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?
NEW Womens ESPRIT Gold Bounty-S17 Summer Slides Sandals Sz 7Gentlemen/Ladies Primark floral boots size 5 bnwt Practical and economical Orders are welcome Excellent function,SAS Women's Sandals Size 7.5M | TriPad Comfort White Leather,A0034 Hombre Tira Al Dedo Sandalias Footbed con Corcho Efecto,Mens Crocs Yukon Vista Espresso Khaki Leather Clogs Sandals UK Size,MENS SUMMER CASUAL WORK BEACH HOLIDAY SUMMER CROCS SANDAL SHOES CLOG SIZE 6-11,women's black gladiator wedge 3" heels 10B Lane Bryant,Brown "off road sport clog" croc (S 4M/6W)Gentleman/Lady Superdry sandals Size 5 Louis, elaborate First batch of customers Characteristics,Tan Sandals Shoes UK5 Wider Fit M&S FOOTGLOVE Strappy Suede Medium Wedge SB178,NEW Men's Size 11/12 Flip Flop/Bottle Opener Wembley Cabana Combo SetMan's/Woman's REEF - INFRADITO DONNA - RECIFE 2 - BRA - BRASIL FLAG - 1506 Aesthetic appearance Trendy Fashion dynamic GR755,COLORADO Green Boho Leather Heeled Sandals ~ US 9 ~ New / Neverworn,Gentlemen/Ladies Ladies Spot On Cross Strap Sandals - The Style F10029 ~ N High security Order welcome Export RG2133Womens Rhinestone Medallion Flat Flip Flops Sandals Black White Pewter Size 5-10,Havaianas Brazil LOGO navy & white Flip Flops womens mens thongs beach sandals,Womens Pink Crystal Rhinestone Gladiator Sandals Back Zipper Low Wedge ShoeTHAI HANDMADE FOOTWEAR HALLOWEEN GIFT BEACH NATURAL SHOE JAPAN SANDAL FLIP-FLOP,Man/Woman mens clarks firm canvas shoes elegant Preferred material Personalization trendMen's License Batman Flip Flops Sandals Black Medium (9-10) DC Comics NWT,Womens Ladies Mojo Slip On Molded Footbed Mules Toe Post Beach Flip Flop Size 7,DIANE VON FURSTENBERG DVF Green Turquoise Gold Purple Orange Strapy Wood Wedge 8,Gentleman/Lady Ladies Savannah Slingback Sandals F10735 Style ~ K Big clearance sale Skilled manufacturing Complete specifications VW2095,DOLCE & GABBANA RUNWAY SICILIA Sandals Brown Sandales Brun 01555,Margaritaville Negril Brown Suede Leather Open-Toe Slides SZ 8M~VERY CLEANNew Orleans Saints Flip Flops - Sandals Forever Collectibles NFL,New! Bearpaw Womens Soho T-Strap Casual Sandals-Style S2227-Size 7-Black 81AMENS ARIZONA CANVAS FLIP FLOPS BROWN MULTIPLE SIZES NEW WITH TAGS MSRP$40,KEEN Hybrid Life Calistoga Slip On Sandals Tan Nubuck Leather Women's Size 7.5Mens Slip On Beach Summer Pool Shower Mules Flip Flops Slingback Sandals Sz 7-11,
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
|Width:||Medium (B, M)||Brand:|
|Material:||Leather||US Shoe Size (Women's):||9|
|Heel Height:||Flat (0 to 1/2 in.)||Theme:||Nautical|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Man's/Woman's Frauen Flip Flops service Price reduction Amoy,Size 9,Pumpkin Colored Leather Slip on Mules Soft And Comfy For Fall,,AEROSOLES SANDALS WOMEN'S SIZE 8 M YESSENCE,Mr/Ms Spot On F0R0153 Ladies Black/White Mule Slip On Animal Face Sandles (R21A)(J&K) Customer first First quality Direct business BA199,DC Comics Green Lantern Flip Flops Sandals M (8-9) XL (12-13) NewAdidas Adilette CF+ Mono Slide Sandals Casual Sports Slippers Black/Black S82137,Women's Steve Madden Sandals - Size 6.5 -Women's Black Canvas/Fabric Merona Wedge Sandals, Size 9.5, 3 Inch HeelRalph Lauren Black Espadrille - Ladies Size 9BMen/Women Tan Sandals Size 8 Easy to clean surface Environmentally friendly buy online,Athena Alexander Sandals 10 Bronze Gold Strappy Wedge Heels Slip On SlidesGentleman/Lady LADIES WEDGE SANDALS WOMENS HEELS STRAPPY SUMMER DRESS PARTY EVENING SHOES SIZE High security Preferred material Cheap order GG837Billabong Summer Dazed Navy Blue Rice Grain Sole Thong Flip Flop /,TEVA Women's Mush Orangy-Red Strappy Flip-Flops Sandals 6,Madden Girl Sandals 9.5 Black Klydee Wedge,Body shoes by hush puppies size 7,Women’s Concept Flip Flops With Black Flowers Size 7M/38,Man's/Woman's CLARKS WOMEN'S SHOES SIZE 7 UK Modern technology the most economical Human border,Sandalias mujer 2018 summer shoes gladiator sandals women flat fashion sandalsMan/Woman New Womens JustFab Nikko Sandal Style fa151035800129060 Black The color is very eye-catching International choice Preferred boutique NV2999Clarks Mens Zipper Flipflops Black Size 10 M,YOUNG-03 New Womens Sandals Flip Flops Shoes Low Wedge Heels Size 5,6,7,8,9,10,Womens Slip On Slider Flat Platform Wedge Faux Fur Mule Summer Sandals 5 Colours,EVEREST WOMEN'S ANTI-MICROBIAL HIKING WATER SANDALS SPORT FISHERMAN SHOES SZ 7.5Gentleman/Lady Wimens Size 8m Clarks Sandals New varieties are launched Excellent performance negotiation,Women's NATURALIZER 6 Red Leather Flat Heel Sandal Slides Size 6M Ladies Youth 4,Men/Women Qupid Womens thong sandal Open Toe Casual Comfortable feeling discount Fair price NR438,Pali Hawaii Mens Beach Slides Sandals Size 13 Red-BrownBIRKENSTOCK Ramses Sandale schwarz Schwarz Birko-Flor Leder schmal,Women's TEVA 4255 Ventura Brown Leather Cork Wedge Thong Sandals Size 8 / 39,
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.