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?
Jambu J-41 Genesis Strappy Vegan Mary Jane Sports Sandals Shoes Women's Size 6.5,Adidas Duramo Slide Men's Sandals 39-55 Beach Shoes Shower Slippers SaunaAZAM Womens Slingback T-Strap Rhinestone Summer Fashion Flat Sandals Gold,3600303 LTSPSA30 Women's Shoes Size 7 M Red Leather Sandals H.S. Trask,New Volcom Womens Brown Ankle Strap Sandals Size 6,Athletech Women's Size 7/8M Mahina 2 Coral Slide Sandals NEW! (#SR-1)Slip On Sport Slide Flop Shower Shoes Slippers House Pool Gym. ComfortableCROC CROCBAND Fruit Clog, Men 4 Women 6, Lemon Grapefruit Strawberry Relax Fit,Okabashi Womens Oka Bee Slide Rubber Sandels Size Small Made USA,CLARKS Brown Leather Slip On Slides Sandals Womens Size 6 M,Gentlemen/Ladies Ladies Leather Collection Flat Mule Sandals Style F00072 ~ N Promotion product quality Perfect processing GH1147Man's/Woman's SANDALES ANDRE P 39 Elegant shape Comfortable touch Fair price,Aerosoles Womens Sandal 9.5 M White Leather Jute Buckle,Man's/Woman's women sandals size 5 Special price new Highly appreciated and widely trusted in and out,Adidas EEZAY Dots Women's Thong Sandals Sz.7 US Orange NWT,Report Women's Zella Flat Sandal, Black, 6.5 M US,Impo Stretch ~ Leopard Print Wedge Slide Sandals ~ Womens Shoes ~ Size 7 1/2 M,Roxy Tahiti VI Sandal - Rose Shadow - New,Easy Spirit Stormcloud Women's Slip On Sport Sandal Sneakers Size 6M Storm Cloud,Sandalen Riemchen Sandaletten braun cognac 41 mit Nieten gold rund Kunstleder,Zehenbrenner Badeschuhe Sandalen Billabong Gr 40 Hawai Blumen Muster braun gold,Men's EVA Blue Slides/Sandals - Amazing Deal,Man's/Woman's Down To Earth Mid Wedge Ladies Slingback Mule Sandals Packaging diversity Quality and quantity guaranteed value HR1696,Women's Black & White Flower Slide / slip-on shoe size 8 M,BARNEY’S NEW YORK GRAY RUBBER PLASTIC FLIP FLOPS MAN MEN 41 42,Report Women's Lindi Flat Sandal, Soft Gold, Size 6.0SANDALIAS MENORQUINAS A ESTRENAR TALLA 40 COLOR BLANCO CALZADO MUJER,nwob steve madden white flip flops 7.5 to 8Gentlemen/Ladies Ladies Spot On High Platform Wood Clog Sandals Reasonable price Beautiful appearance Direct business VW838,INFRADITO UOMO MIMETICO MARE CIABATTE SANDALI Camuoflage flip flop,
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:||“2237 These are showing normal signs of wear. The right shoe has some damage on the back of the heel. There are some scratches/scuffs as shown in the pictures. Please see the pictures.”|
Cole Haan Nike Air
|US Shoe Size (Women's):||8.5||Heel Height:||High (3 in. and Up)|
|Width:||Medium (B, M)|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
ROMEO GIGLI INFRADITO CIABATTE SANDALI PANTOFOLE MARE SPORT PISCINA RG716TUadidas Slides Black Synthetic Men Shoes Size 10 Medium (D, M),Keen Women's Purple Ladybug Sandals 5M Vguc,Auditions Tango Women's Sandal BEIGE WEDGE SLIP ON WOMEN'S SIZE 10S,Sbicca's Pink "Sitar" Women's Wedge Sandals- Size 9,Woman Bow Summer Sandals Slipper Flip Flops Indoor Outdoor,Merrell Womens Size 7.5 Abyss Silver Birch Sport Sandals,Men's/Women's Womens Ladies Comfy Buckle Strappy New Sliders Flats Shoes Slides Slippers Size Excellent value discount Vintage tide shoes GV1564,Hombre Sandos Textil Negro Correa Pantuflas Sandalia Con Redwhite sticthing p508,Topline Frauen Flache Sandalen Gold Groesse 6 US /37 EU,Sam & Libby Women's Brown Thong Cork Wedge Platform Sandals US Size 7.5Gentleman/Lady Rider Womens Elite Open Toe Casual Reasonable price Let our goods go to the world fine,05055 American Eagle Black Strappy Gladiator Sandals Womens Size US 9.5,Size 5 black and shiny silver platform, stiletto heel sandals from Next,Charles By Charles David Beige Wedges Sandals Size 10B Elastic Straps Multicolor,Men's/Women's Womens Ladies Comfy Shiny Quilted Rubber Sliders Flats Shoes Slides Slipper Size Consumer first real Popular recommendation WA2511,New Mens Leather Brown Black Slippers Flip Flop Wool Garden Home Sandals Shoes,Man's/Woman's Pantoletten Esprit Schwarz Gr. 40 Crazy price, Birmingham Sufficient supply Elegant and stable packagingMan's/Woman's Merona Open Toe Gladiator Wedges Modern technology Trendy Lightweight shoes,Melissa Sz 8 Cosmic Pale Pink Open Toe Strappy Jelly Slide Sandals,Born B.O.C. White Leather Cross Wide Strap Platform Wedge Heel Sandals 9 MNuovo Donna Roxy Belinda Banana Giallo Infradito Donna Sandali da Spiaggia Rosa,UK Womens Low Heel Block Pointed Toe Sandals Shoes Casual Buckle Ankle Boot Size,Kaiback Mens Poolside Slide Shower Sandal Shoe No Slip Comfort Sandal,Kenneth Cole Reaction Men's Go Four Flip Flops Leather Sandals Brown Size 11,Esprit Footwear Womens Black Leather Flat Strappy Sandals 9.5,Beautiful Django & Juliette blue suede platform shoes: sz 37 EUCEarth Origins White Leather Beaded Sandals Size 10 Shoes,Hotter Comfort Concept, 'Candice' Beige Leather Slingback Sandal, size 9-1/2 Med,LAUREN BY RALPH LAUREN Elissa Black grey strip Toe Post Flip Flops NWT Sz 6-9”,
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.