Still from a 2014 video by science educator Carin Bondar who is running in the 2021 Chilliwack school board byelection, where she talks about evolution through a parody video of Miley Cyrus’s song, Wrecking Ball. (YouTube)

Still from a 2014 video by science educator Carin Bondar who is running in the 2021 Chilliwack school board byelection, where she talks about evolution through a parody video of Miley Cyrus’s song, Wrecking Ball. (YouTube)

Chilliwack school board candidate defends naked Miley Cyrus parody video

Well-known science educator Carin Bondar known for using shock and artistry in educational videos

Chilliwack school board byelection candidate Carin Bondar says she stands by a video she made years ago that parodied a famous pop song.

The biology educator created a video in 2014 for YouTube that mimicked Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball, complete with the same provocative imagery that Cyrus used in her hit video. In that video, released in 2013, Cyrus sits on an actual wrecking ball in a white tank top, underwear and boots while it swings back and forth. She also licks a sledgehammer at one point. By the end of the video, the pop star is nude except for her boots.

Bondar’s version was meant as parody, and follows the original fairly closely, nudity included. But the Bondar version is all about science, and designed to promote science. She titled it Organisms Do Evolve, and the subject is natural selection.

Bondar is known for using a bit of shock and artistic presentation to get her messages across as a scientist. But now she is running for a seat on the Chilliwack school board in the Feb. 13 byelection, and the video has caught the eye of the community.

Chilliwack trustee Barry Neufeld shared it in a private Facebook group, without adding any comment. And in the past few days screenshots from the video, and those from a series called Wild Sex, have been circulating around social media with various descriptions of their origins. One commenter even suggested it was from a pornographic film.

When The Progress questioned Bondar on the video’s origins and whether she felt it was appropriate to keep online, she said she stands by her work.

READ MORE: Four candidates vying for vacant seat in upcoming school trustee byelection in Chilliwack

“I create work that exists at the intersection of art and science. I am excited to inspire the students in our district to create their own paths forward, whether they are well-trodden or not,” she said. “I took the opportunity to create a piece about evolution and yes, the approach was cheeky. The piece received considerable coverage across the world including a story in Discover Magazine (USA) and Business Insider (Australia), and I covered it for my own blog at Scientific American Magazine.”

She added some background to how her career evolved into talking about animal sex. It began when she finished her PhD, and had her young children with her at home.

“I started blogging and writing about many aspects of biology and animal behaviour,” she said. “I did this as an outlet for the long and exhausting tasks of motherhood, but I also found that I had a knack for it. I noted that audiences were always more interested and invested when the topic had something to do with sex. Let’s face it – humans think about sex a lot, so it follows that it makes for an excellent teaching tool in many areas of biology.”

Her work caught a lot of people’s attention, and she was invited to shoot a series called Wild Sex in South Africa, for Earth Touch TV.

“It was a purposefully provocative show, the approach was a risk,” she said. “However; the risk paid off. The series has garnered more than 130 million views and has led to two books and two further series. I’m currently in direct discussions with major networks for another series for which I will be executive producer, writer and host.”

Her work is also featured on Discovery Channel, The Science Channel, National Geographic, Animal Planet and Netflix.

She said the initial Wild Sex series was intended for a young adult audience and that there are other Wild Sex series that are animated and more appropriate for younger audiences. She knows of teachers who use them in their classrooms, and she uses them in public lectures.

Bondar said she is aware that some people are taking screenshots from the series and sharing them, in some cases manipulating their meaning.

“Being a strong, educated female scientist in the public eye has taught me to weather negativity with grace,” she said. “We must not get distracted from the important work that needs to be done in our school district. I will always choose to find common ground and move forward with the best intentions of Chilliwack students in mind. I am excited and passionate about science and education, and remain firm on my stance that science belongs in schools.

“I also believe that those who are creating and sharing these videos need to ask what kind of example they are setting for their children. We must rise above trying to create further division in our community, and find higher ground that will better serve our students.”

READ MORE: Carin Bondar announces candidacy for Chilliwack School Board


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Chilliwack School District

Just Posted

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

web
Mission students hold rally, say everyone welcome at school

Ecole Christine Morrison Elementary School hosted an Anti-Racism Day on June 15

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

n
Quarry Questions: Supreme Court ruling spells concern for Mission bylaws

Judge ruled that provincial permits overrule municipal bylaws relating to mining activity

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read