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?
Style & Co. " Gentle" Camel Suede, Sweater Trim Mules. Size 5M. New in box!Gentleman/Lady Herstyle Gold Platform Shoe 6 Special purchase buy Tide shoes list,Shakia! SL98 Women's Spike Studded Peep Toe Ankle Strap Platform Sandal,LADIES ANNE MICHELLE HIGH HEEL 'BLACK ' L3785,ALDO Mule Beige with Faux Fur 2" Heel Size 39 (8.5),Chestnut nn Straps Side Buckle Sexy Womens Flatform Heels Sandals Shoes Size 6.5,Miss Bison High Heel Shoes Sandals Black Slingback Open Toe Size 71/2 Medium,Stuart Weitzman Beige Woven Look Leather Square Toe Pumps. Size 8.5 AA.,Me Too SECRET Women Heel Shoes Size 10.5 M Brown Patent Leather Wedges,Berketex Wide Fit Black/Grey Low Heeled Court Shoes Size 5,New! Women's Solesenseability 129177 Karine Heeled Ankle Booties - Gray W29,NEW HIGH HEEL CUT OUT PLATFORM WEDGE ANKLE STRAP SANDALS BLACK WHITE,LADIES ANNE MICHELLE GLITTER EVENING SANDAL STYLE - F10467Women's Nude Forever 21 Pumps Shoes Size 7,Women's Guess By Marciano Studded Strapy Heels 7.5 Brown Leather Studs "Warrior",New Chinese Laundry Gold And White Ashanti Heels Sz 7Gentlemen/Ladies ladies shoes size 6 used Charming design a good reputation in the world Cost-effective,Salvatore Ferragamo Dark Blue Patterned Leather Pumps,Leather Uppers Alfani Wedges Women's Size US 9,,Vince Camuto Flip Flop Women Sandals Size 6 M Black/Pink,Liz Claiborne 'Ramona' black patent man made peep toe heels 6.5M 4840,Whistles Heeled Sandals, Block Heel, Size 7,FAITH, Ladies Grey Pin Stripped Heeled Shoes, Size 7,Kensie Aubree Dress Heels 696, Blush, 5 US / 35.5 EU,STEVE by Steve Madden Sandal Medallion 4" Heel Sz 7M Toe Strap Leather Soles,*PETRA FIRENZE LADIES CHARCOAL SUEDE DRESS HEELS SIZE 8.5 NALDO black leather upper shoes size 38 / 5 ukBill Crazy Women's Black Suede Mary Jane Hidden Platform Heel Pump Shoe 38 8,NEW Gino Pucci size 8.5 RRP $130 women's bronze heels,M & S Footglove Women's Black Leather Mid Heel 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?
|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:||“In excellent pre owned condition. Nice and clean . No scuff marks to heels.”|
|US Shoe Size (Women's):||7.5||Width:||Medium (B, M)|
|Heel Height:||Med (1 3/4 in. to 2 3/4 in.)|
|Country/Region of Manufacture:||China||UPC:|
Does not apply
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Man/Woman Office london platform shoes size 5 Fine processing online shop Fashion dynamic,CLARKS DARK BROWN SMOOTH LEATHER HIGH HEEL MULE CLOG SHOE SZ 8.5MMen's/Women's Ladies Metallic Court Shoes Anne Michelle Wear resistant the most economical Perfect processing,BLACK SANDALS HEELS WEDGE MODERN QUILTED CORK DESIGNER STYLE SHOES SIZE 6.5,Sofft Leather Upper Mules Women's Size 9M - Free Computer Fix With Purchase,ALFANI ~ MARY JANE STYLE BLACK AND SNAKE SKIN BLOCK STYLE HEELS SIZE 8LADIES WOMENS ANNE MICHELLE F10593 PEEP TOE SLING BACK NAVY BLACK COURT SHOES,Gentlemen/Ladies next shoes size 6 Elegant appearance Modern and stylish fashion Acknowledgement feedbackMan's/Woman's Bertie Wedges Clever and practical Brand Full range of specificationsKelsi ladies Brogue Loafer Black LN38 52DOCKERS black leather clogs size 7.5M in excellent condition.,Madden Girl New Womens Banor Gray Platform Slingback Heels 7.5 M Shoes Display,Naturalizer Women’s Andora Black High Heel Mary Jane Shoes Leather Upper Size 8,Ladies Next Light Blue Suede Effect Heeled Court Shoes, Size 6,Men's/Women's Women Glitter Buckle Platform Ankle Strap Heels Party Dance Shoes Event Wedding Various styles Strong value British temperament GV1377,Mr/Ms Karen Millen Shoes Size 4 Rich design Attractive fashion Known for its excellent qualityLona Tacón Alto Cuña Zapatos de salón,Anne Michelle f9913 Mujer Lila Troquelado DETALLE Zapatos de salón,Brinley Co Tru Womens Heels & Pumps Nude 7.5 US / 5.5 UK howX,madden girl Beella Ankle Strap Dress Sandals 435, Rose Gold, 10 US,Vince Camuto Women's Beige Wedge Heels Size 8.5 B,ZOE WITTNER WOMEN'S HIGH HEEL DRESS SANDALS SHOES SIZE 6 AUST 37 EUR,*RIVER ISLAND* GORGEOUS NUDE FAUX LEATHER CROSS STRAP CHUNKY SANDALS HEELS SHOES,Sesto Meucci of Florence ITALY Womens Sz 8 N Black /Leather Classic Pumps Heels,Anne Michelle F9913 Ladies Light Grey Die Cut Detail Court Shoes UK3 to 8 (22G),Missguided Black Heeled Elastic Gladiator Size 6 *BRAND NEW RRP *Dune White Leather Court Shoes Stiletto Heels Wooden Heel & BuckleSTEVEN by Steve Madden Mauve Pink Peep Toe Leather Heels 8 M Jubiley 4.5" Heel,ROSE PETALS Womens MONEY Black Antique Wedge Pumps US 7.5W (R-14701),Man/Woman Beautiful Ladies Strappy Heels 7 Year-end special promotions Year-end sale Contrary to the same paragraph
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.