Bob Barrett

Host/Producer, The Best Of Our Knowledge

Bob has been a part of the WAMC family since 2001.  He currently produces and hosts National Production's The Best Of Our Knowledge.  Over the years, Bob has produced The Environment Show and The Health Show for National Productions and hosted weekend mornings on WAMC for a decade. He is currently a reporter and on air host at WUWF Public Radio at the University of West Florida in Pensacola. 

Ways to Connect

The Best of Our Knowledge host Bob Barrett chats with Ira Flatow
Michael Spooneybarger / CREO

Back in the early 1970s, a new network called National Public Radio hired a young producer out of college who had two special interests: baseball and science. And since the network didn’t plan on doing much sports coverage, he finally got on the air with that other topic.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, I sit down with Ira Flatow, the person who founded NPR’s Science Unit and the host of the weekly public radio program Science Friday.

We’ll also spend an academic minute with the millions of cells in your body that don’t really belong to your body…your microbiome.

So how should we tackle the subject of autism, as a health or medical issue or as an education issue? You could make an argument for either. April is Autism Awareness Month…and we’re going to look at it as something people live with. And there are stories about all of those lives.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to the President and CEO of the Hospital for Special Care in Connecticut about their program called “Spectrum of Kindness”, which hopes to tell as many of those stores as possible.

Dr. James Krupa
Orion Magazine

It always strikes us as a little odd when someone talks about either believing or not believing in evolution. While we understand the theological arguments, and trust me we’re not getting into one today, the current scientific evidence shows evolution to be a fact, not a belief system. But still, about half the population of the US says they don’t believe that…and an article last year in Orion Magazine points to school systems as being the number one culprit.

Over the years we’ve heard about the importance of reading to our children from a very young age. Now, there’s research to show that just talking to children from the moment of birth can help their brains develop…and the number of words is extremely important.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll learn about the 30 Million Words Initiative, and how poverty may be affecting the way some parents speak to their children.

More schools around the country are emphasizing STEM education to help students get a head start in a world that is rapidly becoming more technology driven. But with all that science and math…is there any room for creativity?

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about a group where imagination is the key to the destination.

Then we’ll hear about some nursing students who are helping new refugees in the US navigate the health care system…and we’ll also spend an academic minute with Baby Boomers who are having a little too much fun.

Space is hot. Yes, I do in fact know that outer space is icy cold… but here on planet earth, shows about the planets and exploration of the universe are turning some astrophysicists into rock stars. Well now there’s one who would rather be a star in interpretive dance. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to an astrophysicist who is putting together a multimedia presentation that’s out of this world.

Then we’ll hear about a unique program in Massachusetts that is helping high school students get a good start to the day.

University of West Florida

American needs more nurses…it’s one of the most in demand professions in the US today and it doesn’t look like the demand is going to go down anytime soon. So how much education do today’s nurses need…and has that changed over the past decade or so. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to the Dean of the College of Health at a Florida university and find out her diagnosis on the state of nursing education.

We’ll also spend an academic minute staying healthy by keeping a nice house.

WUWF Radio

Bob  was kind of tempted to start today’s program with a rhyme, but decided he's not that talented or hokey. Poetry, the real stuff not anything he could come up with, is everywhere…if you know where to look.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll meet Jeff Newberry, an English Professor and Poet in Residence at an agricultural college in Georgia who is also a published poet that turned his love of his home along the Gulf Coast into verse.

Science has given us a way to have our individual genomes sequenced, opening up a vault of information about our genetic makeup and possibly our future health. But if information is generated…there will be people trying to get a hold of it.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, just how private are your genetic building blocks?

Next we’ll go from science to history and find out about a newly discovered letter that may shed light on the presidential election of 1876.

A couple of weeks ago we ran a segment talking about a new report on the state of charter schools in the US. The report was released by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and though it was factual it certainly highlighted the advantages of charters. I’ve been asked to give an opposing view and realized we already had.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, my talk with former US Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch, who calls the privatization movement a Reign of Error.

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