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?
Tignanello Marty Sandals Size 7.5 EUC Green Leather,Indigo by Clark's Women's Tan Leather Wedge Sandal 10MCork Heel,NEW Bellini Trendy Black Gladiator Sandal Size 8.5 M,Bud Light Budweiser Mens Flip Flop Sandals Shoes Size 11 / 13,Nine West Black Platform Wedge Heel Mules/ Sandals - Heartful3 - Size,Gold Sandals New with tag (6) Womens & FREE SHIP,Suave Flexible Comfort Chanclas Flor Mujer Tira Al Dedo Sandalias,Corona Cerveza Mas Fina Flip Flops Shoes Blue/Green/Yellow Size 7/8 M,Megellan Womens Leather River Adjustable Strap Sandles Size 9BZHENZHOU Women's Shoes Summer Woman Sandals Muffin Top Waterproof Button SandalsAdults' CROCS size M 9 / W 11 unisex sandals SELLING FOR CANCER RESEARCH UK,Mens Ford Tough Sandals Flip Flop Ford Motors Men's Sizes Beach Sandals,Man's/Woman's REEF - INFRADITO DONNA - SKINNY RECIFE - REG - RED/GREY - 1509 Year-end special promotions Pleasant appearance Non-slip WB689Mr/Ms Qupid Womens archer Open Toe Casual Slide Sandals Special price Win the praise of customers Seasonal hot sale BR273,BP Women's Wedge Thong Sandal - Black Patent - Sz 7 M,Crocs Sandals Slides Size 6M Blue On Black Excellent Condition,Qupid Women's Clyde-09 Ankle Bootie, Green, Size 6.0,Damiani's Damianis Womens Shoes 6 Black Slip On Leather Open Toe Sandals Italy,WOMEN'S GLADIATOR ROMAN T-STRAP FLAT THONG FASHION SANDALS - ELISE,Man/Woman Mens Crocs Summer Sandals 'Beach' Economical and practical Highly praised and appreciated by the consumer audience Non-slip,ladies Diana Ferrari leather upper low wedge sandal open toe red,Born Concept Womens Gold Leather Sandals Flip Flops Size 7 MMan's/Woman's LADIES WHITE DIAMANTE FLIP FLOP SANDALS MULES SLIDER FLAT SHOES HOLIDAY PUMP 3-8 Economical and practical Won highly appreciated and widely trusted at home and abroad Simple NR2161NWT Men's FLIP FLOPS Old Navy Sandals SIZE 10-11 NAVY BLUE Shoes pool beach,BCBG Max Azria Women Thongs Sandals Size 6M Black Patent Slides x96,Gentleman/Lady Town & Country size service Modern design Vintage tide shoes,Anne Klein iflex Black Leather Slip On Sandal Size 7M Mameili,Betsey Johnson Womens Ivee Fabric Open Toe Casual Ankle Strap Sandals,puma 10174302 Aqua Cat Gr.40 1/2 Unisex Erwachsenen Schwarze Hausschuhe Sport...,CHARLES & KEITH 'SNAKESKIN' SANDAL BLACK/BROWN/GOLD - Size 36 MADE IN MALAYSIA,
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
|Style:||Flip Flops||Shoe Size:||size 6|
|Main Colour:||turquoise and pink|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Frisky Ladies-Rip Line Pink Tie Dye Sandals Size 8,Men's/Women's IKRUSH Womens Emie Embellished T-Bar Wedged Sandal Guarantee quality and quantity a variety of Excellent function HR3244,FERIA espadrilles sandale femme enfant made in france pays basque 45 NEUF,grey blue jewel beaded strap buckle ankle strappy gladiator sandals uk size 4,PLANET SHOES Sz 8 Super Comfy Footbed Strapphy Leather Sandals,Minnetonka Womens Suede Leather Fringe Studded Ankle Strap Sandals Size 6 Brown,Men's/Women's Franco Sarto Sandals Sz 9.5 bargain Fine art Known for its excellent quality,Gentlemen/Ladies WORN ONCE/NEXT/BLACK/FAUX SUEDE/JAZZY PLATFORM/HEELS/SANDALS/SIZE 5 Aesthetic appearance high quality Immediate delivery,Men's/Women's CALEB-10 New Flats Sandals Buckle Gladiator Party Beach Women Shoes Silver 7.5 Consumer first First batch of customers At an affordable price VW710,Men's Gotcha Quest Outdoors Sandals Size 12Mens Inblu NU-07 Dark Brown Twin Strap Comfort Footbed Sandals SizeNew Jessica Simpson Womens Js-Kyndalle Brown Slides Size 6,Aldo Iridescent Sandals GUC with Box Size 6,TORRID Women's Sandals Ivory Canvas Cork Platform Wedge Open Toe Size 6,Abigail Womens Flats Open Toe Diamante Sandals Ladies T Bar Shoes Flip Flops New,Marks and Spencers Collection sandals Fab condition,Man/Woman Ladies Anne Michelle Heeled Sandals The Style - F10549 Crazy price Reliable performance cheap price GA2111,Steve Madden Mens Mastic White Slide Sport Sandals Shoes 10 Medium (D) BHFO 8248,Man's/Woman's ESCARPINS NOIRS, POINTURE 39 High quality and low overhead Win the praise of customers TRUE,OM Women's Champagne Gold/ silver sparkle Accents Sandals Shoes Size 9M,Women Flip Flops Summer Sandals Ladies Beach Flat Shoes Slippers Size US 5-10,Alpine Design Riley Taupe Women’s 7 Open Toe Cross Strap Comfort Sandals,NWOB Aqua Suede MINNETONKA Ankle Strap Wedge Sandals Size 6 and 7,M4DE Women's Size 7.5 M Black Leather Sandals Shoes Excellent,Man's/Woman's BRAND NEW O'NEIL FLIP FLOPS Great variety auction Authentic guaranteeTONG HOMME - Marque MY BEACH SPIRIT - Pointure 46 C. D 09 18WOMENS WEDGE SANDALS REFRESH BRAND SIZE 8 M SUEDE LEATHER TAN BEIGE COLOR ZR3,AU 7 INDIAN TRADITIONAL HANDMADE LEATHER WOMEN SHOES PINK JUTI FLAT FLIP-FLOPS,Men/Women Flojos Women's Luna Flip-Flop sell Beautiful appearance a wide variety of goods,**Dolce Vita Dawn Thong Sandal - Women's Size 10 - Silver
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.