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?
Steve Madden P-Carli Hot Pink + Beige Pumps two-tone Patent Leather Size 8.5 Med,High Heels mit wunderschönem Blumenmuster Größe 37,Man/Woman Black Shoes Clearance price Strong value Recommended today,STYLE & CO - Womens CATHIEE Evening Wedge Pumps Peep Toe in BLACK - Size 7.5Ann Tayloor Women's Cream Tan Leather Open Toe Pumps Wedge Shoes 7.5M,Leopard Hook & Loop Fastener Ankle Strap Sandals Womens Thick Cuban Heels ShoesNicole womans platform shoes 8.5( Neyman Marcus store compare $120.00),Black Nine West Suede Court Shoes Size USA 7W,Gentlemen/Ladies Ladies A&M Classic Cross Over Heeled Sandals superior Stylish and fun Different styles WV207,Men's/Women's Womens High Heel Chunky Platform Party Block Heel Peep Toe Sandal Shoes Size 3-8 Fine workmanship First grade in its class a wide variety of goods RB894,ELIE TAHARI *JACKIE* BLACK PATENT LEATHER MID-HEEL PUMPS - LADIES 39/9 US,Enzo Angiolini plum leather pump size 7MClarks Ladies Shoes Size 4.5 UK Burgundy Patent Wide Fit Stitched,Footglove Wider Fit Ladies Black Court Shoes 5.5,Bella Vita White Women's Shoes Size 6.5 Kitten Heel Pump. 100% Leather upper.Nude / Black Embellished Platform High Heel Wedges / Sandles / Shoes LE383Men's/Women's Stunning Sparkly. Silver. Size 8. Heels Practical and economical Attractive fashion leading the fashion,Nine West Color Stripped Wedge Platform Heel Shoes Womens Sz 10,Fiore Black Pointed Ladies Work / Smart Shoes Thin Heel Size 3 / 36Women's Guess Andrea Size 10M Black Snakeskin Textured Platform High Heels I7,Sofft Taupe Brown Suede Pumps Floral toes vintage look NEW Sz: 7.5,Wine Heel's Women's size 10 New with tags,Guess Women's Nude Color Patent Leather Platform Square High Heel Shoes 6 1/2 M,GUESS Women's BROWN Shoes Size 7.5 STRAPPY WEDGES,NINE WEST avacado green leather 2" wedge heel w/large brass buckle 8M good cond.,Man's/Woman's Carvela sling back shoes size 36 Promotion a good reputation in the world Personalization trend,Ladies black high heels shoes size 7,LADIES WOMENS LEATHER LINED BLACK BROWN CLASSIC COURT HEELS OFFICE SLIP ON SHOES,Leather Dress Open Toe Shoes Heels Sandals Slides CHOOSE PINK OR BLUE Sz9WORN 1X,Good GUESS Size 10 US Women's Shoes Beige - NBW
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?
New with box: A brand-new, unused, and unworn item (including handmade items) in the original packaging (such as ... Read moreabout the condition
|Exact Heel Height:||4"||Fastening:||Slip On|
|UK Shoe Size (Women's):||UK 6||Toe Style:||Peep Toes|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Gentleman/Lady Ladies Heels Size 6 Comfortable feeling product quality Complete specifications,Madden Girl Womens Heels Stiletto pumps Gold Sparkle glitter Sz 8 Steve Madden,Men/Women Patent Black platform Stiletto Size 3 Various goods excellent Simple,Faith Topshop Brown Leather High Heels Open Toe & Platformmadden girl Beella Ankle Strap Dress Sandals 772, Silver Metallic, 7.5 US,COLIN STUART HIGH WEDGE BRAIDED T-STRAP SHOES 10,Men's/Women's SUAVE Comfort Women Genuine Leather Black Wedge Shoes GoodYear Sole UK8 EU41 VGC New varieties are launched Settlement Price Modern and elegant WH577New, Ladies Black Leather Court Shoes by Van Dal Size 7EE,Baker Women's 'Jess" Leopard Print and Gold High Heels 5" Size 9M,Anne Michelle F9914 Femme Rouge/Microfibre Escarpin à 7 (R1A),Very Smart Hot Pink Ladies Heeled Shoes Size 7,Madden Girl Womens Halliee Classic Kitten Heel Pumps, Blush, US 6.5Womens Red Velvet Platform Stiletto Ankle Strap Sandal Lady Luxe 6.5M Floral,Black Shoes Slip On Heels Size 39 New With TagsMan's/Woman's Coral Shoes 4 New market cheapest business,Sexy Pin Up Polka Dot Heels Stilettos Pumps Sz 9.5~Fast Shipping!,Wild Diva womens black Patent Leather Peek a boo Toe High Heel shoe Size 5 EUC!,Lord & Taylor White Beige Leather Slingback Heels Pumps Women Ladies 9.5 Narrow,K By Clarks Beige 100% Leather Round Toe Block Heels Shoes Size 4 UK,Pinky Womens Iris Peep Toe Patent Stilettos,Nine & Co KERAH Faux Fur Giraffe Print Heels BROWN Size 7 Store Display,Man/Woman Ladies heeled shoes size 5 Clearance price Trendy SimpleMen's/Women's Nude Wedges Size 4 Diverse new design Order welcome business,Man/Woman mix no 6 Heels Gold Stretch Excellent value Highly praised and appreciated by the consumer audience British temperamentDe Blossom Collection Women's 7M Platform Stiletto High Heels Milti ColorClarks Artisan 87506 Women's Black Leather Slip On Block Heel Pumps US Size 8 M,WOMENS LADIES HIGH HEEL STILETTO CAGED CUT OUT PEEP TOE SHOES SANDAL SIZE 3-83 Color Closed Pointed Toe Slingback Slip On Only Women 4” Cuban Chunky Heels,Men/Women Woolrich Women's Whitecap Knit Mule Slip On Slipper, Charcoal Snowshoe, Size 7.0 Fine workmanship real Contrary to the same paragraph BW1228,Man/Woman Primark brown heels Size 4 Modern and elegant fashion Stylish and charming Suitable for color,
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.