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?
Gemini Womens High Heels Rhinestones Silver Party Dress Stiletto Shoes,ETIENNE AIGNER " MIDLAND " BLACK PATENT LEATHER LOAFER HEELS SIZE 7.5 N,Men's/Women's black heels size 6 Brand New Consumer first Quality and quantity guaranteed List of explosions,Strutt Couture By ASOS Shoes Black Heels - Size 5,AK75 IL GRECO shoes black leather women courts,SERGIO TODZI HIGH HEELS STILETTO ANIMAL PRINT SHOES SIZE 7 Rock Chick Leather,Women's Summer Fashion Sandals Platform High Heels Weave Peep Toe Shoes SC075Gentleman/Lady Tommy hilfiger Sneakers Sz 6m Every item described is available real Extreme speed logistics,Silver Grey mid heel occasion shoes by LexusGUESS Signature Platform 5.5" High Heels Size 9.5 B Gold Taupe Leather Fabric,BCBGIRLS Faux Snake Skin Leather Front Zip Sandals Heels Size 5Next Ladies Black Slingback Heels with Bows Size 5.5 EU,Guess Womens Tan, Black, and Red 5in Stiletto Heels Sz 9,Man/Woman vintage BANDOLINO womens shoe size 6m Beautiful design low cost Exquisite (processing) processing,Nude apricot Platform Heels Sandals New 39/6,Clarks Ladies Brown Leather Slip On Mid Heel Shoes 5 / 38 Smart b16,MINETTE BY NEET/ ANTIQUE GOLD LEATHER COURT SHOES/ SIZE 3, / DEESSY/ STUDS,Womens Buckled Strap Clear Perspex Platform High Heels in Pewter,Woman's Kenneth Cole Reaction Black Open Toe Wedge Heel Size 8M Pre-OwnedMan's/Woman's BCBG Blue Leather Sling Back Heel Cheap Fine art Tide shoes listGentleman/Lady Elle black shoes size euro 38 Beautiful design At a lower price Immediate deliveryJessica Simpson JP-Mason Wedges Women Shoes Size 10 B,Spot On - f10059 - bout ouvert détail strass chaussures SATIN MARIAGE,A.N.A A NEW APPROACH FARRAH BLACK PUMPS KITTEN HEEL SHOES SZ 10 M NIBWD RET 60Men's/Women's faith shoes size 4 Ideal gift for all occasions Beautiful value,INC International Concepts Frauen Ranae Peep Toe Pumps mit Keilabsatz Schwarz Gr,Zodiac Cool Brown Leather Chunk Heel Pumps Penny Loafer Sz 7.5,Delicious Women's Wide Strap Open Toe Ankle Strap Clear Lucite Heels,adidas wedges keil absatz pumps ankle boot 39 1/3 stiefelette khaki army US 7.5,Men's/Women's Alfani Womens CHORDE Peep Toe Wedge Pumps Moderate price Let our goods go to the world Exquisite workmanship NA3486,
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
|US Shoe Size (Women's):||6.5||Brand:|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
TAUPE FRINGE CUT OUT SIMPLE HIGH HEELS STILETTOS ANKLE STRAPPY OPEN TOE FASHION,Mujer Forrado en Piel Cómodo Negro Tacón bajo de Salón Shoessize 6,Talbots Beige Black Toe Wedge Heels Leather Made in Italy Women's Shoe Sz.6.5 N,Gentlemen/Ladies LADIES WEDGE SANDALS WOMENS HEELS NEW FANCY SUMMER DRESS PARTY BEACH SHOES SIZE durable Online The first batch of customers' comprehensive specifications WW652Men's/Women's Reiss Shoes Size 4 Elegant shape First quality Seasonal promotion,TOPSHOP NIGELLA Black & Brown Two Part Leather Sandals Shoes Heels ~ Sz 3 /36~,Womens Cushion Walk Poppy Black Slip On Trainer Style Loafers,Womens AK Anne Klein Sarah Jane Multi Color Heels 6 M..231A org ret $120,Gentlemen/Ladies Fabulicious LOLITA-20 Fuchsia Satin () sell real Authentic guarantee,CLARKS Comfy Brown Leather Side Zip Heel Clogs Women's Shoes Sz 9.5 MMale Power Men's Jouster Strappy Pouch Thong with Elongated Contour Fit Pouch,LADIES GENUINE LEATHER RIVER ISLAND BLACK SEXY USED 5" STILETTO HEELS UK5,DRESSBARN BRAND GRAY FABRIC BLACK TOE ACCENTS SIZE 8M 2.75"HEELSBoohoo Womens Pom Pom Two Part Heels,Naturalizer Sandals Tan 10 Leather Shoe Slide Mule Light Brown H2,NURTURE BLACK ZIPPER SHOES WOMEN'S SIZE 8 1/2 M (2.5 INCH HEEL)SEXY Women Block High Heels Sandals Peep Toe Zipper Chunky Shoes Ankle Boots,Joe Browns Tan Wedge Sandals Wedges 5 Shoes Nude LeatherGentlemen/Ladies Ladies Chelsea Boots New Womens Block Heel Formal Ankle Biker Riding Boots Shoes The color is very eye-catching Ranked first in its class German Outlets GV734Men's/Women's New Look Wedge Sandals Louis, elaborate Impeccable Preferred boutique,Nine West Cream/Ivory High Heal Shoes Size: 8M Sling Back,Ed Hardy Portland Heel Clog Style Gray Platform womens size 6Chic Womens Girls Thick High Heel Slip on Retro Pumps Shoes OL Floral Print B9E9,Gentlemen/Ladies Shoes Consumer first The highest quality material Maintenance capability,❤ TWIGGY M&S WOMAN Size Lovely Black Patent Leather Suede Bow Trim Heels,MICHAEL ANTONIO MOE-YB RED OPEN TOE PLATFORM HIGH HEELS ANKLE BOOTS 6.5-10,Men/Women Dune Slingbacks Size 5 fashion Preferred material a wide variety of goods,Man/Woman Donna barricci Décolleté - F1994 Attractive and durable The highest quality material Shopping promotion,Life Stride Heels Size 8N Brown Sofia,Mujer Anne Michelle Sandalias peep-toe con detalle de diamante estilo f10576,
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.