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?
Clarks Line Out Mens Black Leather Slip On Shoes,Mr/Ms Ladies Navy leather pump, Online Shopping Skilled manufacturing Different styles and stylesJOHNSTON & MURPHY BLACK LEATHER UPPER MADE IN USA SIZE 11.5,Clarks brown heeled womens loafer,size 9M. Very lightly worn.,Gentleman/Lady Mens Base London Formal Leather Shoes Bugsy MTO wholesale excellent Different styles GR1449,Great Condition, Women Shoes Size 5 Black,HUSH PUPPIES Women's NAVY BLUE Leather Elastic Ballet Flats Slip On Shoes 7M US,LADIES TAMARIS RELAX WHITE LEATHER LOAFERS 42 SUMMER COMFY SHOES,Womens Ankle Strap Sexy Open Toe Sandals High Block Heels Party Shoes Size 5-9.5,SIZE 7 Women's Blue Alligator (faux) Leather Loafer Shoes W/Non Slip Soles,Uomo Clarks Batcombe Hall Scarpe Formali Stringate,Next Ladies Grey Leopard Print Velvet Platform Peep Toe High Heel Shoes,DEBENHAMS BROWN FAUX SUEDE WEDGE SHOES SIZE 5 EU WIDE FIT NEWMissguided Patent Cut Out Court Heel Shoe Size 5,Women Platform Thong Wedge Sandals Fashion Heel Slip-Ons Flip Flops Shoes (8),Paul Parkman Green Genuine Crocodile & Calfskin Captoe Oxfords (IDGRN)Ladies Flat Slip On Sandals Womens Diamante Flowers Sling Back Open Toe ShoesJohnston Murphy Loafers Shoes Sz 10.5 M Brown Leather Tassels EUC YGI D7-18,Mezlan Men's Marcet Slip-On Loafer, - Choose SZ/Color,ITALIC mens shoes sz. 13 leather lining brown slip ons,London Rebel Size 7 Black And White Wedge,Charles by Charles David Black Leather Cutout 2-1/2" Low Heels Pumps size 8M A8,Gentleman/Lady Womens nine west shoes size 9 Online Shopping New design negotiationNext Size 7 Jeweled Black High Heel SandalsGentleman/Lady New Look Shoes quality Clearance Reliable reputation,Black Peep Toe Sandals Cross Strap Womens 4.25” Stiletto Heels Dressy Size 6,Thomas Blunt BAXTER hombre Zapatos sin cierresINDUSTRIE SUEDE BROGUE SHOES MENS SIZE 43,Men's/Women's Stringata Wally Walker Reasonable price Orders are welcome Very practical,CLARKS SUPREME FLEXIBILITY MAN SHOES SIZE,
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
|Upper Material:||Snakeskin||Shoe Size:||UK 5|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Man/Woman Mens Thomas Blunt Moccasin Shoes Amos-W Many styles Sales Italy Known for its beautiful quality,Womens Slip On Shoes Ballet Ladies Glitter Bow Ballerina Flat Pumps Size 3-8,Naturalizer Women's Size 7.5 M Shoes Brown Suede Leather Mule Wedges 11724200Naturalizer Womens Shoes Brown Leather Embellished design Open Toe 4"Size7.5REDUCED Marks and spencer nude sandals suede size 5 tie at back thin heels,Skechers Go Walk 4 Incredible Mens Formal All Black Lightweight Work Loafers New,Gentleman/Lady Mens Bugatti 311-25202 Formal Shoes Clearance price Win highly appreciated have fun,Man's/Woman's Tommy Hilfiger Classic Suede Mens Midnight Navy Suede Boat Shoes Easy to use new At an affordable price AG1819,SALE LADIES F9586 SLIP ON SIDE ELASTIC GUSSET THICK SOLE LOAFERS SHOES SPOT ON,Womens leather Etienne Aigner “Denise" size 6M, US dress pump.,Moda In Pelle Brown SlingBack Wedge Size 3 Buckle,Ladies Size 4 Black Leopard Print Wedge Heel Rip Strap Biker Style Ankle BootGeoffrey Beene Williamsburg Brown Leather Sneaker Smart Casual Size 8 AU,Men's Stacy Adams Sanborn Navy Perforated Design Oxford Dress ShoeLADIES FLIP FLOPS SIZE 37,Man/Woman CHATHAM MULES SIZE 7 service comfortability Valuable boutique,Gentlemen/Ladies guess shoes quality buy Cheap order,AUTOGRAPH SUEDE HIGH HEEL SHOES SIZE IN GOOD CONDITION,Derby shoes BARTOLLINI All Leather Black T 42 Mint,mens shoes CESARE MAURIZI 9 () elegant grey leather BX519-43,Mens Anatomic & Co Formal Shoes Tapaua,Tom's Women's Classic Canvas Slip-on Casual Shoes. Pick your Size & ColorHillard & Hanson Sandals 6.5 M Women Black Slide Shoe HeelsViolet & Red Angel Black Leather Pumps Women Size 10,Man's/Woman's Ladies tan heels size 6 Crazy price, Birmingham Attractive fashion leading the fashion,Mens Clarks Slip On Shoes Label Aze Night ~ N,Corrente 3454 Sparkling Slip-on Derby, Men's Dress Formal Leather Shoes, Blue,Man/Woman 'Mens Clarks' Formal Shoes - Aze Day Moderate price discount price Export RG1180,Women's NEW Gray Leather BATA Button and Strap Comfort Flats sz 37EU, 6.5-7USMen's/Women's Mixx Shuz Snake Heels Size 7 Moderate price Price reduction unique,
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.