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?
Footjoy Women's Golf Shoes Size 7.5 Medium Greenjoys 48703 White Pink Soft Spike,Gentlemen/Ladies Ladies High Heeled Sandals Outstanding features special function Pick up at the boutique,Zara Red Peep Toe Shoes Suede Size 7,Womens Betsy Johnson Sample Shoe Sz 9 Cute,Man/Woman Black Leather Slingback Shoes Size 6.5 Online Shopping The highest quality material British temperament,Kelsie Dagger Belize Women's Brown Leather Strappy Platform Sandals US Size 8.5,Qupid Black Patent Vegan Leather w/ Leopard Animal Print Oxford Shoes Size 8.5,Gentlemen/Ladies Ladies black high heels size use special function Great choiceSteve Madden Women's Heels P-Kath Burgundy Closed Toe Block Heel 7.5M 4in heel,Vaneli Di Notte Women's Pumps - Black - Size 6.5 M,Men's/Women's Pied A Terre Black Suede Shoes Charming design Let our products go to the world Known for its beautiful quality,Kurt Geiger Metalic Rose Double Strap Round Toe 4 inch Size 36 or 3 Heel Shoe,LAMO APRES Black Denim Fringe Nadine Woman's Crocodile stamp Thong Beaded Sz 9Gianni Bini blue Leather Slide Sandal Sz 6 EUC rhinestone silver buckle low heel,New Womens Ladies Casual Silver Glitter Wink Face Pointed Slip On Pump Shoes,Mr/Ms Escarpins AZURELLE Cuir Noir T40 BE Reputation first special promotion Tide shoes listAnne Michelle f10284 Mujer Plata De Tacón Sandalias Número RU 4 To 8 (R5A),Carlos by Carlos Santana Women Black Patent high hill shoes Size 10 M,Womens BCBGeneration Treese Black Heels 8 M..251A org ret $112,Society 86 - Viral-32 - Black - Studded Pumps - size 5 1/2 - Free Shipp US -,DOROTHY PERKINS Black Silver Summer Women's Sandals Low Wedge Heels EU37 UK4,Man's/Woman's Promenaders White Heels Size 6.5 N Adequate supply and timely delivery a good reputation in the world various kindsLOVELY BLACK WEDGES SHOES BY GRACELAND SIZE 5 / 38 HIGH HEELS,Man's/Woman's Platform Wedges Size 6 Guarantee quality and quantity Sales Italy Cost-effective,Charles David Foxxy Black Open Toe Pump - Size 7,Women's ANNE KLEIN SPORT Black Patent Animal Print Peep Toe Wedge Pumps SZ 5.5 M,Anne Michelle l3r991 Mujer champán Metálico Sandalias de tacón con / HEBILLA,Man/Woman Steve Madden Heels 8.5M excellent Condition Cheap Won highly appreciated and widely trusted at home and abroad Global sales,Enzo Angiolini Chunky Heel Dress Shoe Women's Sz 8.5M Black Suede Lth. (tu29),Pointed Black Ankle Cuff Heels Size 6,
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
|Main Colour:||Black||Style:||Heel stopper|
|Occasion:||Wedding||UK Shoe Size (Women's):||universal|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Next Black Stiletto Leather Heels Shoes Size 6,Gentlemen/Ladies Office London Shoe (40) Good design Clearance Recommended today,Women's Charles David Frankie Shoes Purple Suede Platform Heels Size 5.5 M NEW!Isola Badre T-Strap Pump Black Patent Leather Shoes Size 9Womens White Mountain NIB Origami Brown Wedge Sandals 6.5 M..59,Cole Haan Womens Mules Size 6 M Black Leather Wedge Slides Slip On Casual Shoes,Clarks Collection Womens Black Leather Wedge Loafer Shoes Size 8.5 M,Dorothy Perkins Gold & Pale Pink High Heeled Sandals Size 7 New !,Vintage Black Leather Peep Toe Slingback High Heels Size 6 1/2 VGC,Jessica Simpson Platform Beige Leather Peeptoe Heels /VGCECCO Black Leather Slip On Pumps Heels Loafers Women Size US 10-10.5//,Silver Glitter Dress Open Toe Ankle Strap Stilettos Heels Sandals Shoes 8.5,Womens Next Shoes Size 7 nude cream patent high heel comfort faux snakeskin,Womens Sandals High Heel Stiletto Hollow Out Rhinestone Slingback Summer pLus SzAK Anne Klein iflex Womens Heels 8.5 M Strappy Buckle Slingback Metallic SilverMr/Ms Ladies Anne Michelle L2280 Stiletto Diamante Court Shoes ~ K Clearance price Used in durability Fair price AH1005Man/Woman Next ladies shoes size 7 for you to choose Has a long reputation Preferred boutique,NINEWEST Sz8 metallicGold leather crosses buckle sandals straps 5inch heel 1½inc,TAHARI Colette Womens 6 Reptile Print Black Round Toe Career Work Pumps Heels,Womens Ladies Ankle Boots High Block Heel Bow Side Zip Casual Party Shoes Sizes,Miss Kg Snake Skin Pattern Court Shoe size 38 size 5,Kork Ease Wedge Sandals 9 Brown Heels (40),Ladies Brand New Volpini Orange Leather Sandal with Heel In Size 40,Ladies Patent Black Next High Heel Shoes - Size 5.5 (Eur 38.5),Colorful Open Toe Woven Slip On Cut Out Wedges Platform High Heel Sandals W38,9 West Boutique 9 Brown Suede Peep Toe Pump,Gentlemen/Ladies Miss KG Snakeskin Print Pumps quality Excellent performance Authentic guarantee,Corso Como Collection Womens Peep Toe Stiletto Heels Sz 8.5 Lacing Detail ShoesELLE Ellesport Wedge Navivo Blue White Striped Canvas Heels SIZE JAP 24.5 • US 7,Sexy Sequined Bow Tie Disco Slip On Pumps Mid Heels Shoes Adult Women,
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.