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?
KENNETH COLE REACTION HIP HOP Women Mary Jane Size 7M Brown Wedge Heels,OFFERTA Base London 'ZAFFERANO' NERO LUCIDO DA INFILARE punta arrotondataASOS TAN LEATHER BROGUES SZ 8 BNIBGentleman/Lady Mens Malvern Brogue Shoes Style - A2100 - D Elegant shape delicate Explosive good goods WV121,NINE WEST Argent Slingback Open Toe Heels Gold Faux Snake Skin Size 7 M,Jessica Simpson Womens Shoes Size 7.5B Black Leather Slingbacks Heels Peep ToeLadies Blue Topshop Sandles UK size L,Cole Haan womens slingbacks heels shoes 8.5 B black leatherJohnston Murphy Men's 11.5 M Black Sheepskin Leather Penny Loafers 15-1091,Gentleman/Lady Mens Loake Evolution Smart Brogues Bailey Consumer first At a lower price At an affordable priceSOFFT WHITE PATENT LEATHER HEEL WEDGE ANKLE STRAP SANDAL Women Shoes Size 8 M,Giorgio Brutini Mens Dress Shoes 10.5 D Black/ White Spectators Leather Oxfords,WOMENS LADIES WEDGE JELLY SANDALS LOW HEEL FLIP FLOPS DIAMANTE TOE POST SIZEWOMEN'S CELESTE " NICHOLAS 21 " GLITTER RHINESTONE HIGH HEEL SIZE 5 1/2,Hombre CLARKS huckley Spring Cuero Negro Zapatos Elegantes Con Cordones,Men/Women Mens Loake Formal Brogue Shoes 201B Clever and practical Latest styles Very practical,Rebecca Minkoff Womens Rachel Gray Ballet Flats Shoes 8 Medium (B,M) BHFO 3244,Valenti Franco Womens Shoes $55 Plated Slide Black Satin Evening Slide 7 MPierre Dumas Flexibles DARLENE 1 Womens Black Classic Pumps Shoes Size 6.5 M,Men's Ben Sherman Radius Brown Leather ShoesGentleman/Lady Men's Lambretta Formal Shoe Label-Joey High-quality auction have fun,Uomo Clarks 'APPENDERE Spring' Scarpe con lacci stile ~ KCALIENTE MENS BLACK LEATHER SHOES SZ. 9,ROCKPORT KINETIC AIR CIRCULATOR GENUINE LEATHER SZ 9.5 BURGUNDY IN PRISTINE COND,Rose Gold Sparkly Sequinned Ballet Flats From New Look, Size 4,Man's/Woman's Bordello shoes Comfortable feeling Let our products go to the world various kinds,Allen Edmonds mens shoes brown Cody sz 9 1/2,Ladies Pointed Toe Ballerina Buckle Slip On Court New Women Shoes UK Size 3-8Man's/Woman's Charlotte Russe Women Heels Size 8-9 Every item described is available Skilled manufacturing Preferred boutique,Clarks Brown Leather Slip-On Mule Clog Women's Size 7.5 1M2,
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?
|Condition:||Pre-owned : |
An item that has been used or worn previously. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections.See all condition definitions- opens in a new window or tab
|Seller Notes:||“Pre-Owned Condition: No damage or defect”|
|Country/Region of Manufacture:||Italy||Features:||Slip Resistant|
|Style:||Loafers & Slip Ons||US Shoe Size (Men's):||10|
|Width:||Medium (D, M)||Brand:|
Johnston & Murphy
Does not apply
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Mens Maverick Square Toe Slip On Formal Shoes A1110 - D,Men's 11 D Cole Haan Leather Loafers Tassel Shoes In Dark Burgundy,Men/Women Mens PSL Formal Slip On Shoes, LE054B Moderate price Quality and quantity guaranteed Fashion versatile shoes VG1106Black White Striped Basic Ballet Flats Shoes Knot on top NWT Women's Size 11,Man's/Woman's Xhilaration black heels size 8 EUC fashion Highly praised and appreciated by the consumer audience have funGentlemen/Ladies black platform heels size 6 Beautiful design Modern design professional design,little misres peep toe shoe boot size 41 brand new with box RRP.00,Brand New Call It Spring Mens Brown Dress Shoes / Casual Shoes (Size 12),Originale British Navy pelle Bianca Parata/Scarpe Eleganti da Donna/Uomo SelNew Look Black Chunky Espradilles Size 5 NewJutti Indian Leather Flip-Flops Women Shoes Khussa Ballet Flat Mojari US 6.5,Gentleman/Lady Lauren Lorraine Shoes Champagne Satin Platform fashion Bright colors Characteristics,Kaleidoscope Patent Black High Heeled Shoes Size 6,BX506 CESARE MAURIZI schuhe braun leder herren elegante,mens shoes CESARE MAURIZI 10 () elegant brown leather BX525-44,Swift Step Clarks Hombre Cuero Casual Elegante Muy Ancho Zapatos sin Cierres,Men's/Women's Ballerine Asos nuove n. 39 Packaging diversity a wide range of products Reliable reputation,Naughty Monkey Women US 7.5 Wedge SandalMootsies Tootsies Women Shoes Size 8.0 Loafers Moccasin Tan Leather,Black Barely There Heels Size 3 Simmi,Gentleman/Lady Mens Padders Formal Shoes Style- Aston Louis, elaborate product quality renewed on timeAllen Edmonds "CAMBRIDGE" SHELL CORDOVAN Oxfords 9 D Black (560)Man/Woman Mens Maverick Flat Synthetic Buckle Strap Shoes Fine workmanship Comfortable touch Authentic guarantee WW93,Mr/Ms Ladies Spot On Flat Weaved Ballerina Practical and economical stable quality cheaperSteven By Steve Madden Leather Black High Heel Pump Size 10Vince Camuto Heels Sz 10 Gladiator StyleSOLE SENSEABILITY JAYME WOMEN'S STRAPPY OPEN TOE HEELS IN White SIZE 9.5M EUCAllen Edmonds “MCALLISTER" Oxfords Wingtip Brogues | Burgundy/Oxblood | 11.5 BZAPATOS DE HOMBRE CLÁSICA ANTONY MORATO MMFW00769 AZUL PRECIO PVP,Gentlemen/Ladies Mens Grenson Slip On Moccasins The Style - Amos 9626 Every item described is available modern Breathable shoes BR3078,
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.