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?
BOC Born Womens Size 10 M Sandals Concept Black/Silver Braided Cord ThongNEW CCILU Women Clog Slip on Slipper Sandal Duet Beach Water Rain Amazon Solara,k-g-04 GETA Azul Japón Madera Sándalo Calcetines para kimono yukata (24,5cm / GRMens Realtree AP Baileys Black Distressed Camo Flip Flops S 6/7 NWT Free ShipNext Boys Sandals Size 9Leather Military Used Once,Man's/Woman's Thalia Sodi Womens Eeva Peep Toe Special Occasion Strappy Sandals New varieties are launched New in stock Diversified new design WA727Qupid Women's Chevy-01 PVC Thong Cork Flip Flop Sandals 5 Med (B, M) US,SANDALES KENNETH COLE P. 37 (6,5) EN CUIR OR NEUVES,Chinese Laundry Common Silver Leather Flip Flop Thong Sandal Women's Size 6.5Mens Star Wars Havaianas Sandals Flip Flop Thong Shoes Vader Yoda Trooper NWT,CLARKS, LADIES NUDE LEATHER WEDGE HEEL SANDAL, SIZE 8 M,Valenti Franco Womens Shoes $65 NEW Glitzy Black Diamonds 7.5 M,Man's/Woman's airflex mens thongs shoes 13 the most convenient New design various kinds,White nn Bamboo New Fashion Rhinestone Flip Flops Casual Womens Shoes Size 6,FERIA espadrilles sandale femme homme made in france pays basque soule 45 NEUF,BOC by BORN - BROWN CHEETAH PATENT FLAT THONG SANDALS - LADIES 6/36.5,Indian Beautiful Black Classic Jutti Rajasthani Women Nagra Ladies Sippers JuttiWomen Neon Blue Sandal Flat Transparent Summer Shoes Sling Back 8ZENSU Mimi Size 9 Black Patent Leather SandalsVia Spiga Tan Print Faux Leather Ankle Strap Platform Wedge Sandals Size 10M,PDQ Ted Trekking Trail Toggle Touch Fastening Summer Sandals,bongo reptile print wedges t time 7.5 wedges t strap sandals,New Men's Flip Flops Slippers Flat Up Summer Casual Comfort Beach Sandals ShoesGentlemen/Ladies NEW Taloha Sandals for you to choose Latest styles Beautiful and charming,Gentleman/Lady H M Sandals Size 41 New New Listing Sufficient supply Very good classification,Just Married Flip Flip's Ladie's Size NH088 NN 11Taos Strappy Brown Leather Women Shoes Size 9 Medium (B, M),NWT MENS RUN DMC THONG FLIP FLOPS,361096 LTSPSA30 Women's Shoes Size 7 M Tan Leather Sandal TRASK,SAVANNAH COLLECTION Ladies Butterfly Wedge Green & Wood Sandals UK4 Strappy
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:||“In excellent condition.Worn two times.”|
|Width:||Medium (B, M)||Heel Height:||High (3 in. and Up)|
|US Shoe Size (Women's):||6||Country/Region of Manufacture:||Unknown|
Does not apply
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Columbia Womens Sandals Surf Tide II Sport taupe Active Kayak Hike Casual Size 8BABY-104 Womens Sandals Wedge Shoes Low Heels Flip Flops Thong Size 5,6,7,8,9,10,Nine West Black Leather Slides Sandals Size 9 M - Wedge Heel Slip On “dedicateo”,Kagen® Yoga Mat Thong Sandals - Brown; Size 9,Gentleman/Lady Born 9 Black Leather Sandals Guarantee quality and quantity Online Cost-effectiveGentlemen/Ladies Womens Ladies Striped Flat Sliders Summer Sandals Slide Mules Comfy Slipper Size superior Win the praise of customers German Outlets AB2801,Gentleman/Lady havaianas flip flops Elegant shape Highly praised and appreciated by the consumer audience Seasonal promotion,Nine & Company Brown Strappy Sandals Wedge Heel Shoes ,Harold’s Brown New Leather heel sandals sz 9,New Womens Max Collection Royal Blue Wedge Sandal Size 7,Perfect Banana Republic Black leather pointy toe Slingback 3' heels 7 MSergio Todzi Snake Skin Effect Stiletto Sandals, Platform Size 6,Man's/Woman's *SALE* Spot On F22115 Ladies Nude Patent Slingback Wedge Sandals Selling First grade in its class retail price RB1029,Mens Slide Sandals Size 7 Memory Foam And1 Brand New adjustable straps,Franklin & Marshall UA984 Unisex Black Flip Flop,Sugar Womens Brown Espadrilles Size 7 (376923),White SLIP ON Thong T-Strap Silver rivets womens Sandals Size 76B10 Unionbay CanCun Flip Flops Thong Flats Jeweled Sandals Women Shoes Size 9,ADIDAS ORIGINALS LADIES ADISUN FLIP-FLOPS White/Black S78844 Sizes 4-8Uk,Gentleman/Lady Somoma Life Style Sandles Size 5.5 High grade Settlement Price Different goods,Gentlemen/Ladies Giani Bernini Frauen Rivey Peep Toe leger Sandalen mit Keilabsatz Complete specification comfortability Current shape WH2365MARES INFRADITO STYLE FANTASIA - YLLM YELIME - 41 (792460343499),Men/Women Sandalia para mujer - Negro Complete specification a wide range of products Cheap order,Indian Ethnic Handmade Synthetic Slipper Multi Color Blue Party Wear For.WomenDANSKO Leather Ankle Strap Clogs Closed Heel Shoe Women Sz 6/36 Mary Jane,4 Color Casual Slingback Studded T-Strap Womens Gladiator Sandals Shoes NO BOX,SWISS GEAR Womens Gladiator Cinch Sandals Gray Size 5.5,Pedi Couture Med 7-8 Flip Flops Sandals Thongs Black Polka Dot Yoga Women ShoesUomo "Corpo" Casual Infradito ~ Blu scuro O Rosso ~,Jagermeister Foam Thong Sandals Black Orange Alcohol Large,
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.