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?
Hombre Bruno Donnari Negro/Marrón Zapatos Con Cordones nn907Loake Seam Stitched Premium Men's Shoe 5 Eye Black Polished Ankle Boot 1314B,Gentleman/Lady Clarks wedges size 6 Reasonable price Fine art Good quality,Marc Fisher Valma Brown Peep Toe Platform Cork Heels Size 10,BCBG Women's Black Strappy Heels Patent Leather Ankle Buckle Women size 7.5,Clarks Swinley Step Formal Mens Leather Shoes RRPAttilio Giusti Leombruni AGL MISMATCH Womens 38.5 39 NEW Flats Shoes Italy ch,Mens Thomas Blunt Formal Leather Smart Shoes 'Detroit' The Style ~ K,Florsheim Black Cap Toe Leather Oxford Dress Shoes Men's 8 MGentlemen/Ladies Loake Zapatos Formales para Hombre 200B High quality and low overhead Comfortable touch Exquisite workmanship,Men's/Women's Pod Mens Slip On Shoe - Durham Black High-quality excellent Fair price AG1870,Rouge Helium Black & White Women's Canvas Sneakers Size 7.5 NewMENS ANATOMIC & CO. SMART BLACK LEATHER SLIP ON SHOE STYLE - BARBOSAGentleman/Lady MENS CLARKS SHOES 'BAFFIX STEP' quality cheapest List of explosions,Topshop Slipper Shoe Pumps Ballet Flats Black Size 2.5,Sofft Brown Leather Open Toe Heels Sandals Size 9 M BucklesNine West Black Jewewled Peep Toe 3" Heels Women's 9.5,Ladies flat shoes size 5.5 (M&S footglove)Pink canvas court shoes with white chunky block heel,Maybury Colton Mens Slip On Flexible Two Tone Penny Loafer Driving Moccasins NewPADDERS MENS SOLAR RIPTAPE STRAP SMART WIDE FIT LEATHER FORMAL CASUAL SHOES,Cole Haan Brown Leather Men's Dress Shoe Split Apron Toe Size 11 M,Mens Fashion Shoes Roamers Brogue Gibson Leather/Textile ShoesLOAKE '771b' UOMO INTELLIGENTE/formale Scarpe in pelle con lacci,Hush Puppies SEBASTIAN DETALLE EN LOS BORDES Zapatos Azul Marino,Venta ahora Mujer Spot On Sintético Zapatos sin Cierres F9586,Ralph Lauren 8 B M Black Croc Leather Adelina Open Toe Pumps,Gentlemen/Ladies Next Black Heels Size 5.5 Long-term reputation Primary quality Beautiful and charming,Womens Franco Sarto Size 6.5 M Black Shoes Booties Heels Slip On,Clarks Artisan Smart/Formal Woven Textile Court Shoes Grey 4UK,
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 (D, M)||US Shoe Size (Men's):||8.5|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Uomo Clarks Scarpe con lacci modello - Ampio ATTO,Allen Edmonds "CAVANAUGH" Loafers 9 E Black (550)Gentlemen/Ladies Scarpe stringate Made in Italia IGINO Marrone Modern technology Won highly appreciated and widely trusted at home and abroad Fine wild VW1175,Man's/Woman's Ladies Spot On 'Loafer' Reasonable price luxurious Famous store,Born Women's Leather Clogs Size 7 Casual ShoesStudio Gabriella Rocha Simmone Black LE Size 6.5 Stiletto Heels Women's Shoes,LifeStride Slate Brown Leather Brogue Layered Cap Toe Slip On Gore Heels Sz 6.5STACY ADAMS "HILLMAN" 24199-03 MENS SADDLE TAN LEATHER SLIP-ON LOAFERS SIZE 9.5M,Allen Edmonds "BOULDER" Driving Mocs 12 E Natural/Brown (559),Gentleman/Lady Natazzi Mens Suede Leather Shoe Kimo Slip-On Driving Moccasin Moderate price Sufficient supply Pick up at the boutique WA2545Muk Luks Sandy Women's slip on shoes size 8 new with out box,AEROSOLES SZ 7.5 M BLACK LEATHER OPEN TOE WEDGE HEEL DRESS SHOES,Office London Shoes High Heels Snakeskin Print Platform Size 39 6 Brown Ladies,BX224 J. BREITLIN schuhe schwarz leder herren elegante,COLE HAAN Mens Loafers 10.5B Brown Distressed 2-Tone Leather India Moc-Toe 11391,Man's/Woman's Mens Loake Brogue Shoes Arlington High quality and cheap Win highly appreciated Famous store,Vintage Lot of 2 Pairs of Shoes Italian Shoemakers Size US 8 Shoes,Corso Como Blue Suede Heels 8 Del Medium Classic Pumps Round Toe Made in Brazil,Cato Womens Heels Size 8 Tan Color,New Ladies New Look Leather Shoes Size,Men's Clarks Smart Shoes The Style - Huckley Roll,Edward Green for Wildsmith Co Unlined Brown Tan Mens Calf Leather Loafers -,Man/Woman Redfoot Men’s Leather Black Edenfield Brogue Shoe Reputation first Quality First Fashion versatile shoes HG774,New!! Bongo Women's Dani Black/Multicolored Slip-On Shoe A66,Sofft black leather open toe mid heels size 10 B,Natural Soul by Naturalizer Black Leather Cajan Slip on Shoes Size 6M,Silver Bronze Shoes UK4 EVANS Metallic Peep Toe Small Platform High Heels SB126,Brand new mens clarks shoes PENTON LIMIT CHESTNUT COMBI size 7.5 uk fit G,Gentlemen/Ladies Mens Loake Smart Formal Shoes Fontwell Easy to clean surface the most economical Exquisite (processing) processing,Gentleman/Lady Mens Loake Formal Shoes Fitting G Label - 202 New varieties are launched Has a long reputation Superb craftsmanship HH2909
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.