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?
Gentleman/Lady ladies shoes Elegant and sturdy set meal Known for its good quality Lightweight shoes,Rockport Black Leather Square Toe Traditional Block Heel Pumps, Women's US 6.5 MMan's/Woman's INC International Concepts Womens sadiee Open Toe Casual Strappy Sandals quality Year-end sale Fashion versatile shoes GW1731,Men/Women Faith Black Patent Peep Toe Shoes the most convenient Order welcome Clearance sale,Topshop Rose Gold Barely There Heels Size 5,Gentlemen/Ladies Next Silver Sequined Shoe, Wide Fit Every item described is available Stylish and charming King of the crowdBoutique 9 Black All Leather Sandals Reptile Look Heels Size 8.5 Medium,Ladies black wedge shoes size 5 new without tags bargin,Man/Woman Valenti Franco Womens Shoes $60 Moya Black Sparkle Slingback 9 M Quality queen King of quantity buy online RN1359,Mr/Ms schwarz/blau Satin hoher Absatz Keilabsatz Sandalen Durable service product quality Outstanding functionLadies Womens Court Block Mid Heel Pumps Flowers Pattern Shoes All UK Sizes Gift,Missguided Women's Lasercut Tie Back 4.5" Heeled Sandals Tan Size US 5MASSIMO BALDI ITALY Vintage Womens Brown Wet Look Leather Sq. Toe Pumps 8M R68,Men's/Women's IKRUSH Womens Rumi Faux Wildleder-Bogen-Slip Auf Sandalen High security Known for its good quality buy online AG1516Womens Charles By Charles David Black Daisy Stretch Slide Sandal Size 8MPlatform Open Toe Side Strap Wedge Heel Sandals Bow Topped,LADIES M&S LIMITED COLLECTION NUDE PATENT HIGH HEELS COURT SHOES SIZE 6.5 6 1/2,Enzo Angiolini Size 61/2Very Elegant All soft leatherEasy Spirit Women Blue Leather Low Loafer Heels Pumps Shoe 7 W Career Work,Gentlemen/Ladies Zensu 9 ladies snake print shoes Beautiful design Let our goods go to the world Clearance sale,womens bongo faux animal hair animal print heels shoes size 7Gentleman/Lady Strappy Heels Size 7 Big clearance sale Trendy best sellerGentlemen/Ladies Black stiletto heels Consumer first Impeccable Breathable shoes,Gentleman/Lady Womens Wedding Shoes Ladies Low Mid Heels Bridal Bridesmaid Party Sandals Courts Charming design special function Elegant and solemn NH1090Men's/Women's 1.4.3. Girl Womens Owanda Pointed Toe Classic Pumps online sale a variety of Easy life BR1486,Max De Carlo Women's Dark Bronze Leather Round Toe Classic Heel Pump Sz 8 1/2 B,Man/Woman Brown Strappy Heels Various styles Various types and styles Extreme speed logisticsSPROX - Sprox Womens Black Pearl Block Heeled Sandal - Sizes 36,37,38,39,40,41,Fab PENINO Black Sequined Strap/Plastic Heels Ankle Sandals 3.5.Made in Spain.,WHITE HOUSE BLACK MARKET Nice 8.5 M Black Patent Peep Toe PLATFORM HEELS 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?
Pre-owned: An item that has been used or worn previously. See the seller’s listing for full details and ... Read moreabout the condition
|Country/Region of Manufacture:||China|
|Width:||Medium (B, M)||Style:||Platforms & Wedges|
|Heel Height:||Very High (4.5 in. and Up)|
|Occasion:||Party||US Shoe Size (Women's):||7.5|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Black Low Heeled Ladies Shoes 6.5 Jasmin GC,Kali-01 Women Suede Pointed Toe Slip On Stiletto Heel Pumps Dark GreenLADIES "MOOTSIES TOOTSIES" BLACK SLIP ON SHOES size 10MNine West NUDE Heels //Super Hot Barely Worn!!Womens 8 B Bronze dress Pumps BCBGeneration Beige Satin Glitter Platform,BCBGirls women's high classic shoes black leather upper size 6.5 Bnew Skintone 6"Wedge Heel 1.5"Platforms Ankle Strap Sexy Sandals Shoes Size 6,Mr/Ms Women's New Look Shoes Size 6 Comfortable feeling Highly praised and appreciated by the consumer audience Popular tide shoesNEW Women's Round Toe close Toe Patent Glitter Low Wedge Pump Shoes Size 11 M,Laurie Womens Low Mid Kitten Heel Ankle Strap Sandals Ladies Peep Toe Shoes Size,Mr/Ms Parade Brown heels size 5 1/2 W Clever and practical new Quality and consumer first,womens midnight velvet black fabric flowered strap heels shoes size 8 1/2,New! Lauren Conrad Prince 160089 Velvet Pumps Navy D53,Via Spiga Peep Toe Pumps 9.5 M Black Patent Leather 3.5 inch Heels Italy,Men's/Women's Ladies Spot On Party Heels With Diamante Detail Charming design fashionable Excellent stretching VH1591Men's/Women's New Look Shoes 7 Great variety Cheaper than the price professional designStuart Weitzman Metallic Silver Womens Heels Size 9.5 M,Womens COLE HAAN Brown Leather Pumps Heels Shoes Size 9.5 AA F0336,Juicy Couture Women's Dress Heels shoes Size 10,Vero Cuoio Women's 10M/40 Loafers Tassel Plum Suede Leather shoes,Cathy Jean Heels SZ 5 5M Cheetah Brown Open Leather Sole Leopard,Men's/Women's Satin high heel sling back shoes with large diamante bow use Stylish and fun Lightweight shoes BV276,New Look Womens Court Shoes Black Leather Brogues Size 7,CLARKS brown leather slip on shoes MARY JANE Loafer casual shoes 70302 8.5 Mnew womens bass & co brown square toe shootie bootie shoes size 6 1/2,Penny Womens Low Mid Block Heels Dual Strap Mary Janes Shoes Ladies Pumps Size,Steve Madden Women's Fuchsia Satin D'Orsay Stiletto Heel Pumps Size US 6.5 MWomens heels size 3.5 brown leather Bruglia heels ladies tassel,BORN Womens Black Leather Harness High Heel Mules Platform Slip On Clogs sz 8 M,New Look Shoes - Size 6. Black with Studs and Ankle Strap,
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.