January 19, 2017

Farewell, President Obama.

Posted by Timia Crisp

President Barack Obama poses for a selfie with Bill Nye, left, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson in the Blue Room prior to the White House Student Film Festival, Feb. 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

After eight years, it’s time to say “farewell” to President Barack Obama. As we witness the peaceful exchange of power, we will surely contemplate the new opportunities before us as we begin engaging a new Administration with new priorities. However, it’s also a time for reflection; a time to look back on President Obama’s time in office.

There is one aspect of President Obama’s legacy in particular that has distinguished his Administration – his passion for science. From the beginning of his tenure in the White House, President Obama has indicated his intent on restoring science to its “rightful place”. He has continued to be vocal about his support of science, even saying, “Science and technology helped make America the greatest country on Earth. Whether it’s setting foot on the moon, developing a vaccine for polio, inventing the Internet, or building the world’s strongest military, we’ve relied on innovative scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians to help us tackle the toughest challenges of our time.”

Over the course of his two terms in office, President Obama has worked to do just that – touting a number (100, to be exact) of accomplishments in science, technology, and innovation. From White House Science fairs to his leadership on Earth observations, ocean policy, and climate change to his appointment of science advisors to the creation of new science advisory posts, President Obama has done much to ensure that science is recognized as an essential part of this nation’s success.

While President Obama hasn’t been free from criticism, his work to engage with the scientific community and support scientific research cannot be understated. As we watch President Obama leave the White House one final time, we are hopeful that science remains.  Here at AGU, we appreciate the Obama Administration’s important leadership in science, technology, and innovation and will continue to engage the next Administration to inform them of the value of our nation’s scientific enterprise.

One final time, take a moment to watch some of President Obama’s nerdiest moments.