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/Women Scarpa State Hudson Nero-Bianco-Rosso Scamosciato selling price Online Amoy,Bare Traps Laurel Taupe Brown Suede Fur Ankle Boot 7.5 MLADIES MEMORY FOAM INSOLE SLIPPERS SIZE 4,J-41 Mens Groove II 2 Shoes Water-Ready Sandals Closed Toe Outdoors Black 11.5,Gentleman/Lady Mens William Lamb Mule, Slippers Attractive and durable The highest quality material Superb craftsmanship,Mujer Spot On Calidad Zapatillas estampado de flores Zapatillas LABEL LS20,Gentleman/Lady Rag & Bone Booties Size 7 Moderate price High quality and economy Fair pricefemmes Jyoti chaud confortable noeud bout rond Mocassin d'intérieur,Dolce and Gabanna Black Knee High Boots Euro Size 40/US 7.5,La Mariée Équipe Mariage Pantoufles Enterrement Vie Jeune Fille AccessoiresDaniblack Women Size 7M Brown Leather High Heels Pumps Mid Calf Casual Boots-378,Gentleman/Lady CLARKS Marsha Rose Ladies Slipper Crazy price, Birmingham Pleasant appearance Exquisite workmanship,Womens White Mountain Tan Fuzzy Warm Pull On Boots Size 7.5 MediumBORELLI BLACK ZIPPER BOOTS WOMENS SIZE 7 M,Man's/Woman's Mens Draper Moccasin Slippers Style Michael-W sell Upper material General product,Frye Janis Brown Leather Ankle Boots Heel Bootie Size 7 M - MSRP $345Roberto Cavalli Canvas/Brocade Swarovski Spur Golden Knee Boots/Gold Leather int,Man/Woman Naturalizer Weather Boots 7.5N Black Long-term reputation special function Different styles and styles,Man/Woman Scarpa Osiris Protocol Nero-Grigio-Work Online Shopping discount Elegant and solemn,TX-20 KEEN Uneek unique dahlia mauve / warm olive 1013886 SIZE 7,Lucky Brand Basel Bootie - Women's Size 7.5M - Brown,Caldo Nero Pantofole Di Pelle Pecora Lana Comodo Size3 4 5 6 7 8 Donna,Mens Gents Slippers Shoes by Coolers Sizes 7,8,9,10,11,12 COMFORTABLE QUALITY UK,Women Sz 8FRYE Leather Dark Brown Veronica Slouch Cowboy Buckle Western Boots,KoziKicks Active Lifestyle Men's Slippers, 1 Pair,Mens Boys Luxury Warm Slip On Mule Slippers Hard Wearing Sole Leather Look Size,snugrugs Mujer / Lana Forro / Piel De Oveja Zapatos Sin Talón / Zapatillas,Man's/Woman's Adidas Adilette Chanclas Azul Blanco Innovative design fashionable classic stylePedro Boregaard Black Suede Fe Low Heel Ankle Boots SZ 38Da Donna Rosa Blu Duvet Anatre Stivaletti Caldo Interno Regalo Novità Comodo,
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:||“Good condition, minor scuffing on toes toes and heels (see photos)”|
|Style:||Slouch Boots||Occasion:||Casual, Dress|
|Boot Shaft Height:||Mid-Calf||Brand:|
|Heel Height:||High (3 in. and Up)||Toe Type:||Round Toe|
|US Shoe Size (Women's):||US 7.5||Heel Type:||Cone|
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?
MS22 Uomo Spot On Casa Doppio Rinforzo SLIP punta arrotondata qualità pantofolaAnn Taylor Marissa Zipper Cutout Shoetie Pale Camel (Nude) Size 7.5M, 4" Heel,Cole Haan Brown Leather Snip Toe Cowboy Boots Size 7 B Style F2025Womens Ladies Mule Slippers / Warm Lined Blue Knitted Slip On Zedzzz 4 to 8Ladies Leather Slippers Warmed*EU HAND MADE PRODUCT*size 3,Man/Woman Donna DB Pantofole primula-w Various goods Known for its good quality Extreme speed logistics,Olukai Ohana Mens Sandals Flip Flop - 2018 - Choose Size And Color,Mens Ladies Genuine Soft Leather Moccasin Slipper Fabric Cotton Hard Sole,Man's/Woman's Birkenstock Arizona Birko-Flor Soft-Fußbett Male Sandals Birko-Flor Dessert Soil sell Environmentally friendly A balance between toughness and hardness RV433,Skechers Australia Women's Boots Size 7 Black Suede Uppers Faux Shearling Inside,Gentleman/Lady htc womens boots Year-end special promotions Trendy Brand feast,New Women/Juniors Star Bay House Slippers Brown Size M 7,Hausschuhe Größe 37 Pantoffeln Hüttenschuhe Puschen Wildleder Größe 37 neu,Men's/Women's Pantoffeln Hausschuhe LAMB FUR SLIPPER 35215 Various styles Let our products go to the world Simple,Men's Jordan Hydro 7 Sandal AA2517 023Mr/Ms Unisex Crocs Beach Shoes Fuse Vent Special purchase Orders are welcome King of the crowdGentlemen/Ladies NEW SCHOLL ORTHAHEEL WAVE II MENS COMFORT ORTHOTIC THONGS WITH SUPPORT Economical and practical Carefully selected materials Highly appreciated and widely trusted in and out RW1020,Western Cowboy Womens Boots Sz 7.5 Two-Toned Brown Tan Genuine Leather Pull-OnVIA SPIGA Women Ankle Boots Size US 7.5M Brown Animal Print Leather Pointy Toe,ETAM SLIPPERS WOMAN SIZE 36 LAGOON SNEAKER BLUE SPOTTED WHITE,Man's/Woman's Sleepers Ladies Multicoloured Tilly Bootee Slippers Various styles New style Very good colorBeige 40/41 EU Ofoot Pantofole Donna, 40/41 Scarpe 6934108201141 (4su),Gentleman/Lady hommes Padders style mocassin Pantoufles 'MARINO' Innovative design luxurious classic styleNEW REEF FANNING FLIP FLOP SANDAL MENS 8-14 ALL COLORS BOTTLE OPENER FREE SHIP,Man's/Woman's Mens William Lamb 'Donald' Slippers The Style ~ K Moderate price Brand Beautiful and charming HB1612,Vaneli Women's Brown Suede Zip Up Pointed Toe Wedge Ankle Booties US Size 7.5 M,Patagonia Womens Attlee Tie Boots Size 7.5 Waterproof Gray,femmes Vrai Cuir Suédé Mocassin " rose ",Ladies Sandpiper Bootee Style Slippers - Iola,Josef Seibel Max Zapatos Zuecos Mulas Mocasines Zapatillas Brasil 10663-11-340,
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.