National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS
Gesellschaftsstrasse 6 | 3012 Bern | Switzerland
  +41 31 684 32 39

Schonken Deon, Mr.

Programme Office, Administrator, Finances and Administration, Universität Bern, Physikalisches Institut, Welcome
Finances and Administration / Administrator
3012 Bern
+41 31 684 86 92
Please give us a personal quote or a quote of a famous person (e.g. of Albert Einstein) that describes you and your life/work.
At 87, Michelangelo declared ‘Ancora Imparo – I am still learning,’ a sentiment that resonates deeply with me. It defies the adage that ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.’ Simultaneously, I’m reminded of Isaac Newton’s words to Robert Hooke in 1675: ‘If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ These insights inspire my belief in continual growth, leveraging the wisdom of those before me while embracing new experiences and knowledge.
Please describe your job in only one sentence and tell us what the most important goal of this work is.

My job is to ensure smooth financial and administrative operations at PlanetS, supporting my colleagues and the organisation’s vision and mission.

How did you get into this research/work field?
I came across the opportunity with PlanetS through Léonore Lovis, my predecessor’s advertisement, drawn by my passion for academia and Bern, prompting me to apply without hesitation. As a chartered certified accountant with a master’s in science from the University of London, my path into finance was driven by a blend of academic pursuit and professional expertise.
What would be the greatest discovery you would like to see in your life time?
To witness the vanishing of inequality, sexism, and climate woes, while uncovering extraterrestrial life and finding solutions to pressing issues like space debris.
You work for the NCCR PlanetS. What do you think will the NCCR enable you to do you couldn’t do without it?
At NCCR PlanetS, as Head of Finance and Administration, I can streamline crucial financial and administrative tasks for our team. This role allows me to support our interdisciplinary research efforts and foster collaboration in planetary science. Being part of NCCR PlanetS enables me to benefit from a resourceful network and the numerous perspectives of other planetary researchers, enhancing our collective efforts to advance our understanding of the cosmos.


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