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?
Jessica Simpson Womens Razella 2 Silver Dress Sandals 8.5 Medium (B,M) BHFO 6586,Gentleman/Lady Womens Ladies Beach Flat Jelly Ankle Strap Summer Peeptoe Sandals Shoes Sizes Comfortable feeling Known for its good quality A balance between toughness and hardness WG793,Fioni Womens Size 6.5 M Wedge Sandals Ankle Strap Brown ShoesMen's/Women's Roxy Logo Ladies Flip Flops Special purchase First grade in its class Outstanding styleAeropostale Flip-Flops Sandals Women's Size 8 Raspberry,NEW Mens ESPADRILLE Canvas Navy/Black/Khaki/Grey/Black Flat Pumps 7 8 9 10 11 12,Gentleman/Lady New Women Sandals Shoes Thong T Strap Flat Toe Rhinestone High-quality Sales Italy Elegant and robust menu HR375,Mens Light weight dark brown rubber summer sandals,MERRELL brown leather slip on sandals size 7,Mens M 9 / 10 Womens 11 Flip Flops Mizzou New w/ TagsBirkenstock Men’s Size 44 11US Brown Arizona Slide On Leather Sandals Suede,Ladies 36322 Toe Post Wedge Heel Sandal By Jade Eze Comfort .99Skechers 50639 Clidro-Clucked Flip Flops Mens Navy Blue Size 12The Original Surfer Joe Thongs / Flip Flops 100% AuthenticCIABATTE GOMMA SANDALI HELLO KITTY ROSA n 31,Sanuk Unisex Sidewalker FlipFlops Grey Size 9 NewNine West Crisscross Straps Platform Wedge SandalHombre CLARKS Informal Sandalias Con Correas ONU Trek COVEPatrica Green Athena Sandals -- Size 8 -- new - NR,NWT GRENDHA WOMEN'S FLAT RED PRINT ACAI THONG SANDAL SIZES: 7,8, & 9,Refresh BYPASS-01 Women's Ankle Strap Slingback Espadrille Wedge Casual Sandals,Made in Italy REGATTA Black Leather Slide Sandals - Size 38,WOMEN'S ST.JOHNS BAY URIEL SLIDE SANDALS MULTIPLE COLORS / SIZES NEW IN BOX,Gentlemen/Ladies US 5-9 PUNJABI JUTTI INDIAN SHOES FLAT FLOP FLOP KHUSSA SHOES JAIPURI MOJARI Beautiful color high quality Easy life GV3226,Jasmin Sandals Size 7 Slingbacks Gray Studded Peek A Boo Vegan LeatherCHARLES BY CHARLES DAVID, NORSTROM, ORANGE STRAP SANDALS, SZ 37,Mr/Ms LADIES WOMENS BNIB GOLD CHAIN DETAIL GLADIATOR SUMMER SANDALS - SIZES 3 - 8 We have won praise from our customers. Let our products go to the world Seasonal promotion VG2148Marks and Spencer wider fit Tan wedge slingback sandals size 7Madden Girl Directt Womens Size 10M Tan, Heel Strappy Sandals.,New American Rag Women’s Akeira White T-Strap Sandals 5.5M,
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):||8|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Men/Women New Womens Ladies Flat Studded Thong Toe Post Sandals Summer Casual Flip Flops Crazy price, Birmingham Low price Good quality NR141,THAI HANDMADE FOOTWEAR SUMMER BEACH RELAX NATURAL SHOE JAPAN SANDAL FLIP-FLOPJOE N JOYCE London waxed nappa Soft-footbed - Brown - Mules,Dex Flex Sandal Size 7.5M Women's Black Fabric Cork Wedge Peep Toe Shoe,CHAPS Women's KAYLEN Flip Flop Sandals Shoes HOT PINK Size 7 1/2B,Man/Woman Womens teva flip flops size 9 Clever and practical New products in 2018 Caramel, gentleGuess Rosalie Womens Black Leather Sz 7.5 Vamp Goth Punk,THE TOUCH OF NINA Metallic Wedges Toe Post Sandals Beaded Size Summer,Gentleman/Lady Ladies Down To Earth Buckle Up Sandals Beautiful color Settlement Price negotiation NH1602,NEW HAWAIIAN TROPIC MENS LARGE NAVY PINK DISCO DESIGN FLIP FLOPS 11 1/4"X 4",APOSTROPHE ~ Off White Leather Strappy Slide Sandals Sz 8.5M *VERY GOOD COND.,Cole Haan Air G Series Size 7.5 AA Slides Black Leather Wedge Sandals Womens,Coconuts Leather Beaded Low Wedge Ankle Strap Women's Sandals Sz 9,Women's Dr. Scholl's Daytime Quarter Strap Sandals Navy Sizes 7,8,9,10,11,Havaianas Slim Paisage Womens Flip Flops Beach Sandals Shoes New for Summer 0121Ivanka Trump Womens Kiffie Block Heel Strappy Dress Sandals Shoes BHFO 0846,Gentlemen/Ladies Bayton Frauen Zephyr Offener Zeh leger Sandalen mit Keilabsatz main category a good reputation in the world cheap price GN3054,Crocs Porta Cellulare O Porta Oggetti per Bambina,Ladies Womens Flat Wedge Espadrille Sandals Crossover Strap Platform Shoes Size,Yellow Box Womens Knit Black Thong Sandals Shoes 9 Medium (B,M) BHFO 1132,St John's Bay Women's Sandals Size 8 M Zane Comfort Black Crossover Straps,Gentleman/Lady Naturalizer size 9.5 m Reasonable price Highly praised and appreciated by the consumer audience a wide variety of goodsMen's/Women's patrizia shoes size 40 Many varieties New style fine,Gentlemen/Ladies Womens COMFY Faux Fur Trim Rubber Slider Flats Shoes Slides Slippers Sandals for you to choose Ranked first in its class a lot of varieties VB557,NEW Men's Casual Slip On Sandal Lightweight Rubber Shoe Black Navy Size 7 to 13,Havaianas Grey Brasil Mix Logo Flip Flops,Women's Buckle Glitter Flat Gladiator Sandal Thong Beach Flip Flops Slingbacks,Tommy Hilfiger Patent Leather Strappy Sandal Size 6.5,Hot Tuna Clog Size 3 4 5 6 7 8 NEW Womens Sandals Shower Flip Flops Black Pink,LADIES FAUX SUEDE STRAPPY WEDGE SANDALS STUD DETAIL BEIGE SIZE 3-8,
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.