Category Archives: Science and Technology

Can Irrigation Technology Address Water Scarcity? (Podcast and Infographic)

GAO keeps a close eye on the latest technologies, but today we’re looking at a truly ancient one: irrigated agriculture. Despite dating back at least 5,000 years, irrigation technology continues to improve. Micro irrigation, for example, applies water close to … Continue reading

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On National STEM Day, Combatting Sexual Harassment in STEM Research

Research in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) plays a critical role in enhancing the nation’s competitiveness. Here on the WatchBlog, we’ve explored the federal government’s role in supporting STEM education, diversifying the pipeline of STEM talent, and increasing women’s … Continue reading

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Our Innovation Lab: Building a Sandbox for Audit Tech

As our world becomes increasingly digitized, being able to quickly make sense of patterns, correlations, and behaviors from huge amounts of data is vital. This is especially true for federal agencies and the audit community. As Taka Ariga, GAO’s first … Continue reading

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Preparing for Evolving Cybersecurity Threats Facing the U.S. Electric Grid

Electricity is essential for modern life. In addition to our modern home conveniences, like our microwaves, computers, and lighting, electricity is vital to hospitals, first responders, and financial services in our country. So, what would happen if our electric grid … Continue reading

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Our New “Science & Tech Spotlights”

GAO has launched a new line of science and tech quick reads, 2-pagers providing brief overviews of key topics in the field. To complement our more in-depth evaluations and assessments, these “Science & Tech Spotlights” summarize emerging innovations and the … Continue reading

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How Chernobyl Jump-Started the Global Nuclear Safety Regime

Have you been catching up on all the Emmy-nominated shows before the big event next Sunday, September 22? With the HBO miniseries “Chernobyl” nominated for 19 Emmy awards this year, we took the opportunity to look back at some of … Continue reading

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Artificial Intelligence: Still a Long Way from Judgment Day

The 1991 sci-fi film Terminator 2 predicted that artificial intelligence (AI) software known as Skynet would become self-aware on August 29, 1997, and rapidly take over the world. Today, even as we celebrate avoiding such an extreme outcome for 22 … Continue reading

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Trucking Shifts into the Future

Will there come a day when the big rig in the lane next to you doesn’t have a driver? Trucks that have some automated features—or that even drive themselves—are on the horizon, and they have the potential to improve efficiency … Continue reading

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Federal Government Contracting for Fiscal Year 2018 (infographic)

With tax season over, now is a good time to look at how the government uses your tax dollars. About 40% of the government’s discretionary spending goes to contracts for goods and services covering everything from health care to hand … Continue reading

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Building Capacity in Science & Technology

Here’s some news that’s generating excitement among the nerds here at GAO. (Which, if we’re being honest, is most of us.) Our new science and technology team officially has a plan to rapidly expand the rigorous, nonpartisan analysis it provides … Continue reading

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