President Barack Obama is the biggest nerd ever.
Not only is he the first sitting US president in history to publish an academic paper, but the dude also absolutely loves science fiction.
Remember that time he had Stormtroopers in the White House?
The president further confirmed he's the nerd-in-chief in a recent essay called "Now Is the Greatest Time to Be Alive" for Wired.
I know it's the height of election season, and I happen to have a day job that keeps me pretty busy. But given the chance to immerse myself in the possibility of interplanetary travel or join a deep-dive conversation on artificial intelligence, I'm going to say yes. I love this stuff. Always have. It's why my favorite movie of last year was The Martian. Of course, I'm predisposed to love any movie where Americans defy the odds and inspire the world. But what really grabbed me about the film is that it shows how humans — through our ingenuity, our commitment to fact and reason, and ultimately our faith in each other — can science the heck out of just about any problem.
Oh, and did you know he counts "Star Trek" as one of his greatest influences?
That's right. The most powerful man in the world considers himself a "Trekkie."
I'm a guy who grew up watching Star Trek — and I'd be lying if I said that show didn't have at least some small influence on my worldview. What I loved about it was its optimism, the fundamental belief at its core that the people on this planet, for all our varied backgrounds and outward differences, could come together to build a better tomorrow. I still believe that.
Yep. The president of the United States is a fundamental optimist and champion of diversity – in part – because he spent his youth nerding it out, parked in front of the TV watching Captain Kirk do his thing.
None of this should come as much of a surprise, particularly if you've seen the president's reactions to children's science projects.
Once a nerd, always a nerd. But there ain't nothing wrong with that.