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

Do you remember the movie "Mean Girls"? The screenplay to the 2004 film was written by Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star Tina Fey, who also had a role in the film. The movie was a worldwide hit and remains almost a cult favorite 10 years later. But did you know it was based on a non-fiction book called "Queenbees and Wannabees"?

In 2012, the New York Times Magazine published a detailed story about the sexual abuse of students at the Horace Mann School, an upscale private college preparatory school in the Bronx. As you might expect, the story got a lot of attention…but has prompted very little change.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to the author of that article who has expanded the story into a new book called “Great Is The Truth:  Secrecy, Scandal, and the Quest for Justice at the Horace Mann School” .

From technology and test scores to Common Core, curriculums and teaching techniques are changing all over the country. And a lot of different sources are weighing in on what those changes should look like. But are the students getting enough input in the process…and should they?

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about the question of student voice in the education system.

We’ll also meet a young man from the UK who says he’s addicted to selfies. And we’ll spend an academic minute with onomatopoeia.

Is solving a university level math problem your idea of fun? Then have I got a book for you. A professor from Oxford University in the UK has complied over 100 of these problems for people who love a good math puzzle.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, a look at Professor Povey’s Perplexing Problems.

We’ll also listen in on a public session on Common Core in Northern New York State, and spend an academic minute building a better bridge.

Cornell University via Facebook

There’s a group at Cornell University called the Cornell Alliance for Science, and they are holding a special event this month featuring global leaders talking about food insecurity and the challenges of farmers in countries around the world. But one of the major topics has some people in the US questioning the efforts. The topic: Genetically Modified Organisms.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear the pros and cons of GMOs in the developing world.

GED Testing Service

A group of major employers in the US have gotten together to provide their employees with a free path to further their education. And we’re not talking about technical education or masters degrees.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll learn about GED Works…and new program to help employees finally get their GED..

We’ll also hear how many school districts in New York State are looking to opt out of new teacher evaluation standards, find out about enriching the education of young people in paradise…and spend an academic minute studying the sturdiest part of a turtle.

Unfortunately, sexual assaults on college campuses are not unusual. This year, a new law took effect hoping to make students safer. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear if the Campus Save Act is making a difference in a state with a high assault rate.

We’ll also travel to Portugal and hear how art is helping students build self-esteem, find out how teachers can avoid cyber traps waiting for them on line, and spend an academic minute figuring out just how Mexican your favorite Mexican restaurant is.

Anyone who enjoys trivia probably knows that Humphry Bogart never actually says “Play it again, Sam” in Casablanca, and Captain Kirk never says “Beam me up, Scotty” in Star Trek. But what about these quotes: Cleanliness is next to godliness. God works in mysterious ways. For years many people have assumed these came from the bible. Spoiler alert – they don’t. Or at least they didn’t.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear about the lost book of Hezekiah that finally gives a home to those phantom biblical ditties.

NOAO/AURA/NSF

A while back we had a great discussion about cosmic voids…and how they are everywhere and take up a huge amount of space in the universe. One thing we heard about that day was Dark Energy. Now, scientists from around the country are launching a new project that hopes to expand our understanding just what the heck that is!

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to one of the researchers chosen to participate in the DESI Project.

We’ll also keep it dark by spending an academic minute learning a little more about Dark Matter.

What do you think about when you hear the name Jack London? Probably American heroes and adventure stories. But the author was also a social advocate who championed the poor and railed against income inequality. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear from the author of a new book on Jack London as an adventurer and social warrior.

We’ll also spend an academic minute looking at the influence of violent video games.

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