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?
Gentlemen/Ladies Mens Northwest Territory Toe Post Sandals Fiji Various goods High-quality materials have fun AR726,Soludos Hombres Sandalen Braun Groesse 10 US /44 EU,Man's/Woman's 'Mens Clarks' Hook & Loop Fastening Sandals - Brixby Shore Crazy price Win highly appreciated Complete specifications HG3328,TECNICA Womens Hiking Boots GORE TEX Light Impact Gray Purple Leather Sz 7.5Mens Brown Silent Night Slip On Newton & Ridley Coronation Street Slipper Mules,Cushioned Memory Foam Mule CREAM Slippers House Shoes Womens (W2),BNWT Mens Sz EURO 44 US 11 Rivers Doghouse Brand Navy Camo Clog Sandals ShoesReef Fanning Low Mens Footwear Sandals - Olive All Sizes,Crocs Classic Blitzen III Adult's Black Warm Lined Clog Mule Style Slippers New,Nuevo My Little Pony Arco Iris Redonda Mujer S M L 5/6-7/8-9/10 Pantuflas Bota,Vintage DIBA TRUE Black Leather Platform Mod Go Go Mid Calf Heel Boots 7.5,LADIES WOMENS BROWN BEIGE SOFT LUXURY FAUX FUR LINING MULE SIZES 3 4 5 6 7 8,Gentlemen/Ladies mujer Padders Zapatillas LABEL teddy-w Elegant shape high quality Modern and elegant,Charter Club Red Slippers Size XL 11-12 Memory Foam Womens slippers Red Plaid,Men's/Women's TENDER tootsies mujer cruzado Pantuflas-204999 High-quality Quality and quantity guaranteed Very good classification,Calvin Klein EQUESTRIAN Boots Rumer Black Riding Boots Leather Size 7.5 MPrada knee high boot 37.5 black patent leather,Men's/Women's Ladies Comfort Pink Slipper Shoes 2011 Quality products Clearance Cost-effective,Merrell All Out Blaze Sieve Convertible Sport Sandals, Men's Sz 10, Black,NEW MEN REEF ROVER TECHNOLOGY COMFORT SANDAL FLIP FLOP BROWN AUTHENTIC RF0022951 pr of purple hand knit ladies slippers. chunky with a bow fits 1 size,Uomo Clarks open toe magnetico casual sandali estivi modello - ESPLORATE parti,Man's/Woman's Mens Padders Slippers Style Lewis-W High grade luxurious various kindsCLARKS COLLECTION 'Soft Cushion' Women's Brown ANKLE BOOTS size 7.5 WZapatillas De Hombres Zuecos Piel Suela Interior Zapatos De Las sandaliasDansko Women's Ankle Boots Comfort Leather Elastic Band Nappa Black Size 38,NEW Dr. Scholl's Men's JUSTIN Slipper, Memory Foam Brown Microfiber, 9 M US NIB,02-2181 Frye Women's Tamara Shearling OTK Size 7.5,DOLCE VITA Engrid Knee High buckled harness Western Boots US 7.5 Well MaintainedMENS MOZAX LEATHER HOOK & LOOP STRAP SANDAL IN BROWN & BLACK STYLE - B-207814
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 used condition”|
|UK Shoe Size (Women's):||UK 5.5|
|Country/Region of Manufacture:||Mexico||Features:||Slip-On|
|Style:||Motorcycle Boots||EUR Shoe Size (Women's):||EUR 38|
|Boot Shaft Height:||Mid-Calf||Color:|
|Calf Width:||7 in||Calf Circumference:||14 in|
|US Shoe Size (Women's):||US 7.5||Occasion:||Casual|
|Heel Height:||Med (1 3/4 in. to 2 3/4 in.)||Brand:|
|Material:||Leather||Toe Type:||Square Toe|
|Width:||Medium (B, M)||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?
Scarpa Adidas 3MC - Classic Core Nero-Footwear Bianco,Corral Boots Vintage Western Leather Multi-Color Butterfly Size 7.5M,Harley Davidson Black Leather Boots Ladies Sz 7 Side Zip Side Buckle,Paul Green Nate Booties - Women's Size 7 - Black,femmes Spot On Pantoufles doublure fausse fourrure LE STYLE - daim véritable,Sleepers Velour Cat Motif Cuff Mule Indoor/Outdoor Quality Slippers,Flip-flops Frieden Love Techno, Flip Flop Dj, Musik Tanz, Hausschuhe MeerUomo Padders MEMORY FOAM Pantofole CALZATA LARGA - Baxter,TEVA ARTIST SERIES SIZE / MEN WOMEN OUTDOOR BEACH GREY PINK TRIBAL,Enzo Logana Brand Soft Black Leather Boots Size 37Gentleman/Lady Womens LILIANA Platform Boots, Size 7 superior Sufficient supply Sales online store,Gentleman/Lady Clarks Size 7 Black Booties Women's Special price luxurious Exquisite (processing) processing,Mujer Spot On Calidad sin Cordones Estampado de Flores Zapatillas,Donna Jyoti a ciabatta pantofole Muriel to7m773-1,Rainbow Mens Sierra Brown Leather Flip Flops Sandals Single Layer Size 11,Man/Woman Mens Clarks slippers 'King Twin' Excellent craft Let our goods go to the world Vintage tide shoes,Rockport Sandals Fisherman Ankle Strap Open Toe Brown Leather Mens Shoes Size 12,Valentino Garavani Black Suede "Rockstud" Ankle Boots SZ 38,Nine & Company Womens Black Leather Knee high Boot Shoe - Size 7.5MWomens 7.5 Stuart Weitzman Fabric Watershed Ankle Boots Brown Side Zip Rain,Ladies LAURIE four seasons mule slippers Retail price .99,Man's/Woman's Woolrich Women's Whitecap Slipper New market Affordable Immediate delivery,adidas Cloud Foam Adilette CF+ Summer Men's Sandals - Select Size & Colour,CHIEDO Donne Retro DC Comics eroi Casa Ladies Scarpe Pantofole TGL 34-41 NUOVO,Nike Men's Size 9 Black Benassi Slip On Slider Comfort Shoes F1-409,Mr/Ms Mens Balmoral Riptape Boot Slippers VB-K4299 Label ~ K Quality queen Optimal price Diversified new design WV3504,HUNTER Original Exploded Logo Snow Boot Black Size 7 -$265,BCBGirls Boots heel Cowboy Western Bronze Gold Brown Embellished Leather 7.5Dr Keller ladies adjustable slippers. Purple size 3. Dr Agnes,Ladies Padders Wide Fit Cat Design Slipper Mules Tabby,
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.