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?
Men's Shoes JOHNSTON & MURPHY Oxfords Sz 12 M Brown Leather Genuine Sheepskin,Womens Brighton Ilsa Size 7 1/2 Brown Mules Nubuck Wedges Shoes Made in Italy,Saks Fifth Avenue "Aswan" Woman's Chocolate Brown Suede Med Heel Shoes - SZ 8,Audrey Brooke Abbie Green/Black Pumps 8M with box,Men's/Women's Karen Millen Shoes 4.5 use real Complete specifications,Rockport Adiprene Tassel Loafers Mens Burgundy Leather Size 11.5 Shoes-6489,Stuart Weitzman Loafer Pumps Women's 7.5 N Black Suede Square Toe Mid Heel Shoes,Hombre Zapatos de Anatómico Estilo Tapajos The Style,Mens Boys Synthetic Leather Slip Ons Wedding Party Formal Shoes BlackGentlemen/Ladies Verkaufe gebrauchte Graceland Loafer,Größe 42 Easy to clean surface International choice high quality product,Croft & Barrow Shoes Flats White Womens Size 11W Ortholite Kimmy,Vince Camuto Black Pumps Open Toe Gorgeous Size 8 Cuban heel,Red tape heeled sandal white leather size 6Womens Jessica Simpson Pink Heels Size 7.5Gentleman/Lady Xhilaration SHOES WOMEN'S SIZE 8 1/2 Many styles Quality First Seasonal promotion,hombre Grenson Sin Cordones Mocasines Ajuste FX ESTILO - ORLANDO 9648NINE WEST WOMENS SHOES BLACK SATIN PEEP TOE BOW PUMP SIZE 5.5,Charlotte Russe Talai red Platform Open Toe Bow Shoes Women's Heels sz 9,Tom's Women's Classic Canvas Slip-on Casual Shoes. Pick your Size & Color,Gentlemen/Ladies Uomo Anatomic alla moda ROBUSTE STILE Scarpe PALMA Elegant appearance First batch of customers Preferred boutique WV1950,Man's/Woman's Van Dal Ballet Shoe Size 5 Clever and practical Price reduction Outstanding functionMan's/Woman's Fatface Shoes the most convenient online shop retail price,Lipsy Platform Shoes Pink With Silver Studs Size 5 Worn Once,Loake 'Sussex' Hombre Zapatos De Piel Negros Con Cordones,Man/Woman Mens Malvern Brogue Shoes A2100 - D New varieties are launched Affordable Non-slip GR177Uomo Clarks Scarpe Con Lacci Label Hoist Cap ~ N,Men/Women chelsea boots Consumer first Brand Speed refundM&S Black white peep toe chunky heel sandals winter Comfy slip on,Men's/Women's Houndstooth Ballet Pumps Cheap Good market Brand feast,Nine West "Ratical" Women’s 5 1/2M Black Suede Peeptoe Hidden Platform Sandals.,
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:||“Gently used, Please see photos for condition”|
|Style:||Ballet Flats||Shoe Size:||US 5/UK 3/EU 35.5|
|Heel Height:||Flat (0 to 1/2 in.)||Features:||Bows|
|US Shoe Size (Women's):||5||Color:|
|Pattern:||Solid||Toe Type:||Round Toe|
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?
UOMO GRENSON con lacci pelle nera calzata G Eleganti formali Scarpe templemeads,Estate RAGAZZA Sandali Moda Fiocco Bambini Suola Piatta Pricness Scarpe Basse,Kelly & Katie Red Patent Strappy Slingback High Heel Shoe Women's Sz 8M,Women's MOOTSIES TOOTSIES sandals shoes Open Toe Black Slip On Sz 9 M,MONSOON LADIES CHOCOLATE BROWN SUEDE SLINGBACK WEDGE SHOES ❤️,Cole Haan Jefferson Grand Penny British Tan Size 9 MMan/Woman Mens Clarks Formal Brogues 'Gable Star' Economical and practical online shop Fair price,Gentlemen/Ladies Uomo Clarks Scarpe formali stringate Twinley pizzo Various goods The latest technology Shopping promotion VA2023,Womens Brogue Wing Cap Work Vintage Formal Designer Office Flat Shoes,Dress Barn Slip-on Brown Heels Womens Size 8.5M Shoes,Ladies Womens Ankle Boots Pointed Toe Metallic Stiletto Heels Party Shoes Size,Giani Bernini Size 8M Sweets Pumps Brown Faux Crocodile Round Toe ClassicMen's Samuel Windsor Light Brown Loafers UK Size 12 Good Condition,Clarks Mens Slip On Formal Loafers 'Un Gala Free',Man/Woman ladies canvas shoes size 6 Promotion Fast delivery British temperament,Ladies Next Bnwt Suede Shoes, Size 8/42Audrey Brooke Rumba Pointed Toe Slingback Leather Fabric Heels Women Size 7.5M,Moda En Pelle Gold Flats Size 7 BRAND NEW,Uomo Clarks Scarpe Con Lacci, Pelle Nera, Handle Spring,Mens.size 13 Soft Black leather tie up oxford Portugal brand EDUARDO .G,Scarpe da Uomo da Anatomica Stile Tapajos Modello,Lovely black leather flat flexible cushioned insole Hush Puppies shoes size UK4Women's Life Stride Soft System Pointed Toe Beige Career Heels Shoes Size 7.5,Womens Black Pumps By LIFE STRIDE Size 5.5 Heel 2.5"Ladies Black Faux Suede Slim Heeled Shoes Size 8 from New Look,hommes PSL élégant CHAUSSURES CUIR LE STYLE red01b -W,Man/Woman Mens Grensons Moccasin Shoes 'Watford' Long-term reputation a variety of Highly appreciated and widely trusted in and outMan/Woman Mens Ikon Slip On Moccasin Shoes Argent Quality queen Reliable performance have fun WH1553,Sperry Top Sider Silver Metallic Boat Shoes Women's 6 MLadies shoes size 8 Beige crystals on heel & platform Nino Perfect condition,
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.