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?
Gentleman/Lady womens shoes size 9 Fine workmanship Sales Italy Comfortable and natural,Womens Jelly Shoes Festival Beach Buckle Diamante Bow Gladiator Sandals,HERREN CLARKS KLASSISCH LEDER SCHNÜRSCHUHE FORMELL INTELLIGENTE BÜROARBEIT,LOVELY LADIES FAUX BLACK SUEDE BEADED BALLERINA’S SIZE 6 BY GEOEGE WORN ONCESTUART WEITZMAN Black Satin Heels, Classic Style, 7 1/2 MUomo Base London formale in pelle con Lacci Scarpe brogue - Noel Hi Shine,SALE Base London 'Charles' Gents Black Leather Full Brogue Wingtip Oxford Shoes,Gentleman/Lady Men's Clarks Formal Shoes Label - Forbes Over Outstanding features First grade in its class Known for its beautiful quality BN1425,Mooties Tooties Black Sling Back High Hell Sandals Women's Size 8 1/2,Iron Fist Rainbow zebra pumps heels open toe platform animal print sz size 6 UKAJ Valencia Bijou Women's Dress Flat Shoes Sz 8.5 M Beige,Man/Woman Fun, summer Wedges!!!! The color is very eye-catching Win the praise of customers At an affordable price,Men's/Women's Mens Route21 DAVID Twin Gusset Casual Smart Leisure Shoes Brown Grain PU Beautiful color First grade in its class Fashion versatile shoes GV836,NEW Giorgio Armani Men's Brown Penny Suede Leather Fashion Loafers Shoes CasualMr/Ms bullboxer ballerina 38, grün, graugrün The color is very eye-catching Brand renewed on time,lands end slip on shoe size 6,NWT! CHCOLATE BROWN LEATHER PEEP TOE HEELS SZ: 8 1/2-255,Allen Edmonds "PARK AVENUE" SHELL CORDOVAN Oxfords 11.5 D Black (389),Gentleman/Lady Men's Clarks Formal Shoes Bilton Step online sale buy Good qualityClarks Bendables Buckle Strap Mules Clogs Heels Brown Leather Shoes Womens 8.5,Sperry Top Siders Shoes Navy Blue Size Womens 5 1/2,Gentlemen/Ladies aldo shoes women size 5 Excellent craft stable quality comfortableMen's/Women's next ballerina shoes size 6 Online Shopping Stylish and charming Speed refund,Black wedges size 6 Leather Look Studded Peep Toe Sling backs Wood Effect Summer,Gentleman/Lady BARGAIN! Mens Paco Lui Lau Shoes Size 10 COMFORTABLE SLIP ONS WITH SILKY UPPERS wholesale low cost Various latest designs VH232Ladies New Black Leather Nubuck Stilettos with Gold Stud Detail,Man/Woman Boden Red/Pink Striped Canvas Shoes 41 Various styles Carefully selected materials Recommended today,Gentlemen/Ladies Ballerinas 39 Fine processing Sales Italy Seasonal hot sale,Nurture Shoes Mary Jane Womens Size 9 M Leather Button Cap Toe Pump BrownLadies Girls Black Flat Ballet Pumps Size 3 Eur 36,
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
|Width:||Medium (B, M)||US Shoe Size (Women's):||US 6|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Men's/Women's Men's Clarks Shoes Style - Chart Limit High quality and cheap Win the praise of customers Good quality VW3013,Gentlemen/Ladies Ladies dr Martin's shoes Selling First batch of customers Very good classificationNine West Purple Suede Platform Pump Size 10,GLITTERATII LEOPARD HIGH HEELED PLATFORMS SIZE 6,Betsey Johnson womens strappy slingback open toe heels shoes 8 M fabric,Red Tape Männer Leeson Also Classic 4 Eyelet Flügelkappe Brogue Gibson Leder,Gentleman/Lady Bambooa Men's Phoeinx Leather Shoes Not so expensive Trendy Outstanding function,Shoe City hipster brown size 5 brogues flat shoes fringe Portugal,Man/Woman Ladies pumps size 5 use Fine art Maintenance capability,Audrey Brooke Raspberry Suede Platform Croc Look 4.5" Heels Pumps size 8M O2Ladies shoes size 4 Pink & White,Hombre Etiqueta 1 Negro Estilo Formal Sin Cordones Piel graneado Zapatos 801,New Bacco Bucci Krystal 7 D black (4623),Anatomic & Co Tapajos Formal Zapatos de Cuero,RE Mishelle Roma yellow crocodile pattern flat loafer sz 39 US designer,Womens Sperry High Heels Size 6 1/2,Lauren Ralph Lauren Brown Leather Cross Strap High Heels Career Woman's 8.5 BGentleman/Lady roland Cartier gold Brylie shoes Beautiful design Orders are welcome At an affordable price,Mens Lambretta Plain Toe Weave Pattern Smart Shoes The Style 21102,Man's/Woman's Nettleton Vintage Alligator Crocodile Loafers 9.5d for you to choose New in stock Excellent stretchingMen/Women MENS EX BHS LEATHER TWIN GUSSET SLIP ON SHOES BNIB RRP .99 Clearance price product quality cheap price VV727,Man/Woman Trotter Black Leather Slip-On Lily Reasonable price a wide range of products Global sales,Fioni Black Suede Look Round Toe Heels Pumps Shoes Womans sz 7.5FOREVER 21 Sexy Black Strap gold Buckle Stiletto Open Toe Heels Sz 7M,M&S black leather court shoe size 7.5ALLEN EDMONDS Corporate Casuals Black Leather Oxfords US Size 10C Men's Shoes,Man/Woman Mens Barker Brogue Style Shoes 'Albert' Crazy price, Birmingham Used in durability Tide shoes list,Gentleman/Lady Mens Thomas Blunt Slip On Smart Shoes Swindon 2 Wear resistant Online Different goods WG2192,Gentlemen/Ladies Black Clarks Slip On Brogues Queensland Modern design best sellerRalph Lauren 8 B M Black Croc Leather Adelina Open Toe Pumps,
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.