Science & Technology Speakers

Roberta Bondar

Astronaut | Physician | Scientist | Photographer

The first Canadian woman and neurologist to fly in space, Dr. Roberta Bondar is globally recognized for her pioneering contributions to space medicine research, fine art photography, and environment education. She expanded the horizons of millions when she joined the space shuttle Discovery for its 1992 mission, where she conducted experiments for 18 countries in the International Microgravity Laboratory, a precursor to the International Space Station. Her highly motivational talks — punctuated by her stunning photographs — focus on change, social responsibility, and our environment.

For more than a decade after her spaceflight, Dr. Bondar headed an international space medicine research team, finding new connections between astronauts recovering from spaceflight and neurological illnesses on Earth, such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease. Her techniques have been used in clinical studies at the B. I. Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Bondar was also Chancellor of Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario for six years.

Dr. Bondar is a leading speaker and consultant within the medical and scientific communities, and in the field of corporate social responsibility and care for the Earth’s environment. She is the co-founder and president of The Roberta Bondar Foundation, a not-for profit charitable organization created to inspire people of all ages to connect with nature through photography. She is also the author of four bestselling books featuring her writing and photography.

Dr. Bondar holds a BSc in Zoology and Agriculture, MSc in Experimental Pathology, PhD in Neurobiology, MD, and is a Board-Certified Neurologist by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. She sub-specialized in Neuro-ophthalmology at Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston and at Toronto Western Hospital.

Among many awards and honours, Dr. Bondar has been recognized with the NASA Space Medal, inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame for her pioneering research in space medicine. She has also received 28 Honorary Degrees from universities across Canada and is a Companion of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Order of Ontario. She is also a Specially Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, an Honorary Fellow and Honorary Vice-President of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and has her own star on Canada’s Walk of Fame.


The Art of Seeing and The Art of Being: Creativity Through Clarity of Vision

Curiosity is linked to exploration. It is also about what we might be missing, or what might be important to our safety and health. Without curiosity, creativity would live in exile and we would be limited to our immediate life with no real potential for true growth. We can change how we view the world around us by awakening our senses to explore what lies beyond the human eye or personal experience. Revelation becomes relevance and the more investment in the connection, the more powerful the outcome. Dr. Bondar combines her expert knowledge in her specialty of neuro-ophthalmology (how we see and view the world around us) and professional training in landscape/nature photography with her experience of spaceflight to seek new worlds and ideas.

Considered Risk: Opening Possibilities for Change and Growth

Life is a series of moments, any of which can change the course of personal, professional and world histories. Random things can happen, and they do, all the time. Far better to embrace change than to fear it. Far stronger to examine fear and how to overcome it. The danger of spaceflight makes it unnerving for many and for others it is a source of inspiration – that human beings are destined for something greater beyond Earth life. Fear unexamined is risk undetermined. Risk becomes a force for change and all change bears risk, with the balance of risk and change set by personal passions and goals. Dr. Bondar discusses the possibilities and inspiration derived from actively seeking opportunity once risk is considered.

Perspective Shift: Moving Beyond the Familiar to Reach for the Extraordinary

The nucleus of shifting one’s point of view is having an opportunity to see and experience things in a completely different way. Sometimes it takes dismantling the known and other times it is the unknown that thrusts us into a new view of the old. Spaceflight gives us images and ideas plus the potential of emotional and natural connections to our life on planet Earth. Dr. Bondar integrates her perspective from space with her Earth exploration through still and video imagery to stimulate others to think differently.

Patterns of Philanthropy for Life: Contributing to the Fabric of Society

The perspective of Earth as seen from space is a reality check that indeed we live on a planet. It also can open the mind and heart to the interconnectedness of its natural resources, including the most precious of which is life. Great principles of philanthropy include helping others to survive the many challenges facing us on the planet, and to reduce poverty while promoting excellence through education. This is accomplished best through volunteerism and or financial support. Volunteers are a source of inspiration and have the passion and commitment to move society forward. The Roberta Bondar Foundation, a charitable organization, implements programming through a strong volunteer base that seeks a better society by connecting all generations to our natural world through the coupling of art and science.

The Avian World: Flights of Fantasy and Resilience with Secrets Yet to Be Gleaned

They inspired her to fly when she was a little girl. Now, Dr. Roberta Bondar strives to protect the precious and threatened avian heritage of Earth. As astronauts fly across political boundaries without seeing divisions from space, so do birds, especially migratory birds that are declining in numbers at an alarming rate. They have much to teach us about flight and feathers, navigation and habitat health. Most of all, they are extraordinary life forms that we cannot create or replace. When birdsong was noticeably missing during her spaceflight, Dr. Bondar grew wary of what Earth would be like if birds vanished as a life form because of changing climates or habitat degradation from human activity. Dr. Bondar created Protecting Space for Birds, a multi-year project to document threatened and endangered species internationally from three points of view: from the surface of Earth, aerial images and from the space perspective. Her fine art photography is featured in exhibitions, social media and published works.

Celebrity Services

Roberta Bondar is represented by The Spotlight Agency for sponsorships, endorsements, public relations and media spokesperson campaigns, product launches, voiceovers, celebrity appearances, and more.  Please visit The Spotlight Agency for more details.