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?
Ann Taylor Black Satin Heels Black Size 7 1/2,Nine West Navy Suede Platform Heels Size 5 Court Shoes,Vtg Womens 8 Heels Block Rockabilly 80s 90s Emerald Forest Green Secretary Shoes,Man/Woman Next Signature Peep-Toe Heels Size 5 Modern technology low cost As of the latest model,Graceland Black Suede Platform Pumps Court High Heel Shoes Size 7 40,Mr/Ms Boohoo Nude Strappy Heels Size 8 quality modern Excellent workmanship,Nine West Women's Black/White Textile Flare Heel Pointed Toe Pumps Size US 9 M,Nice! Women’s CLARKS BENDABLES 85671 Lattice Cut-out Black Leather Mule Clogs,10,ALDO Tan Taupe Lthr Round Pleated Toe Wood Wedge Pumps Heels US 8.5 M NEW!New Anne Klein KITSEY Womens Strappy Leather Sandal Purple Brown 10M MSRP$79 NIB,Sofft Black Leather SLIDE Sandals Slim Heels Rhinestones Women's Sz 8 M GUC,NEW Nasty Gal In for the Thrill Strappy Heel - Rose Gold Metallic 6M open toedMichaelangelo Shadow Women's Black And White Satin Heels Size 7.5 Very Nice,Good Carlos Santana Size 6 US Women's Shoes Brown - NBW,Chinese Laundry Nala Wine Color Women's High Heel Pumps Shoe Size 8 M,LADIES WOMENS CUT OUT SEE THROUGH PEEP TOE SPARKLY SLIP ON STILETTO HEEL SHOES,Man/Woman Madden Girl Womens Haillee Classic Pump Shoes, Black Paris, US 8 High quality and cheap Used in durability Pick up at the boutique WR57,Donald j pliner slip on heels green,NEW WOMENS CLASSIQUE BLACK & FUCHSIA WAVE WEDGE PUMPS SIZE 6.5M 6.5 M,Man's/Woman's Rocketdog clogs brown 7.5 durable Highly praised and appreciated by the consumer audience List of explosions,Weiyali Women's Red Suede Stiletto Platform Strappy Sandals EU Size 38,Bandolino Niella Peep-Toe Pumps 023, Natural, 7.5 US,Cole Haan Brown Leather Kitten Heel Open Toe Slip On Sandal Shoe Womens 8.5 B,Olive green suede sandals from Next - size 6,Womens Block Heel Ankle Buckle Up Strappy Peep Toe Sandals Shoes Pumps Size NewLibby Edelman Open Toe Ankle Strap Heeled Stiletto Block Kay Size 10M Croc,Royal Blue Suede Effect Ladies Sandals Size 5,Man's/Woman's ladies wedge sandals size 7 service At a lower price Great choice,FERGALIEIGUS By Fergie BLACK SHOES WOMEN'S SIZE 10 M (4.5 INCH HEEL)Gentleman/Lady Easy Street Women's Forever Mule New varieties are launched Highly praised and appreciated by the consumer audience Sales online store
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:||“suitable for wedding bridal wear ,formal ballroom,dinner dance event,glamour,party”|
|Main Colour:||black||Shoe Size:||6|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Womens Ladies Low Heel Ankle Boots Chelsea Fashion Winter Comfy Work Shoes Sizes,Men/Women Black Size 7 High Heels Fine workmanship Sufficient supply King of the crowdwomens montego bay club vreal open toe flower wedge heels shoes size 9 1/2,Womens Rue 21 Wedge Sandals Size 7/8 Platform Espadrilles Shoes *MINT* Blue,Men/Women Vintage Style heels Cheap Modern design Authentic guarantee,Black Suedette Shoe Boots with Gold Stud Detailing Size 6,New Office London Black Leather 2 Part Sandals 37,Man/Woman Unze Evening Sandals Womens Flip-flops L18521 Complete specification range Quality First Selling new products,Topshop Gold Court Shoes Size 36 (3),Men's/Women's Pointed black heels with gold lining Innovative design a variety of Fashion versatile shoes,Ibeza Last Penny Lane Jeffery Campbell Tan Leather Wood Heels Women 10Gentlemen/Ladies Nude Peep Toe Heels Size 6 Crazy price, Birmingham Excellent performance negotiation,Ladies Womens High Heel Shoes Natural Patent Nude Size,Camel Side Buckle Faux Leather Opened Toe Women 4.3" Chunky Block Heels Size 10,Satin Frill Trim Suede Stiletto High Heels Grey Beige Court Shoes UK Size 3 5 7Gentleman/Lady Ladies Satin High heel sling back prom shoes with diamante front Diverse new design Used in durability Different styles HB900,Newlook Size 5 Shoes Black & Cream,Da Donna Tacco Alto Scarpe Decolleté con Fiocco AvantiAnne Michelle F9914 Mujer Celeste / Microfibra Zapatos de Salón Gb 3 a 8 (R3B),Alfani Casedy Women Shoes Fucshia Suede Ankle Strap Pumps Sz 7 MNew Women Cathy Din Abbey-4 Glitter PU Rhinestone Slingback Stiletto SandalASOS "Heirloom" Sandals - Nude - Size 8 - NEW -,Supersoft Brynne Patent Leather Size 9 Pumps,M&S Collection Size 5 Black Leather Stilletto. Insolia,Looks New Womens Franco Sarto Shoes Sz 7M White Brown Sandals Ankle Strap,Spot On F9346 Ladies Shoes Black UK Sizes 4 to 8 (R7B),WORN ONCE/NEW LOOK/GREY FAUX SUEDE/STITCH AND STUD DETAIL/HEELS/SIZE 5DY-YG-08 Fashion Stilettos Party Prom Stylish 5" High Heel Women Shoes Beige 7Ladies Patent Faux Leather Stitch Slant Strap Padded Insole Low Block Heels,Beige 4.5" High Wedge Heel 1.5" Platform Open Toe Sexy Shoes Size 7.5,
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.