Bob Barrett | WAMC

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. In addition to producing TBOOK, he is currently a reporter and on air host at WUWF Public Radio at the University of West Florida in Pensacola. 

Ways to Connect

If you were asked to name a group of classic US political villains, Joe McCarthy’s name would be right near the top of most lists. But for a four year period, that wasn’t the case.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about a new biography of this American demagogue.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute whipping up a little laughter.

26 states now have active school voucher programs, but are those programs benefiting all students?

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear about the segregationist history of the school choice movement.

We’ll also learn about laboratory developed medical tests, and spend an Academic Minute with inequality everywhere.

NOAA

The Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig exploded in April of 2010. But it was 10 years ago this month that the oil began showing up on the shore.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear from a researcher and an emergency manager about the history of the BP Gulf Oil Spill.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute recreating the spill in a lab.

New South Books

A man born into slavery eventually became the first African American elected to Congress from Alabama.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll learn about Benjamin Sterling Turner, and hear how his story became a children’s book.

We’ll also hear how a jazz ensemble teacher and his  students are dealing with distance learning, and spend an Academic Minute traveling during a pandemic.

Bob Barrett

A lot of people who are stuck at home staring out the window are learning to enjoy what’s flying around outside that window.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about a new course on the joy of birdwatching.

We’ll also hear how students are making up for lost learning and some awesome technology. And we’ll spend an Academic Minute with our mixed-race future.

“The decade of progressive change”…that’s what a retired English teacher called the years 1967 to 1977 when he taught in New Orleans. He says that was the perfect time and place for innovation.

Next time on The Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about creativity and chaos.

We’ll also hear how recruiters are getting busy and spend an Academic Minute with sour dough lessons.

I’m Bob Barrett, that’s this week on The Best of Our Knowledge.

AACC

The next phase of testing for COVID-19 will be testing to see if people have antibodies for the virus. But some scientists have written a paper saying “slow down”.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, a conversation about serum testing for the coronavirus.

We’ll also learn how a reporting error is hurting student’s credit scores, using screen time to explore the outdoors, and spend an Academic Minute with platinum cancer drugs.

There is a small but growing world of high-achievement education giving rise to after-school learning centers, spelling bees, and math competitions.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about the trend towards hyper-education.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute with childhood anxiety.

Courtesy Santa Rosa County School District

School schedules and work schedules are competing for time and space in the home right now.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear how books and stories are helping to keep the peace.

We’ll also hear about the rise of contact tracers, learn how labs rearranging their priorities, and spend an Academic Minute with some timely nursing.

To understand how life developed and thrived in prehistoric times, it’s a pretty good idea to start by saving the life that’s still walking around.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, a conservationist talks about saving the last rhinos.

We’ll also hear how students at some rural colleges are coping with COVID, and spend an Academic Minute looking for ET.

When you stop and think about it, archaeologists basically study stuff people left lying around. So how can they study a city that completely disappears every year?

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll experience the archaeology of Burning Man.

We’ll also hear how at least one graduating got a socially distant ceremony, and spend an Academic Minute studying the humanities.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

As students around the country finish the school year at home, many are finding it takes discipline to stay on task.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear from a high schooler and a grade schooler about home learning from their point of view.

We’ll also hear from Dr. Timothy Hoff, a professor of Management, Health Care Systems and Health Policy  at Northeastern University in Boston, about how the pandemic may change medical training.

And we'll spend an Academic Minute learning to share the road.

Gabriel Castro/Education International

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted schools across the country and teachers are stepping up.

Next time on The Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear from a teacher’s union leader and an educator about how programs are adapting.

We’ll also hear how the pandemic is affecting Alzheimers patients, and spend an Academic Minute fishing for a cure for Parkinson’s.

I’m Bob Barrett, that’s this week on The Best of Our Knowledge.

Mayo Clinic

The fight against COVID-19 is going on today in clinics and hospitals and testing sites. But that fight began in a clinical lab.

Next time on The Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk with a microbiologist from the Mayo Clinic about how the coronavirus was identified and how tests are being developed.

Find Dr. Pritt's blog called Creepy Dreadful Wonderful Parasites here.

UWF

The coronavirus has forced colleges and universities to switch to online classes. And that’s forced teachers and students to adapt in a hurry.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear how one university is making the switch, and how congress adjusted the GI Bill.

We’ll also talk about medical education, and spend an Academic Minute with political humor and gender.

Ellen Forney

So you’re a successful cartoonist and you want to tell the story of your life with bipolar disorder, what do you do? Ellen Forney started drawing. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about her very personal graphic memoirs. 

See Ellen Forney's Ted Talk here.

We’ll also hear how to save the world with video games from Jane McGonigal, an author, public speaker and video game designer.

Find Jane McGonigal's Ted Talks here.

A pair of film makers from Florida has explored the history of the Vietnam War from an interesting perspective: surfing.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we follow the journey back to China Beach. We’ll also hear about the Army’s new recruiting campaign.

Most students look forward to building a life and becoming independent, but for millions of young adults that opportunity seems far away.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear about these young people who are disconnected from success.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute with successful students who feel like impostors.

There is still a feeling that the quality of writing from today’s students is not what it should be. The issue may not be with the students. Next time on The Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear why improving the quality of writing may start with the death of the 5 paragraph essay.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute looking for education potential in your genes.

I’m Bob Barrett…that’s this week on The Best of Our Knowledge.

Bob Barrett

Studying history, including your own family history can be fascinating. And if one of your ancestors happened to write the original novel Dracula, well how cool is that? And there might be a little actual history involved in that story.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to Dacre Stoker, the great grandnephew and keeper of the estate of Bram Stoker.

We’ll also spend an academic minute looking for less famous vampires.

Want to teach accounting students about real world tax returns? Send them out in the real world to do people’s taxes. That's what students at a Florida university are doing, they're volunteering with the United Way's VITA program.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear how students are getting involved while getting credit

The world’s coral reefs are magnificent living organisms that are teeming with all forms of sea life. Today on The Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk to one of the leading scientists studying the reefs about his new memoir and find out if the future of ocean life is bright.

Beatles Cartoon Art Show

A significant number of colleges are basing their admissions on a student’s grades rather than test scores.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll talk about a new set of answers to the GPA vs test scores question.

We’ll also meet someone who went from art school to the Beatles. Scooby Doo, too. And we’ll spend an academic minute writing an autobiography.

As we head into Black History Month we’ll hear stories about Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner and Dr. King. But there are so many other fascinating stories to tell.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear about a remarkable school for young black students in 19th Century New York City.

We’ll also spend an academic minute with a not so well known African American historian.

HMH Books

There are students who, due to lack of interest or ability, are just not ready for college. That can make a huge difference in their future.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear how our college years can make or break us.

We’ll also look at school based health centers, and spend an Academic Minute with everyone’s hero: mom.

C-SPAN

For the fourth time in American history, congress has started impeachment proceedings against the president. However, this is not a new or particularly American experience.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we open up history class to look at the past, present and future of impeachment.

We’ll also look at the advantages and the academic future of being bilingual.

PRX

One of the best ways to educate yourself about a community is to read, watch or listen to their local media. But independent local media outlets are becoming scarce.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we present the story of the death, and possible resurrection of the Missoula Independent.

We’ll also talk about medical ethics inside the lab, and spend an Academic Minute with big and small dogs.

One of the things I love about producing this program every week is I get to meet and talk to some really fascinating people who are way smarter than I am. Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll reintroduce you to traveling school evaluator and the director of the Mississippi Blues Trail.

We’ll also spend an Academic Minute with your brain on music.

Coming to the end of the year is a good time to look back at some our favorite conversations of 2019, including one about the impact of science on the cold war.

We’ll also spend some time reviewing the teacher labor actions from early in the year…and spend an Academic Minute checking time on your body clock.

©Paul Kitagaki Jr.

After the start of World War II, more than 110 thousand Japanese-Americans were rounded up and taken to desolate detention camps. For most of us this is a dark stain on American history. For Paul Kitagaki, it’s personal. For more than a decade he has been tracking down and photographing survivors of the camps and their families. Now, the project has all come together in the stunning new book “Behind Barbed Wire – Searching for Japanese-Americans Incarcerated during World War II”.

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