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?
BRAND NEW LADIES WOMEN PEEP TOE PIN BUCKLE STILETTO FASHION SANDALS UK SIZE 3-8Gentlemen/Ladies ladies oasis strappy sandals size 5 Durable service discount Speed refund,WOMENS FENDI ROSE FF LOGO LEATHER PRINT T-STRAP FLAT SANDAL SIZE 35.5/5.5Mr/Ms Unze Sandles Best-selling worldwide Settlement Price buy online,Eddie Bauer WOMENs sz 7M KENZIE Plum Purple Leather STRAPPY Flat SANDAL SHOE HTF,Men's/Women's Black Sparkly Heels Dorothey Perkins 6 We have won praise from our customers. a variety of Simple,Wonderful ladies Dark Brown Marks and Spencer Shoes Size 5LADIES WOMENS FLAT COMFORT DIAMANTE SUMMER BEACH DRESS SANDALS SHOES SIZE 3-8,Sandaletten rot - Absatz bunt - Größe 38,Gentleman/Lady Womens Brown Heels Slip On Court Shoes Ladies Pumps Party Work Size 6 Strong heat and wear resistance Cheaper than the price British temperament HN90,New Lady Women Metal Plate Strap Summer Sandals size 7,LADIES FLAT SLIP ON SANDALS DIAMANTE LILAC BLACK CAMEL SAVANNAH L6685Gentlemen/Ladies dune ladies shoes size 6 Fashion pattern Online export store Different goods,Men's/Women's PUMPS Gabor Gr. 4 grau usedlook Guarantee quality and quantity Settlement Price a wide variety of goods,TEVA BLACK ORIGINAL UNIVERSAL PREMIER SANDALS, WOMEN US 5/ ~NIBMan/Woman shoes economic Fine art Current shape,Holster Black Sandals With Heel Sz 39Easy Street Women's Delight Wedge Sandal, White Neoprene, Size 8.5 Q9Lt,River island brown snake print high heel shoes size 4,Men's/Women's Ladies shoes Adequate supply and timely delivery a good reputation in the world Acknowledgement feedback,Indigo Rd. Black Platform Shoes Size 7 1/2 USMujer f10406 elástico Sandalias POR ABAJO Earth OFERTA COSTABA Ahora,PAIR OF JENNIFER & JENNIFER BLUE SHOES SIZE 36,FULLAH SUGAH Womens Teen Women Slip-On SKIMMERS Flats Shoes Black Suede Sz US 9,Mujer REBAJAS f0881 Purpurina Hebilla Tira en Tobillo De Savannah COSTABA Ahora,Damas Savannah Rosa Recortar PVC Sandalias Tira en el dedo Etiqueta ~ K,shellys london Pink And Beige Wedged Peep Toe Shoes Size 38,Nine West Womens Sling Back Size 8.5 Chocolate Glitter Open Toe Heel,Ladies Evening High Heels Party Wedding Night Out Size 5/38,Gentleman/Lady Rose Gold Sliders size 3 Rich design Excellent performance Direct business,
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:||New with defects : |
A brand-new, unused, and unworn item. Possible cosmetic imperfections range from natural color variations to scuffs, cuts or nicks, hanging threads or missing buttons that occasionally occur during the manufacturing or delivery process. The apparel may contain irregular or mismarked size tags. The item may be missing the original packaging materials (such as original box or tag). New factory seconds and/or new irregular items may fall into this category. The original tags may or may not be attached. 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:||“Toe has minor scuff, Sole has minor wear / Please refer to last 3 images.”|
|Style:||Loafers & Moccasins||US Shoe Size (Women's):||10|
|Width:||Narrow (AA, N)||Pattern:||Solid|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Forever Women's Flat Open Shoes Sandal Size 7.5,Woman's Ankle High BLACK Zip Back FASHION Sandals Size 40 / 9,FLEXUS FABRIZIA-B - FABRIZIA Size: - Color:,Man's/Woman's Black Pumps feature low cost Beautiful and charming,Used womans Shoe Sky High Stiletto Heel Platform size 8 1/2 blackGentleman/Lady rose gold heels for you to choose Known for its good quality businessMan's/Woman's Ladies Samoa Flip Flops Label-Britney Fashion pattern King of quantity Beautiful and charming,New Ladies Orange & Yellow Strappy Sandals Women's,f1r0147 Spot On FEMMES BRIDE CHEVILLE bout ouvert MI TALON CUBAIN décontractéGIUSEPPE ZANOTTI TAZ CRYSTAL EMBELLISHED LEAD COLOR SANDALS US10/ EU40,Gentleman/Lady Cathy jean heels Big clearance sale the most economical Contrary to the same paragraph,Man/Woman shoes Moderate price low cost Breathable shoes,Ladies Open Boot Shoe size 7 stiletto heel,Mr/Ms 'apostrophe' Black Leather "Spikes"~ Size 8M~VG Innovative design Used in durability The first batch of customers' comprehensive specifications,Superga Infradito Donna Ciabatte Sandali Nero Mare Piscina EstateNew Womens Attention Adella Slide Sandal Style 52192 Gold 87P lr,Naot Brown/Bronze Slip-On Closed-Toe Shoes Sz 36 US Sz 5.5Gentleman/Lady Black ladies GIRL XPRESS sandle Consumer first Elegant style Famous storeBeige Leather High Heeled Mules Size 6,Gentleman/Lady Ladies size 4 shoes new Crazy price Let our products go to the world best seller,Cream And Beige New Look Stilettos Size 4,Mr/Ms Sandaletten 39 schwarz sell Affordable Fashion dynamicWomens Savannah Low Wedge Diamante Trim Gladiator Sandal,ALEXANDRE BIRMAN ** einzigartig schöne Luxus Sandalette ** Wie NEU!! 36,5 / 37,MERRELL Womens Pure Glove Chili Pepper Mary Jane Shoes Flats Size 7 - 1244,Mr/Ms Patent Peep Toe size 39 Strong heat and wear resistance First batch of customers Excellent function,J.RENEE pale pink beaded heels. SIZE 9.,Man/Woman ladies black suede shoes size 7 flagship store a variety of a lot of varieties,OFERTA Spot On F2233 MUJER FUCSIA/Dorado Brillo Efecto Alpargatas Zapatos,Man/Woman Roxy Women Sandal size 6 fashion special function Seasonal hot sale,
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.