Canada, Born 1945
As a young girl, Roberta Bondar aspired to become an astronaut, a scientist, a doctor and a photographer. She has accomplished all four ambitions.
A much-honoured neurologist and scientist, Bondar was Canada’s first female astronaut, carrying out a range of scientific experiments aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1992. Bondar’s interest in outer space is equally balanced with a concern for preserving the earth. Her current work focuses on an environmental project she has initiated called Passionate Vision, which utilizes her skills as a photographer of nature and outer space. An exhibition of her photography, a book, website and CD-ROM — all to be completed by the year 2000 — will help raise awareness of the earth’s most inaccessible places and its unique ecosystems. Combining her photography of the planet from space with her close-ups of the earth’s natural wonders, Bondar hopes to capture the rare beauty of the planet and instil a desire to protect it. In addition to completing her photographic project, Bondar serves as an advisor at the University of Western Ontario’s Faculty of Kinesiology, where she provides guidance to the department on its on-going research. In November 1997 she was appointed volunteer Chair of the Science Advisory Board of Health Canada, a panel of 20 distinguished professionals advising the federal government on health policies. A person for whom life must be both respected and challenged, Bondar is also a certified scuba diver, parachutist and pilot.
Published in 1998