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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

An RDKB bylaw officer on Thursday, March 4, concluded their investigation into land-use violations reported at the disused Broadacres facility at 860 Carson Rd., according to planning and development manager Donna Dean. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
No ‘homeless shelter’ at rural Grand Forks’ Broadacres, says RDKB

Regional District planning manager Donna Dean says there’s no camping happening there, either

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Edward Wright’s trial will continue at the city courthouse later this spring, the court heard. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks man stands trial for break and enter at flood-damaged property

Edward “Joe” Wright is accused of an August 2019 property crime in the city.

Third-grader Hudson Adrian (left) on Wednesday, Feb. 24, poses with fourth-graders Josh Hlookoff (centre) and Jaylen Dekteroff at Hutton Elementary’s Pink Shirt Day parade. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
WATCH — Grand Forks’ elementaries support Pink Shirt Day

The annual celebration of kindness puts paid to the idea that bullying was ever cool

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

This photo of Cheryl-Lynn Townsin and her daughter, Lexi, is part of Townsin’s documentary, RARE HUMANS - Turning Hope into Action, her capstone project for her graduate degree from Royal Roads University. (Photo courtesy of Cheryl-Lynn Townsin)
Vancouver Island mom’s grief fuels documentary of ‘Turning Hope into Action’

Lexi, 6, died in 2019 from Blau Syndrome and is among the children documented

Most Read