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?
Womens Comfortable Sole Slip On Strap Low Wedge Faux Leather ShoesShiehk Womens 11 Sexy Black Studded Platform Strappy Zip Back 5" Heel Shoe,Via Spiga Women's Raine Slip Fashion Sneaker, Black Leather, 8 M USAnne Michelle F1R0158 Ladies Black PU & Glitter Court Open Toe Shoes (R41A) J-K,Gentleman/Lady Vintage Ladies Size 5.5 / 38 1/2 Black Leather Italian Shoes - Fratelli Rossetti Quality queen Quality First Very good classification GV514,Monzo & Franco Chantilly Black & Silver Heel Pump Slip-On Shoe w/ Clutch 8.5 IOBNine & Co. Opened Toed Classic Pumps, size 8 M, Black,Kurt Geiger Carvela Black peeptoe heels size 6 sparkle shine new in box,Womens Peep Toe Platform High Heels Stiletto Hollow Sandals Shoes Plus size 10.5Clarks womens black leather mid heel Mary Jane shoesBlack faux suede t-bar lolita platform shoes size 7,Men's/Women's nurture shoes Sz 6 Peony Beautiful color comfortability Contrary to the same paragraphBrand New Boxed Next ladies gorgeous shimmer shoes size 6,Man/Woman Hugo Boss leather heels/shoes/pumps. Size 36/6. Outstanding features In short supply a lot of varieties,Man's/Woman's Shoes women economic fashionable Contrary to the same paragraph,Gentleman/Lady Sole Society Coral Wedge Sandals, 5.5 Many styles the most economical Excellent function,M & S COLLECTION LADIES BLACK SUEDE SHOE WIDER FIT SIZE 3/37 NEW,S43 NEW Giambattista Valli Black Suede Peep Toe Platform Sandals Women's Sz 41 MSOFFT Brown Leather/Suede w/Weather Worn Look Clogs, Mules Size 8.5M A2604-9,Clarks ladies black trading facing shoes size 6.5,Brand New Boxed Ladies Blue Satin Peep Toe Rippled Front Shoes Size,Womens Shoes Natural Soul Naturalizer Size 6 Sandals Ankle Strap Buckle Taupe,Faith Gold & Brown Heeled Sandal Shoes Wood Effect Heel Size 7Amber mid heel quality leather shoes size 4 eu 37Spot on F1R0059 Ladies Blue Satin peep-toe Court Shoe (R42A),BCBGirl Signature Pink Fabric Pump with Sculpted Heel and Pointed Toe Shoe 9,Gentleman/Lady blue shoes 7 worn once Diverse new design First quality Cost-effective,New Look Black Suede Heels New With Tags RRP .99,AK66-C IL GRECO shoes platinum brown leather suede women courts,Gorgeous Size 6 T-red Polka Dot High Heels Worn Once Immaculate -*+*+*+*
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
|US Shoe Size (Women's):||US 6.5|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Versona Accessories Open Toe Strappy Heel Sandal Shoe Size 8.5 M NUDE,Man's/Woman's Ladies high heel wedge sandals with open toe and plaited straps Not so expensive comfortability Personalization trend BR806,Man/Woman **GEORGE**BLACK WEDGE SHOES SIZE US7/UK5 Beautiful color Online Very good classification,Kenneth Cole New York Women's Black Fabic Slingback Heel Sandal Shoe-Sz 8.5M EUC,Magrit Womens Color Block Court Scarpe Numero ()Man/Woman Stephanie Moreno High Heels Elegant shape Win highly appreciated a lot of varieties,Aldo Women's SZ 6 B Floral Canvas Cork High Heel Stiletto Sling Back Open S393,Cato--- Platform Beige Wedge Heels Open Toe Sling Backs Strappy Non-Slip--- 9 M,New Quirky Circle Heel Shoes Size 6,Gentleman/Lady Wedges Size 6 Riverisland Modern technology Used in durability Quality and consumer firstSize 7 black and gold glittery, peep toe, stiletto heel shoes by Dorothy Perkins,WOMEN BLUE HEEL STRAPPY SANDALS GLADIATOR UK4 - EU37 - 6.5USANICE ANN TAYLOR LOFT 8.5 M TAN & BLACK OPEN TOE WEDGES 3" HEEL,Dolce Vita DV Black Faux Leather Slip On Block Heel Mule Size 9.5NEUF pour femmes talon bobine BAS TRAVAIL COUR Robe soirée chaussures filleSilver Slip On Only Open Toe Princess Bling Party Wedges Women 2.5” High Heels,Man/Woman ladies new look shoes size 8 wholesale The highest quality material A balance between toughness and hardness,Man's/Woman's Marco Tozzi Shoes Size 7 Various goods discount Outstanding function,Boohoo Womens Tortoise Shell Heel Two Part Heels,Punier! Delicious Women Rhinestone Encrusted T-strap Evening Sandals Black Satin,PROMISE Fashion Wedge 6 inch High Heel 2" Platform Women Party Shoes Black 9,Clarks Blanche Rosa Heel Shoe Leather Womens Low Heel Shoes Low HeelWomen's Vaneli Square Toe Pumps Brown Size 8 N (Narrow) !!! Great Deal !!!,Gentlemen/Ladies Womens Ladies Ankle Strap Espadrilles Platform Shoes Mid Heel Wedge Sandals Size Special price Selected materials Excellent stretching GG1270,next opulence glitter heels worn once size 6.5,So Me MC Nude Round Toe Single Sole Pump High Heel Shoe 6-11,NIB Breeze Natural Black Striped Massini Italy Wedges Shoes Women's 7 MNINE WEST sz 10 M womens Suede Rivet Toe High Heel Shoes,Crocs Frauen Clogs Weiss Groesse 12 US /43 EU,M&S Marks & Spencer’s Peep Toe cerise pink heel patent Sandals Size 6,
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.