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. 

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The Best of Our Knowledge
2:00 am
Wed June 4, 2014

The Best Of Our Knowledge #1237

It's no secret that some of the greatest writers the world has known have also been some of the biggest drinkers. But is there a connection between the remarkable creativity of an Earnest Hemingway or John Cheever and the contents of their favorite bottle?

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we'll from author Olivia Laing who tackles that question in her latest book.

We'll also spend an academic minute trying to find out why some things just make you laugh.

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The Best of Our Knowledge
2:00 am
Wed May 28, 2014

The Best Of Our Knowledge #1236

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan's National Commission on Excellence in Education published a report called "A Nation at Risk - the Imperative for Education Reform", which essentially said the country's schools were failing.

That report started the school reform movement and, according to some educators, began a system designed to punish teachers rather than enrich students.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we'll talk to a school superintendent from Texas who thinks public education in the US is under attack.

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The Best of Our Knowledge
2:00 am
Wed May 21, 2014

The Best Of Our Knowledge #1235

Any real estate agent will tell you, when you look for a place to live...it's location, location, location. We all like to make a home in a nice, livable neighborhood. But what makes a neighborhood livable? Some extremely small organisms can live in some extremely nasty places.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, our Astrobiology series continues with a look at the extreme environments some microbial life calls home.

We'll also spend an academic minute with science fiction that's not quite fiction any more.

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The Best of Our Knowledge
2:00 am
Wed May 14, 2014

The Best Of Our Knowledge #1234

Jim Ziolkowski, founder of buildOn
Credit buildOn.org

We’ve heard many times that the key to getting out of poverty is education.

But schools cost money…something that is in short supply in the most impoverished areas of the world.  That’s a problem that Jim Ziolkowski has spent the last 20 years trying to solve. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear about the beginnings of the non-profit called buildOn that is helping the poorest around the world find education…including here in the US.

We’ll also spend an academic minute trying to find out what a livable wage looks like.

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The Best of Our Knowledge
2:00 am
Wed May 7, 2014

The Best Of Our Knowledge #1233

Recently, the technology company Qualcomm announced a 10 million dollar prize to anyone who can invent a medical tricorder.  That's right, the machine that Dr. McCoy used in Star Trek to diagnose everything from  Rigellian Fever to the Phage. The thing is, doctors are already using hand held technology to do some diagnosis...smart phone.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we'll hear how doctors in Africa are using smart phones to fight disease.

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The Best of Our Knowledge
2:00 am
Wed April 30, 2014

The Best Of Our Knowledge #1232

Usually when we talk about class on this program, it’s one of those things they have in school.  Today, not so much.  Social status , or class isn’t something we really talk about much in the US. OK during election season we hear the term middle class thrown around like crazy, but other than that it’s almost a taboo topic.  But ignoring the issue doesn’t change the issue…class matters. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to the author of a new book about class in the US…and a new study which focused on the class divisions in the activist community.

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The Best of Our Knowledge
2:00 am
Wed April 23, 2014

The Best Of Our Knowledge #1231

We talk a lot about space on this program. We hear from scientists and astro-physicists and researchers…but not from the people who actually go up and do the work. Well, until now.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear a conversation with Captain William Shepherd, the first commander of the international space station about working in space…and the politics of working side by side with Russians.

We'll also hear about school gardens, long distance unicycle ride and spend an academic minute playing with your food.

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The Best of Our Knowledge
2:00 am
Wed April 16, 2014

The Best Of Our Knowledge #1230

Studying the origins of life can have some benefits.  Scientists have been able to search for clues to beginnings of life down to the cellular level. And then they narrowed the search down even further.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, our Astrobiology series continues with a look at the study of our DNA with this molecular biochemistry...and how this study has resulted in some new and unexpected advances in medicine.

We'll also spend an academic minute studying another type of DNA...the building blocks of flowers.

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The Best of Our Knowledge
2:00 am
Wed April 9, 2014

The Best Of Our Knowledge #1229

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have been a part of children’s lives for a long time…and they’re probably not going away anytime soon. But what they say is true…times have changed. Now there’s a new kind of scouting that helps enrich a child’s digital life.

Today on The Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear about D-I-Y dot O-R-G, and how it’s taken the concept of scouting into the new century.

Then we’ll head to Oregon, where teachers using the common core standards are starting with one important skill: language.

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The Best of Our Knowledge
2:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

The Best Of Our Knowledge #1228

Last week we had a great talk about community colleges in the US...and what the future might hold for these institutions and their students. This week, we're going to talk about a fairly large portion of their students, and of the whole population. People who have earned a G.E.D.

Today on The Best Of Our Knowledge, we'll talk about what it means to have a G.E.D., and how getting one may have just become a bit harder.

We'll also spend an Academic Minute talking about the ear wax of whales because why not. 

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