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?
BNWT Mango Gold And Silver flat slingback SandalsLadies Seasalt Brown Leather Summer Sandals Size 39,NEW MENS LUXURY TOE POST COMFORT CASUAL HOLIDAY SLIP ON BLACK BROWN MULE 7-11,DC COMICS THE JOKER HAHAHA KILLING JOKE FLIP FLOP THONG SANDALS BEACH RETRO NWT,Hot Womens Summer Beach Sandals Popular Lady's Tassel Flat Shoes Free Shipping,TONGS FEMME - Marque GIOSEPPO - Pointure 40 C. A 09 16Chaps Brown Slip On Heeled Sandals Size 6.5,GUESS PRINT FLIP FLOP SANDALS sz 6 * NEW*,NATURALIZER N5 Comfort Journie Pewter Leather Slides Women's Sandals 9.5 MMens Puma Slide Sandals Black sz 11 Starcat Tech,Womens Rhinestone Flip Flops Thongs Sandals Pink Black Tan Gray NEWIndigo Rd. Women's Bazaar Heeled Sandal TAUPE SZ 7.0 M NEW DISPLAY D6043,Volatile Womens Zahara Gray Cork Thong Sandals Shoes 9 Medium (B,M) BHFO 2750,Nike Mens Solay Thong Flip-Flops Black Gray Slides Beach Shoes 882690Reef Chipper Mens Footwear Sandals - Black All Sizes(C) Sweet Day Zehentrenner Sandalette Pantolette creme 38,Predictions Women's Size 8 Sandal Shoes Wedge Heel Beaded (N)CIABATTE INFRADITO HELLO KITTY ROSSE n 30,hombre Crocs crostrail Caminar / SENDERISMO CON TIRA TRASERA ZUECOS ~ K,Gentlemen/Ladies Moeloco 'Be Free' Thongs Womens The color is very eye-catching cheapest Current shape,Man/Woman AMERICAN EAGLE PINK FLATS FIAT FLOPS Practical and economical Trendy a lot of varieties,Mens Flip Flops Quiksilver ChkKnk FlipFlop New,Women's Naot Sandy Black Leather Flower Slip on Sporty Sandals Size 6 M,Man/Woman New Womens Ladies Flat Tassel Ankle Strappy Holiday Summer Sandals Shoes Size Various goods First batch of customers Very good color WN255,BIRKENSTOCK Arizona 2-Riemen-Sandale Silber Graceful Birko-Flor Leder normalMen's/Women's Ladies Spot On F0691 Diamonte Slingback Summer Sandals Modern technology Has a long reputation Simple RH2011,Hush Puppies Vasanti Red Leather Sandals, 7.5 W , with black heels,Pesaro Womens Gina Wedge Sandal Shoes, Black, US 9,Teva ~ Mush Mandalyn Loma Women's Wedge Sandals $30 NWT,Unisex Sport Shoes Slipper Mesh Breathable Sandals Beach Walking Shoes Light,
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
|Country/Region of Manufacture:||Italy||UK Shoe Size (Women's):||UK 6|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Clarks Peep Toe Ladies New Wedge Black Shiny Finish Glossy,Women’s Sz 9 Brown Leather Sandals New,Women Summer Cool Wolf Print Flip Flops Non-slip Casual Slippers for Ladies,Black Multi nn Ankle Strap Buckle Casual Slip On Womens Sandals Shoes Size 7,Mossimo Womens Sandals Thongs Flip Flops Black Size 11 BuckleWell Worn Shoes Sandals Black & Tan Holiday Pre-lovedMens Trespass flipflops Toepost Beach sandals slippers,Gentlemen/Ladies Tongs Trolls 3396 (taille 27) bargain Elegant and sturdy packaging Direct business,Tory Burch Leather Ankle Strap Jelly Sandal Ivory Blue Brown Women's Size 11Man/Woman Seychelles silver womens shoe size 8.5 Selling Sufficient supply Complete specifications,American Rag Krista Beige Womens Shoes Size 7.5 M Sandals MSRP $29.99,Life Stride Navy T-Strap Slingback Kitten Heel Sandals Size 7.5BORN BOC Pink Metallic Trim T Strap Wedge Sandals Slides 7 Career Comfort Eur 38,Men/Women Ladies Down To Earth Mule Sandals F10305 Reliable quality Latest styles Official website WW1468,Superman flip flops with Metropolis/Daily Planet graphic Men's XL 13/14 *New*Femme Sandales bas Gladiateur Roman Grec avert bride chevill tongs rivet Noir,Steve Madden Women's Yellow Gold Thong Flip Flop Sandals US Size 7,SAM & LIBBY Women's Size 10 Ankle Strap Blue/Brown Flip Flops Sandals #B607,BP "Lauren" Womens Size 6 Brown Satin Strappy Ankle Strap Sandal High Heel DressLadies Monsoon orange Sandals UK Size 4/37,White Mountain Sandals WomenS Sandal Wedge Slides Black SIZE 10MGentlemen/Ladies Womens Glitter Court Shoes Mid Heel Party Bridesmaid Wedding Bride Ladies Size Various styles Optimal price Modern mode VA3265Unisex Bassa con Lacci Scarpe di Tela Lampone/Bianco,New Women Oin21 Black Tan Beige Strappy Ankle Strap Flat Sandals size 5.5-11,Sbicca Womens Tan Platform & Wedges Sandals Size 6Josef Seibel Women’s Black Leather Sandals/Heels Size 10,Coasters Colorful Strappy Sandal Size US 9 Heel 1" Synthetic Vegan DamagedCanyon River Size 10 Woman's Leather Slip-on JA-17Gentlemen/Ladies Ladies Spot On Low Wedge Jewelled Sandals With Open Toe Front Innovative design a variety of comfortable GR1054Gentlemen/Ladies Bauer Flip Flops-Mens Charming design Quality and quantity guaranteed Known for its excellent quality,
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.