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?
Purple Clarks Size 7 Peep Toe Slingback Silver Embelished Front Ocassion Work,Pour La Victoir Gray Vero Cuoio Leather Wedge Heel Booties, Women's Size US 7,Lilley & Skinner brown leather court shoes sz 5.5 block 3" heel quality style,Womens Comfy Faux Leather Patent Small Block Court Strap Padded Insole Heels,Gentlemen/Ladies clarks Narrative block heel shoes sandals Strong heat and wear resistance high quality Elegant and robust menu,New look wide fit Burgundy patent shoes heels size 3 sixties style 60’s,Men's/Women's shoes Exquisite (middle) workmanship stable quality professional design,Man/Woman Black Heels - Miss Guided High-quality Upper material Comfortable and natural,Womens Stilettos Slides Mules High Heel Slingback Leather Leisure Sandal ShoesGentleman/Lady Newlook Women’s silver sandals size 4 High quality and low overhead Selected materials Excellent stretchingMarks And Spenscer Evening Shoe Size 3 1/2,Brinley Co Frauen Pumps Braun Groesse 11 US /42 EU,Bass Women’s 8 M Tie Flex 2517W Shoe Leather Upper - EUCPaper Fox Tegan Black And Blue Faux Suede And Metallic Open Toe Heels Size 8,TS35 Vanesssa Ankle Strap Pumps, Black Snake, 8 US DisplayMarc Fisher Blaize Heeled Sandal 987, Silver Texture, 7.5 US,Pleaser Womens Sexy-20/GPCP Pump,Gold Pearlized Patent,5 M USAsos Nude Court High Heels Size 2,Man/Woman high heels size 4 Durable service Selected materials Most practicalZapatos STRABOSKI Cuero Negro T 37 MUY BUEN ESTADOMan's/Woman's Ladies Womens Ankle Boots Peep Toe Sandal Diamante Statement Heel Fashion Shoes online sale Comfortable touch Valuable boutique NV939,Pretty Carvela Kurt Geiger shoes, navy, size 5,womens nine west brown leather strappy heels shoes size 8 1/2,Mujer pedrería Sandalias Planos Sin Cordones de dedo flores TIRA TRASERA ZapatosGentleman/Lady IVETTA-21 Blink Fashion Party Prom 5.5" High Heel 1" Platform Women's Shoes Tan Crazy price, Birmingham auction have fun VA3363,Vintage Annie Slip On Colorful Floral Sandals Clear Lucite Heel Clear Upper 7.5M,LADIES WOMENS BEIGE NUDE OPEN TOE CHUNKY BLOCK PLATFORM SANDALS HEELS SHOESMr/Ms ladies shoes size 4 new High grade Quality and quantity guaranteed classic style,New Womens Ladies Ankle Strap Peep Toe Flatforms Wedge Platform Sandals Shoes,Strictly Comfort Womens Slingback Sandals Size 7.5M Brown Leather Heels Shoes,
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
|Shoe Size:||UK 4||Heel Height:||High Heel (3-4.5 in.)|
|Main Colour:||Purple||Heel Type:||Stiletto|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Ladies Special Occasion Shoes....Gino Pucci...New....White... Size 8 1/2.,Mr/Ms Womens Stileto Size 6 Dress Shoe Reputation first Let our goods go to the world Acknowledgement feedback,Good Carlos Santana Size 6 US Women's Shoes Brown - NBW,Immaculate Worn Once UNISA Black Mock Croc Leather High Heel SHOES, 38,,ANNIE BLACK AND RHINESTONE STRAP LADIE'S OPEN-TOE SLING BACK LUCITE HEELS-9.5M,Women/Ladies Black Patent Style Shoes Size 5 From M&S,Man's/Woman's guess shoes 7 Ideal gift for all occasions Good market Very good color,Charles By Charles David "Skimpier" Camel Peep Toe Hill Size 7.5. NIB,CLASSIQUES ENTIER Woman dress shoe Made in ItalyMan/Woman Cross Strap High Heels Good design Win the praise of customers List of explosionsCOLE HAAN Womens 7.5 B Brown Leather Slip On Mules Clog Heel Buckle Shoes D18198,Canyon River Blues Womens Black Leather Heel Clog Mules Size 9M (U020)NEW FRENCH CONNECTION BLACK LEATHER 3.5" HIGH HEEL PIN UP SANDALS SHOES 7 37 M,New Sexy Women's Hollow Peep Toe Zip Mesh Nightclub High Heel Wedge Platform,Bass Women's Brown Leather Sandals 3 Inch Wedge Heels Size 71/2 Medium Pre-Owned,Mr/Ms Mujer Anne Michelle Purpurina en punta pedrería Zapatos de salón Outstanding features luxurious Immediate delivery HR971,Ladies wedge heeled ankle band sandals SELECT deep pink size 5 BNNT,Women’s GUESS By Marciano Patent Leather Pumps High Heels - Size 8.5 - Black,Men/Women Ladies Anne Michelle Open Toe Heels Every item described is available stable quality Clearance sale,Aerosoles Womens Size 7 B Dark Brown Leather Slide On Square Toe Loafers Shoes,NEW! Mark Fisher Women's Cecila Wedges Gold Size:8 229A az,Aldo Rossini Collection Women's Vintage Black Suede Pumps size 7M Model 18156408,SPORTSGIRL black suede peeptoe heels Size 39 EUC,Slingback Shoes Mid Heel Womens Shiny Bow High Heels Sandals Size 13-0 SSS,Topshop Shoes High Stiletto Heel Black Leather Suede Ankle Strap,Men's/Women's Antonio Melani Shoes Many varieties buy Different styles,Next Gold Shoes Size 7 RRP BNWL,Women's Shoedazzle Anjali Wedge Tan Faux Leather Platform Wedges Size 9.5Man/Woman FOOTGLOVE black shoes size 6 Adequate supply and timely delivery Win highly appreciated Sales online store,NEW WOMENS LADIES LOW HEEL BLOCK BUCKLE POINTED TOE STUDDED BEADS SHOES SIZE,
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.