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

College costs money.  A lot of money! And that’s one of the many reason that community colleges are becoming more popular with students.  There are over 12 million students enrolled in community colleges in the US. That’s over 45% of all college students. And over the past decade those numbers have been growing. But are community colleges getting the attention…and the money…they need to serve those students?

Today on The Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about the state of community colleges in the US…and what needs to happen to keep them healthy and growing.

You meet the most interesting people when putting together a radio show. Week after week we get to sit down and chat with remarkable people who have accomplished, well, remarkable things. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we'll look back at a couple who really made an impression.

First we’ll play back our visit with Captain William Shepherd, the first commander of the international space station. Then it’s our chat with a mother and daughter who have written a superhero…where the heroes fight school bullies.

We’ve talked about some pretty important topics this year and as 2014 winds down we’d thought we’d take a couple of weeks and revisit some that really got your attention…and lit up our inbox.

We’ll start with a show from February. Four or five decades ago, a college education wasn't worth that much.  Sure, getting a degree opened a lot of doors and many parents encouraged their children to continue their education...but there were plenty of well paying jobs waiting for people with a high school diploma, or less. Today, that's not nearly the case.

Bob Barrett / WAMC News

43 years ago this month, President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act of 1971, effectively starting the so-called War on Cancer.

The law greatly increased the amount of money earmarked for cancer research and scientific study. So, how’s that war going?

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, a conversation with the chief science officer of the American Cancer Society about the past, present future of cancer research.

We’ll also visit a high school in Niagara Falls that is devoting a lot of time and money into STEM education.

Mayo Clinic dot org

We’ve talked a lot about genetic testing on this program over the past year or so. The amount of data that can come from the human genome seems to be growing by the day.

And there are companies that are using that data to market genetic tests for home use. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear about a test called 23 and Me…and find out why the FDA has banned it from being used as a genetic health screen in the US.

Even with all the innovations and new teaching techniques schools have introduced in the last few decades, the actual school day has looked pretty much the same.  Students go to class, listen to a teacher and take notes, then are off to do homework or study for an exam.  But there is a trend starting to take hold in some schools that reverses that school day. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear about schools that are flipping classes…and how it has succeeded where other innovations have failed.

Moving from one temporary home to another with an occasional stint living in a car isn't exactly the roadmap to academic success. In fact, it makes it almost impossible. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we'll hear the story of a homeless student in Washington State.

We'll also find out that all those times your teacher told you to sit up straight, well it was good advice. And we'll spend an academic minute separating the good exercise from the not so good.

Ever drive down the road and pass one of those historical markers a lot of places erect and wonder what it's all about?

You can do that a lot...and if you stopped at all of them you'd never really get anywhere. Not to worry and, please excuse me for using this way overused line but...there's an app for that. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we'll talk to the people behind Next Exit History, and learn how a stop for coffee on a road trip turned into nationwide historical database.

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"? Now the author of that book has left the world of girls and has headed over to the boys.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, a conversation with author Rosalind Wisemen about her book about boys' world: Masterminds and Wingmen.

Emory University

Emory University in Atlanta is one of the top private universities in the US, with over 14 thousand students and an endowment in the billions.

And in the past few weeks its had something else of national importance: Ebola patients. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we'll talk to some people behind the scenes of treating, and curing, patients with Ebola at Emory.

We'll also hear why the CDC pushing even harder for your school age kids to be vaccinated, follow a family from a life in the fields to life on campus.

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