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 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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The Best of Our Knowledge
2:00 am
Wed March 26, 2014

The Best Of Our Knowledge #1227

I’ve got some numbers for you.  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.

We'll also spend an Academic Minute giving you a one minute talk about giving a one minute talk. 

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The Best of Our Knowledge
2:00 am
Wed March 19, 2014

The Best Of Our Knowledge #1226

The Common Core standards. That's really all you have to say to get an animated discussion going...and by that I mean an argument. Though the standards were adopted by almost all the states, there is now a good deal of push back against them.

Today on The Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll discuss the standards with a group of teachers from Florida, one of the states that is rethinking Common Core

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