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?
Man/Woman FOREVER BLACK SHOES SIZE 6-6.5 use stable quality Explosive good goods,Guess GW Hondola 3 Gold-multi Patent Heels, Women's Size 6.5,Next Gold & Black Sandals Size 5,AK207 NATALE COSTE schuhe weiß leder damen pumps,Red Padded Cushion Insole Prom Pumps Platform Women High Heels Size 8.5Gentlemen/Ladies Carlos by Carlos Santana Womens Posy Fabric Pointed Toe Classic Pumps the most convenient Highly praised and appreciated by the consumer audience Acknowledgement feedback VB3494Gold Ankle Strap Buckle Mary Janes Sexy Slingback Womens High Heels Size 5.5Man's/Woman's DIAMOND HIGH HEELS Crazy price Environmentally friendly Human border,Black Elegant New Look High Golden Heels Suede Women Shoes Size 5 38,ESSKA Silver Taupe Leather Open Toe Heels 41EUR USA10 -11ladies grey shoes size 5 Debut BrandMen/Women Ladies Shoes Vintage Shoes durability Has a long reputation King of the crowdGentleman/Lady Size 5 /38 Kitten Heals Comfortable feeling Optimal price Clearance sale,BLACK HEELED SANDALS - HELENA - SIZE 5,Miranda Womens Low Mid Kitten Heels Slip On Court Shoes Ladies Pumps Office Size,Men's/Women's IKRUSH Womens Imev Peep Toe Ornés De Santal durable Orders are welcome Very good color VN3609Cynthia Rowley Women's Beige Leather Suede SlipOn Pump Peep Toe Heels Size 9.5 B,What's What by Aerosoles Brown Suede Square Toe Loafers Slip Ons Womens Sz 7.5,Anne Klein iflex leopard print high heel shoes women’s size 6.5M,FIONI Woman’s Sz 6 BLACK HIGH HEELS Crisscrossed Open Toe Zipper,Man/Woman Ladies satin high heel wedding shoes with large front bow and peep toe Good world reputation Pleasant appearance Valuable boutique GW269,Man/Woman Quiz Silver Evening Shoes Size 6 Beautiful color Used in durability Exquisite processing,Men/Women Shoes Sz 6 nude heels Elegant shape stable quality German Outlets,Rangoni of Florence Shoes Slingback Closed Toe Women's Size 5.5,JFD-7A Just Fab Delphyne Women's Cream Stiletto Studded Sandals, Size 7US,Men's/Women's pumps 38 the most convenient Fine art King of the crowd,Slingback Women's shoes Pointy Toe Bowtie Stilettos Heel Ankle Strap Grace Pump,Man/Woman Ladies Beige Patent Peacocks Shoes 7 Elegant shape cheapest Exquisite workmanship,High quality wedge heel with ankle strap. Delicacy Trendy 37Gentleman/Lady Next Shoes Size 6 Beautiful color Used in durability classic style
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
|Country/Region of Manufacture:||China||MPN:|
|Material Composition:||Leather/Man Made||Width:||Medium (B, M)|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
New Primark Size 6 Gold Platform Heels,A35 Jeules Classic Pumps 529, Sunstone Suede, 7 US,-6C11 Bucco Capensis Celcilia Wedges Platforms Sandals Women Shoes Size 9 $80,ETIENNE AIGNER, COPA, Size 9M, Open-Toed Pumps,Leather Upper,3" Heel,Brown,Steve Madden Silber Floriaa Absatz Sandalen Größe 7.5M - 11MA e E Firenze BLACK Suede Wedge Cross Heels Sandals size 38 US 8 made in ITALY,Gentlemen/Ladies Womens Ladies Platform Peeptoe Party Wedding Platform Shoes Wedge Sandals Sizes Rich design Modern and stylish fashion Excellent workmanship WG661Mr/Ms ladies shoes size 4 used Reliable quality Sufficient supply Good quality,Women's GEOX Respira White Leather Horsebit Mules Size US 7.5 Breathable Insoles,Womens Cushion Walk Scarlette Black Slip On Trainer Style Loafers,Womens Ladies Over The Knee Thigh High Boots Patent Party High Heel Shoes Size,Paris Hilton Leopard Animal Print High Heel Shoes Peep Toe/Front Belt Size: 9m,Women's Nine West Black Slip On Kitten Heel Bow Toe Mules Size 7.5 MDion Lee For Target Size 10 Slip On HeelsLadies Size 4 Faith Shoes With Diamante Detail ,Worthington 6.5M NUDE Stiletto Sandals Heels Open Toe Party,YOKI " MARTHA" OPEN TOE BLACK, CORK WEDGE SANDLE: Size 8,Forever Animal Print Ankle Boot Heels Open Toe 6Fiorelli Italian made tan leather high heel shoes eu 40,NATURALIZER Faintly N5 Comfort Taupe Synthetic Heel Pumps Shoes Women's 9MNEW NO. 1 JENNY PECKHAM Ladies Silver Grey Almond Toe Stiletto Shoes UK8 EU41,Nine West Mocha Suade Stiletto Size 6,Ladies Black Patent Slingback Shoe Size 6XOXO Black Faux Suede Pumps Platform HANNA Women's Shoes Sz 9,Man's/Woman's Guess Nude Heels durable Preferred material Full range of specificationsTaryn Rose Women's Black Leather Slip On Wedge Pumps Size / US 6.5/,New Womens High Stiletto Sandals Ladies Peep Toe Bow Strappy Platform Shoes Size,Collin Stuart Women's Ankle Straps Wedges. Multi Color. Size 10,Mr/Ms Ladies suedette platform wedge heel court shoes economic Let our products go to the world leading the fashion HB1389,Ladies black diamanté party shoes size 5,
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.