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?
Crocs Crocband Unisex Clogs CrosLite Tennis Ball Green/Ocean Green,Men's/Women's Womens Crocs Shoes Size 10 Brown/blue Quality products Has a long reputation Authentic guarantee,New Womens Sets Of Toe Sandals Wedge Shoes Low Heels HOPE-09,Hotflops Football Flip Flops Beach Sandals Thongs slip on Size 6-7 adults,EASY B BLACK LEATHER SANDALS Size UK8 Made in Portugal (Aus 10.5) NWOTWOMENS SUMMER PARTY BOW SANDALS LADIES BEACH HOLIDAY BOW EVENING SHOES SIZE 3-8,HOMMES CROCS Crosstrail SABOTS Le Style~ K,R32 MENS SURF TROPICAL DESIGN PATTERN FLIP FLOP POOL BEACH HOLIDAY SANDALS 7-12,Bakers Women's Black Patent Leather Gold Studded Heels Sandals - Size 7 VGUCNEW WOMENS LADIES REAL LEATHER FLAT SUMMER FLIP FLOPS MULES SANDALS SHOES SIZE 3,NINE WEST Beige Canvas Brown Leather Buckle Slip On Slide Sandal Cork Heel 7.5,Ladies Womens Peep Toe Summer Sandals Beach Slingback Strappy New Shoes SizeMEN Beach Flip Flop Sandals Soft Comfortable Beach Gym Pool "GUM"-(323 ),s. Woman 9 AMERICAN EAGLE Tan Stone Close Toe Slip On Buckle Leather Sandals,Men's/Women's Wave Zone Adjustable Sandals. Men's 12 Ideal gift for all occasions real Human border,Man's/Woman's sandals women main category Quality and quantity guaranteed Speed refund,Roamers Cuir Super Rembourrés Confort 3 Fermeture Scratch Sandales Été Marron,chanclas chanclas Zonkepai Sunset ii Negro brasil negro 12937 - Nuevo,Red Stripe Beer Flip Flops New Euro Sz 45 US 11.5 Jamaica Jamaican Summer Beach,Gentleman/Lady American eagle women sandals Attractive and durable New design Exquisite workmanship,Anessia Two Part Espadrilles Sandal's Studded Detail NH088 AA 05,Sandales compensées corail - Stradivarius - Taille 39New Womens Indigo Rd Harris Canvas Wedge Heel Sandal Style 284 Navy 183F pr,Gentlemen/Ladies *SALE* Spot On F10145 Ladies Navy Synthetic 1.5" Wedge Heel Casual Sandals High quality and low overhead The latest technology Different styles and styles HB1043,Womens Teal Franco Sarto Slide Sandals Size 8.5M Flower Leather 2.5" Heel (box22,Elegante schwarze Zehenstegsandalette mit Rose und Strass , 3 Suisses,Shoes Dockers Ladies Black Sandals With Wedge Heel Size 8M UsedNEW Yoki Women's Silver Metallic Sandals Floral Gemstone Flip Flops Size 8.5,Quiksilver Quicksilver Flip Flops Sandals Shoes Mens 6 Womens 8 Black w/ Logo,Gentlemen/Ladies Ladies Summer Shoes Womens Espadrilles Trainers Diamante Slip On Sandals Loafers elegant Primary quality The first batch of customers' comprehensive specifications WW781,
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
|US Shoe Size (Men's):||12|
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 LADIES WOMENS GOLD LOW WEDGE HEEL JEWELLED PADDED COMFY SANDALS SHOES SIZE 3 Online Shopping Medium cost Fair price BB2679,Brand New Size 7 Reef Smoothy Flip Flops,RIEKER Riemchen T-Steg Sandale 38 Leder braun TIP TOP /30,Express Blue Slide Sandal Silver Studs 38 Made In Italy,Cato Black Wedge Heels Womens Size 9 M,Cole Haan Womens Open Toe SlingBack Buckle Leather Gold Heels S andals Sz 8.5,Merrell Sundial Spin Black Leather Toe Loop Sandals Women's Size 6,Mr/Ms Ladies Wedge Sandals Womens Heels New Fancy Summer Dress Party Beach Shoes Size Long-term reputation Quality First Immediate delivery AV148,BNWT Mens Size 9 Grey Black Stripe Thongs Flip Flop Sandals Beach Casual Shoes,Havaianas Top Mix Unisex Flips Rubber Coralnew Red,Gentleman/Lady Womens Sandals *Size 8 use Good market Strong heat and heat resistance,DESIGUAL TOE POST FLIP FLOPS SIZE 39 - 6 BNWT,Margaritaville Women's Sandal Bird Sole Shoes 9 3/4" L 4" W Size 7.5 ?,Clarks Unstructured White Leather Slingback Sandals Slides Shoes Sz 5.5 M,NEW Womens Pink Flower Print Platform Wedge Sandals Size 5.5,Gentleman/Lady New Womens flip flops Decorated with Tropical franchipani flowers. Size 7/8 uk bargain the most economical Diversified new design HW1581BNWT Mens Sz EURO 42 US 9 Rivers Doghouse Brand Blue Clog Sandals Shoes,Lindsay Phillips Kim Switch Flops White Spots on Mocha Beige Straps Medium,Vera Bradley Flip Flops COLOR CHOICE- MEDIUM (7-8) NIP,Born brown Leather Flip Flop Sandals Size 39/8 (s11),ANNA NWT Black/Gold Metallic Trim T-Strap Flip-Flop Sandals Shoes sz 6.5,Ladies Leather Sandals Womens Strappy Gladiator Walking Summer Beach Shoes SizeSteve Madden Womens Isabella Pink Flat Sandals Shoes 6 Medium (B,M) BHFO 7377,Man's/Woman's African leather Masai Hand crafted beaded Sandals. Size US 6- 13 in stock Exquisite (middle) workmanship Online Fashion dynamic GR3025Men's Blue Thongs Grey Straps + No Blow Outs + Interchangeable StrapsMan/Woman Very Volatile Women's Milan Fisherman Sandal Reliable quality King of quantity Global sales,Madden Girl Women's Summerrr Toe Ring Sandal Gold Paris Size 8.5 M US Summer,Rialto Gita Gladiator Sandals ‑Women's Size 7M Black Shoe repairPinocchio Sandals Size 6/6.5 Black Leather Excellent ConditionArrezo Black Beaded T-Strap Sandal Size 9 Women's,
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.