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?
Man/Woman Areopostale White Sandals Size 8 New Special purchase Sufficient supply Personalization trend,New - Khombu Men's Travis Active Water River Sandals Lake Black - Pick Size,Birkenstock Davos Wool Felt Womens Mens Slip-On Clogs Unisex SandalenHAVAIANAS WOMEN'S TOP FLIP FLOP SANDAL RUBBER BLUSH ROSE BRAZIL SIZE 35-36 M,Women's Gladiator Roman T-Strap Flat Thong Fashion Sandals Size 6 - 10 Black,Man/Woman Womens Rider Sandals Size 9 Medium Durable service Upper material Sales online store,Aerosoles Women’s Shoes Sandals Slip On Heels Slides Black Size 7.5,Skechers Slide Thong Luxe Foam Sandals Black/White w/Tan Footbed Size 9,St Johns Bay Size 9.5 Brown Flip Flop Sandals Slip On Shoes Summer Casual WearDecree Womans Multi Color Wedge Sandals Size 11 M,mujer flores azules Bolso de playa con A JUEGO chanclas /8 verano Grande,Janice Women's Black Sequins Slip On Open Toe Sandals Flats Slides - NEW,Womens Nine West sandals - size 9.5 - white- Ulima,Merrell Terrant Strap Sandals Men's - Brindle J91513 11US 10EUR,Cole Haan Resort Womens US 7 1/2 N Brown Leather Slip-On Slides Sandals,Rampage Women's Pink Satin Slides size 9 M new,8TH SHORE OUTFITTERS USA FLIP FLOPS SIZE 11.5 Large NEW,Gap Size 10 Black Suede Block Heel Sandals EUC,Brand New!! Nurture Cantrell Perforated Leather Slip-On Espadrilles Black 7.5.,New Anne Klein Womens Black Ankle Strap Sandals Size 7.5,Man's/Woman's F Troupe Brown Leather Sandals Clearance price Various types and styles have funMen's/Women's Completed Tandy Moccasins Various Sizes Cheap buy Complete specificationsGentleman/Lady Ladies Navy Summer Sandals BNIB UK3-8 Complete specification range Good market Strong heat and heat resistance,Womens black toe post sandals with gold bar detail in size 4 uk,Womens Talbots Black Leather Sandals Flip Flops Shoes Size 5,BCBG MAX AZRIA MA-FINN Strappy Silver Embellished Snakeskin Sandals 9,NEW AERIN Georgette Floral Flip Flop Thong Sandals Size 6 with Box,Attention Women’s Black Tilly Embellished Stretch Wedge Sandals Size 8 ½,Men's/Women's Womens Ultra Light Slipper Sandal Beach Shoes Flip Flop Black Summer Guarantee quality and quantity Ranked first in its class Preferential price RH437Tommy Hilfiger Flip Flops Men's Sandals Beach Sz 13,
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:||“Used condition shows wear and some cracking on heel see photos for exact wear and details”|
|Product Line:||Dress wear||Brand:|
|Country/Region of Manufacture:||Brazil|
|Heel Height:||Low (3/4 to 1 1/2 in)||Pattern:||Woven Leather|
|US Shoe Size (Women's):||8||Style:||Heel Sandals|
|Width:||Medium (B, M)||Fastening:||Buckle|
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?
Kickers Big Logo Sandals Kids Infant Flip Flops Blue D452-3,MARC BY MARC JACOBS LEATHER CORK SANDALS SIZE 36 / SANDALIAS PIEL CORCHO T 36,Aldo Women's Black Leather D'Orsay Peep Toe Strappy Cone Heel Sandals SizeMan's/Woman's PEZZANO SANDALIA MIXTA A032 High-quality Excellent performance buy onlineNicole Victoria Women's Size 10 M Brown Rhinestone Thong Slip On Sandals,Soho Shoes Women's Ankle Strap Open Toe Flat Slippers Beach Denim Sandal,Union Bay Size 8 Fanor Black Studded Flip Flops Rhinestones Embellished Sandals,Gentleman/Lady FLIP FLOPS /SANDALS COLORFUL FANCY HANDMADE US SHOE SIZE 9 SLIM FOOT WOMEN High quality and low overhead discount Elegant and stable packaging AN2564Gentleman/Lady AIR Nike sandals size 6 High grade Optimal price The first batch of customers' comprehensive specifications,(Z) H&M Sandale Plateau Kork-Keilabsatz hoch Textil 36,DV Dolce Vita Women's Teal & Neon Yellow Thong Flat Sandals Gold Accents SZ 8.5SOL SANA Womens Gray Leather Heel Sandals Shoes Size 38,**New Directions Juliana Sandal - Women's Size 7, Silver,American Eagle Dress Sandals ANKLE STRAP Open Toe Black Satin Glitter Bow 6.5mLADIES WOMENS BLACK SUEDE FAUX HIGH HEEL CHAIN PROM WEDDING SANDALS SHOES SIZE 6,Men's/Women's Mens shoes size 11 uk High quality and low overhead Online export store A balance between toughness and hardnessWhite Flip Flop Men's Size 9, 10 - New with Free shipping - Great Buy!!!,New American Eagle Green White Open Toe Platform Wedge Ankle Strap Sandals 10,WOMEN'S PREOWNED VOTILE BROWN T-STRAP OPEN TOE WEDGE HEEL SANDALS SZ 9Sofft Woven Thong Sandals Brown Size 8,ALDO SZ 39 8.5 BEIGE Rope PLATFORM WEDGE HEEL SANDALS,HOTTER 'Java' Platinum Metallic Sandals 4 UK / 37 EU Low Wedge / b21Men's/Women's Josalyn-19 Precious Stone Flats Sandals Gladiator Party Women Shoes Black 5.5 Great variety The latest technology Very practical VA696Man's/Woman's Coleman sandals size 9 Many styles Pleasant appearance unique,Fila S316S Logo Black Red White Rubber Men Women Sports Sandals Slides Slippers,New Madden Girl Womens Nyles CognacParis Sandals Size 10LADIES WOMENS GOLD LEATHER FAUX FLAT HEEL FLATS PUMPS LOAFERS BALLERINA SIZE 6BOC Born Womens Black Leather Wedge Slip-On Sandals Size 6 (B019),Cute Cats Designer Womens Ladies Girl Thongs Flip Flops Summer Sandals Shoes New,HOTTER MANGO SHOES SIZE 8 VERY GOOD CONDITION CAUSAL SANDALS,
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.