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 johnston &murphy 10 Adequate supply and timely delivery Carefully selected materials best seller,Gentleman/Lady Mens Clarks Shoes Label Handle Cap ~ N Ideal gift for all occasions luxurious Exquisite (processing) processing BW1529,Bostonian Classic Business Black Leather Cap Toe Oxfords 9.5D/B made in USA!,Women's Wesley & Co. Brown Genuine Suede Clogs Size 8.5M 3" Cuban HeelsGentlemen/Ladies Memory Foam White Dress Shoes, Dexter selling price real Known for its excellent quality,Man's/Woman's Aldo Dorothea Monkstrap Gold Shoe Reasonable price auction VariousChocolat Blu Tara Moccasin Flat Black Women's Shoes -- Size 7 -- Gently Used,WOMENS LADIES WEDDING CUT OUT ANKLE CUFF HIGH HEEL SANDALS SHOES SIZE 3-8,NEW – Aldo Tan Square toed pumps - Size 40,Naturalizer Womens Shoes Brown Leather Embellished design Open Toe 4"Size7.5,Uomo Base London Scarpe eleganti stile - INDENT MTO,NIB $650 CANALI 1934 Medium Brown Calf Leather Cap Toe Balmoral US 9 D Shoes,Gentlemen/Ladies Mens Thomas Blunt Leather Moccasins 'Watford' Beautiful color product quality fine,New Mens Cavani Suede Dessert Boot Casual Shoes Navy Brown Grey Beige,Ralph Lauren Polo Black Leather Slaton Cap Toe Oxfords New $475,FASHION LIFE STYLE WHITE SHOES. SIZE 4 / 36 EUR,Ladies Denim Look Diesel Pumps Size 3,Uomo Anatomic & CO 'TUCANO' Lacci scarpe formale ~ Knude satin Leopard Print high platform Shoes size 7, Betsey Johnson Faith, new,Loake Seam Stitched Premium Men's Shoe 3 Eye Downing Brown Suede,Nunn Bush Size 11.5 M Leather Loafers Slip On Dress Shoes Reddish Brown,Venta Ahora Mujer Spot On Tira Central Sintético Hebilla Zapatos en azul -Womens Xhilaration Black Peep Toe Pumps Size 7,Steve Madden Womens P-Renee Classic Stiletto Platform Pump Shoes, Black, US 10,Unlisted Kenneth Cole Womens 9 Heels Ankle Boots Black Faux Suede Button DetailHombre Clarks Elegante Zapatos Oxford con Cordones Gráfica Limite,Mens Maverick Black Leather Formal Brogue Shoes A2132Alfani New Binddi Gray Womens Shoes Size 7 M Heels MSRP $89.99,OKA B Black Slingback Jelly Flat w/ Beaded Detail SZ 9,Man's/Woman's Clarks Mens Formal Shoes 'Glement Over' wholesale Moderate cost Famous store
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?
New without box: A brand-new, unused, and unworn item (including handmade items) that is not in original packaging or ... Read moreabout the condition
|US Shoe Size (Women's):||8|
PS: You also put heavy emphasis on developing innovation and entrepreneurship. How do you make Silicon Valley happen all over the country?
Man's/Woman's Mens Smart Heel Slip On Shoes Office Wedding Work Formal Party Dress Suit Size economic Let our products go to the world Fine wild BV36SPERRY TOP SIDER Pink & Brown Plaid Boat Shoes Women's Size 12 M ~ EUC,Jessica Simpson Womens Suede Stiletto Pump Heels Size 10B,NINE WEST Black Pump High Heel Women's Size 6.5 M Stiletto LeatherWHITE HOUSE BLACK MARKET WEDGE SHOES SIZE 7 Kenzie Black W/ Silver & Pearl BeadsNunn Bush Lincoln Loafer - Men's Size 10.5W BlackGentleman/Lady Mens Barker Moccasin Styled Shoes Jack New varieties are launched International choice Very good classificationGentlemen/Ladies Hombre Loake PULIDO Zapatos de vestir de cuero 771b bargain Highly praised and appreciated by the consumer audience Official website VR2225,Women's WALKING CRADLES Classic Black and Patent Leather Slip On Loafers 10.5 B,Ladies white patent sandals with bow 38,Man/Woman Karen Millen Shoes Black Sz 39 High grade Primary quality Elegant and solemn,AEROSOLES Women’s Shoes Platform Wedges Pumps Camel Suede Stitched Sz 7.5,Mens New Grey / Black Fully Composite Non-Metal Safety Trainer Shoe,Tsubo Kody Stormy Waters Leather 1006097-SWTR Men's Oxfords Shoes US 8 D,Womens' Size 7 Dockers Crocodile Mule/driving loafersLadies Spot On Fluorescent Canvas Pumps Style F8853,Womens KELLY & KATIE "Isabel" red patent pump sz 6WSexy Women Ladies Ankle Straps Platform Chunky Stiletto High Heels Sandals ShoesMEN'S CLARKS BLACK LEATHER FORMAL SLIP ON SHOES ACRE OUT,Man's/Woman's FERRATO MEN'S SHOES Easy to use the most economical Extreme speed logisticsMan's/Woman's Mens Clarks Formal Shoes Kalden Cap Clever and practical Affordable Very good colorNew Women Crystal Bow tie Pointy Tote Flats Soft Ballet Shoes Big Size US 4-13,Soft Style by Hush Puppies Aubrey Women's Heels Black Patent Shoes Size 7 M,size 7.5 American Rag Felix Black Heel Pump Womens Shoes,M&S Nude Court Heels 6.5 BRAND NEW Ankle Strap PointyNOVA CLUB DESSUS CUIR men's Genuine Leather Shoes Penny Loafers Black size 8,MEN'S SHOE CLASSICAL ANTONY MORATO MMFW00769 BLUE PRICE LIST PRICEMan/Woman London Brogues Lincoln Derby Mens Leather Brogue Shoes ALL SIZES AND COLOURS durable New style Different styles and styles BG2009,calypso st barths turquoise tie dye sisal platform sandals shoes 9,Kenneth Cole Reaction highheel sparkle heels NEW,
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.