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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It seems like every other day someone in the media is talking about the American education system being "broken". They say it...and everyone nods in agreement. But one of the foremost authorities on education in the US says that public schools are doing fine...the real problem is the  growing trend towards privatization.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we'll talk to former US Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch, who calls the privatization movement a Reign of Error.

The Gilded Age in the US has also been called the Golden Age of Journalism. You probably couldn't convince President's Teddy Roosevelt or William Taft of that. Those two men had a special relationship between each other...and with the writers of the day...that defined their time in the White House...and after it.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we'll hear from Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin about Taft, Teddy...and the golden age of journalism.

We’ll also spend an academic minute finding out how robots communicate, with each other.

Order the same dish and three different restaurants and you’ll probably get three different flavors. No big deal, right? But it seems if you send a blood sample off to three different clinical labs for test results…you may get three different results.  And that IS a big deal. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about the need for harmonization of laboratory methods and results.

We’ll also hear an interview with a professor of journalism and government about the need for knowledge-based journalism…and how could we resist that on this program.

University of West Florida

For a political science professor, following the recent vote on Scottish independence was the Olympics and World Cup rolled into one.

And when you start a conversation on the topic…it’s likely the subject will drift a bit. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to a professor of political science to learn the history and the teachable moments from the vote in Scotland.

We’ll also spend an academic minute with a refreshing walk in the park.

Think back with me now…when was the last time you opened an encyclopedia…and no, Wikipedia doesn’t count. Well there is a fairly new one out that could just save your life…or not. It seems like you can’t listen to the news at all without finding something else that will eventually kill you.  Sunshine, artificial sweeteners, natural sweeteners...there’s no escaping it; they are all gunning for you. And according to this book...it’s even worse than we thought.  Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, a conversation with an author of The Encyclopedia Paranoiaca.

The Friday and Saturday night lights have started around the country…another football season is underway and students of all ages from Pee Wee to Division One are doing their best to be their best on the field. But for athletes of any age or experience level, that sometimes means taking performance enhancing drugs.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll feature two unique points of view on testing for PEDs. One who says the system is working…the other who says scrap it and let them eat steroids.

If someone tells you they are a science teacher…think about it, that really doesn’t narrow it down a lot. Earth science, chemistry, biology, astronomy, physics…these are all taught by science teachers. But it takes a special person to teach ocean science when there isn’t an ocean for hundreds of miles.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear the story of an ocean science teacher in a land locked state.

We'll also talk about students being prescribed a lot of meds for various issues...and spend an academic minute breeding success.

Expanding access to preschool and early learning has been a priority for educators and policy makers recently, and with good reason. Research has shown that the earlier students are exposed to a group learning experience the better they do later in their education. Now, the feds are offering states money to step up their game.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we'll hear about a new, Race To the Top like competition among state for early learning grants.

One of the prime targets for bullies in school are the new kids, the ones with no friends just trying to find their way around the building.

And there's one type of family who move so much they are almost always the new kinds: military families. Now, a former military brat and her mom have written a children's book to help show these kids how to cope in school.

Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we'll talk to the authors of the book Military Bratz.

UPDATE: The rules for distribution of the fines from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill have been issued by the federal government. You can read more about those rules HERE.

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