Boho Ankle Straps Career,Men's/Women's WOMENS LADIES LOW MID HIGH KITTEN HEEL WORK CASUAL SMART COURT SHOES PUMPS SIZE Good world reputation Environmentally friendly Different goods WG1787,
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:||“BEAUTIFUL...SEE PICS AND DESCRIPTION”|
|Style:||Classics||Pattern:||SNAKE EMBOSSED LEATHER|
|Fastening:||SIP ON||EUR Shoe Size (Women's):||EUR 39|
|Heel Height:||Med (1 3/4 in. to 2 3/4 in.)||Color:|
|US Shoe Size (Women's):||US 9||Brand:|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
MARKS AND SPENCER CLASSIC COLLECTION BROWN CROCODILE EFFECT SHOES SIZE 5 1/2 (3,Easy Street Alive 5 Heels Women's Size 9.0 WIDE, Black SATIN PRE OWNED D6219EASY SPIRIT WOMEN'S BROWN Size 10 1/2A LEATHER LOAFER Shoes,ANNE LADIES NERO MICHELLE TACCHI STILETTO PICCOLO,Michael Antonio Women's Black Open Toe Platform Ankle Booties Size /US 6Women's Cole Haan Mules Clogs Shoes Size 7.5AA Brown Leather Wedge Casual AA11Women's Pumps High Heel Platform Stiletto Glitter Rhinestone Flower Sexy Shoes,Man's/Woman's black strappy heels size 7 Durable service Upper material Diversified new design,Ladies Monsoon black peep toe shoes. Size 5 - used,LUICHINY Open Toe Heels Pre Owned Womens Shoes Size 6B Gold Buy It NowGuess Wggeordan Woman 6.5 M Heel Height 5" Burgundy/Red,Gt-Fz-36 Wedges Party Prom Stylish 6" High Heel 2" Platform Women Shoes Black 8,Kenzie Vintage Goodie Women's Tan Leather Stylish Pointy Toe High Heel Shoes 7.5I35 Zitah5 Pointed-Toe Heels 587, Storm Blue, 8 W USMan's/Woman's Diamante pointed toe with silver toe cap party sandals Reasonable price International choice fine BG1472Man's/Woman's M&S Evening Sandals Exquisite (middle) workmanship New design Shopping promotion,Charles Albert Caryssa Shoes Metallics Stiletto Heels Dressy Platform Pumps 8.5,Ladies new in Box Wilady Stiletto Shoes Size 6.5,CORDANI Womens Black Suede Slip On Clogs Wedge Size 9,Guess GW Hondola 3 Gold-multi Patent Heels, Women's Size 6.5,ZARA WOMAN TAUPE SUEDE PEEP TOE STUDDED SHOES SANDALS HEELS SIZE 39/ VGC,Gentlemen/Ladies Steve Madden Womens P-Kat Slingback Open Toe Heel Shoes, Black, US 9 Online Shopping Ranked first in its class Caramel, gentle VV122,Spot On Brown closed toe heeled clogs / mules - NEW,9 NINE WEST Women's Black Leather / Suede Shoes, Heels, Pumps Sz 6.5M,Bakers "Mallorie" Heels Black Satin Sandal CRYSTAL RHINESTONES Size 9,Summer Women's Platform Stiletto Heels Belt Buckle Peep Toe Shoes Sandals MB23Hush Puppies Black Patent Leather Zero G Slip-On Wedge Loafers Women US 8M,Charlotte Russe Women 8 Shoes Sport Sneakers Walking Shoes Red Gold(4),Men's/Women's tony bianco Ambrose Heels 8.5 Packaging diversity Brand Highly appreciated and widely trusted in and out,Man/Woman Size 4 Topshop Heels Every item described is available Strong value Comfortable and natural,
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.