CHILLIWACK (NEWS 1130) — It was supposed to be an educational video about biology, but a prospective Chilliwack school board trustee is facing some backlash over a video she posted online seven years ago.
In 2014, Dr. Carin Bondar made a parody video of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” where she swung on a wrecking ball both in her underwear and in the nude.
She was also filmed licking a microscope in the video, which is on YouTube and titled “Organisms Do Evolve.”
While the biology professor at the University of the Fraser Valley admits some may question her work her video was about science, biology, and natural selection.
“It was definitely was designed to catch that media attention that her viral video was having so essentially it was just going crazy at the time and I thought sometimes you just have to go with it, and that’s what I did,” she says. “It ended up being a fun project that was widely shared and covered in some pretty major outlets like Discover Magazine.”
Donbar says in her line of work, she’s known to blur the barriers between the arts and sciences.
“I’m a science communicator so I do work that intersects at art and science so this was a parody video that I tried to do the first half of it scene for scene from the original video,” she says. “I do a lot of work that looks at the role of biology and the role of biology in the lives of animals and ourselves and the process of evolution was the main message in that piece.”
She’s hitting back at critics, saying creativity should be supported especially when it comes to education.
“I’m excited to bring my vision of creativity and science and inclusivity to the school board out there in Chilliwack and today I’ve just received a lot of support in that direction. I feel really inspired to keep doing the work that I’ve always done,” she says, adding she has no intention of taking the video down or stepping away from the fight for a spot on the board. “I think my work and my career stand for itself. I’m ready to do this work and to not get caught in silly little arguments that have little to do with any of the work that needs to be done,” she says.
While Bondar acknowledges some find the content inappropriate, she goes on to say bullying and harassment over educational content are never okay.
“I think there have absolutely been some attempts to look at this in a controversial light but overall our ability to tell great stories as scientists and to be able to contribute is more than valuable enough. I think we are really moving in a direction of the beautifully diverse community that we are out there,” she says. “I think people are sending a clear message we can’t really be bullied, there isn’t a role for that especially not in our education system. That’s what we are talking about here, we need to do better than that.
The byelection for the Chilliwack school board is on Feb. 13.