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?
Blowfish Malibu Womens Sz 10 Criscross Straps Buckle Strappy Sandals ShoesAerosoles Women's Black Fabric Slip On Slide Wedge Mules Size 10 Shoes,Men's/Women's Ladies Down To Earth Closed Toe Slingback Mule Rich design Reliable performance Highly appreciated and widely trusted in and out WR2341,Men's/Women's Ladies canvas low wedge sandals with bow toe New Listing Latest styles Seasonal hot sale WG2750,Men's/Women's LADIES WOMENS DIAMANTE WEDGE SANDALS HEELS ELASTIC STRAP SUMMER BEACH SHOES SIZE Best-selling worldwide the most economical Breathable shoes VW165,Pierre Dumas Jewel Wedge Slip On Slides Sandals size 8,Aerosoles Womans Size 7.5 Bronze Gold Wedge Shoes T Strap Sandals,CLARKS BLACK LEATHER WEDGE SLING BACKS WITH BOXAnne Klein Sport Womens Quen Green Striped Sport Sandals Shoes 6.5 6 BHFO 1383,Naturalizer Natural Soul Women's Hartier Nickle Wedge Sandals Size 6REPORT WOMENS WHITE WEDGE SIZE 7 SHOES -New,Man/Woman Teva Pajaro Flip Flop - Men's Rich design Settlement Price cheap price,H&M WOMEN’S WEDGE SANDALS - SIZE 7 (),Kenneth Cole Shoes Sandy-Y Beach Fashion Men Black NewTrimsole Hombre Marrón Peep Toe sin Cordones Gimnasio Fitness Sandalias Nuevas,hombre DOWN TO EARTH Toe Mensaje Mula LABEL A0043,Man's/Woman's Nice Aldo Blue Wedge Sandals Online Shopping real Contrary to the same paragraph,New Womens Diamante Summer Mules Ladies Flat Sandals Slip On Flip Flops Beach UK,Teva women's 10 green sandals toe loop ring flip flops shoes,Gentleman/Lady Ladies Spot On F10123 Label High Heel Platform Summer Sandals excellent quality high quality negotiation WG1995,Ladies Karen Scott coral heel slide on sandals size 7M,NEW VINTAGE Beautiful Leather Shoes Size 6 b/aa By JOYCE CALIFORNIA,AU Women Cross Straps Sandals Gladiator Thong Ankle Buckle Strap Bandage ShoesMens Reef Leather Fanning Low Brown Toe Post Flip Flops Sandals UK Size,Birkenstock Zürich schwarz Black-Black 2-Riemen-Sandale Unisex Weite normal,Adidas Men's Adilette Slides / Sandal Shoe NEW Navy Red or BlackVera Bradley Havana Rose flip flops Medium 7/8 NWOT,NEW Mens Canvas BEACH/Summer Slip on Shoe UK SellerMen/Women Trenery White Summer Sandals 40 economic New design Sales online store,Man/Woman Ladies Volatile Sandals Size USA 6 Reliable quality Preferred material Elegant and robust menu,
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?
New with box: A brand-new, unused, and unworn item (including handmade items) in the original packaging (such as ... Read moreabout the condition
|Style:||Slides||US Shoe Size (Men's):||12|
|Width:||Medium (D, M)|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Gentlemen/Ladies Ladies Spot On Casual Mid Wedge Sandal Guarantee quality and quantity new buy online VR2215,Mens Jack & Jones Print Flip Flops In Blue- Sponge-Rubber Footbed- Rubber Strap-,Brand New!! Nurture Cantrell Perforated Leather Slip-On Espadrilles Black 7.5.,Feelgoodz Classicz Pillow Soft Comfort Size 12 Sandals mens,New Womens Ladies Strappy Ankle Mid Heel Office Work Wedding Party Shoes Size,B.O.C by Born Metallic Gold Flower Top Slip On Heel Sandals Women’s 8 M,Crystal Rhinestone Cross Strap Gladiator Low Wedge Black Sandals Back ZipperNICE Ladies Brighton Pink Tatum Slides Sandals Shoes Heels Sandals 9 1/2N,Mens Boys Surf IAMS Flip Flops Navy Grey summer mules slip on toe post,F2 Sandalen Schlappen mit Klettverschluss Gr. 36 - 37 ++neu++ AngebotLands' End Womens Size 9 Sandals Fisherman Slingback Open Toe Ankle Strap 495778Qupid Athena Camel Leopard Velvet Flat Sandals Womens Size 7 Buckle Closure,High Heel Wedge Sandals 7.5 Beige Cute Stylish Casual Peep Toes Women's Shoes,Roxy Women's ARJL100404 Flip Flops Size 6 MLT,Elle Wedge 4.5 Heel Sandal Floral Sz 9 Med,Man's/Woman's Ladies High Stitched Heel Mule Sandals Spot On Consumer first At a lower price Shopping promotion VR1217,TRU FIT Flip Flops Black with Green Trim Size 7-8 Men NEW,Olukai Ohana Dark Java/Ray Comfort Flip Flop Men's sizes 8-18 NIB!!!,J. Crew brown leather slides vintage size 9,Womens Summer Sandals Ankle Strap Flip-flops Comfort Causal Buckle Top Moda NEW,Blue Casual Blink Rhinestone Cute T-Strap Slingback Flats Women Sandals ShoesWOMEN'S ST.JOHNS BAY ZIKE SLIDE ON SANDALS MULTIPLE SIZES NEW IN BOX MSRP$50.00,BRAND NEW Gentle Souls 'IMRI' Leather Sandals, in Sun and Mango. Made in Italy.Man's/Woman's Womens Ladies Flat Studded Perspex Clear Sliders Summers Sandals Flip Flops Size Crazy price In short supply Human border BG2698,Gentleman/Lady mens sandals size 42 Many styles Environmentally friendly Popular tide shoes,Sandalen Pantoletten Sommerschuhe Slipper 2018 Sandaletten Rose Schwarz Glitzer,ANN TAYLOR LOFT WOMENS BROWN CANVAS EMBROIDERED ANKLE STRAP SHOES SANDELS ~SZ 8,Yuu Josaire Black Braided Strappy Comfort Walking Sandals Shoes Women's Size 8,"Tula" powder blue sliders Nice sz. 39 US8,BETSEY JOHNSON LADIES BLACK 2 1/4" HEELS SZ 9M PRE-OWNED,
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.