People of influence

A social scientist, a solar expert and a man who is changing the not-for-profit sector are UNSW researchers named among the 100 most influential people in Sydney.

Top100 baldry

A social scientist, a solar expert and a man who is changing the not-for-profit sector are UNSW researchers named among the 100 most influential people in Sydney.

Associate Professor Eileen Baldry, Associate Dean (Education) of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences; Professor Martin Green, the executive research director of the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence and Professor Peter Shergold from the Centre for Social Impact have been featured in the Sydney Morning Herald's Sydney Magazine special issue.

Eileen Baldry and Peter Shergold were acknowledged in the "Power and Society" category.

Baldry, who was recently awarded the Law and Justice Foundation's 2009 Justice Medal, is best known for her work on prisons - in particular, women in prisons, people with mental illnesses and the plight of prisoners when they are released.

She says better targeting of services could keep many people with mental illnesses out of jail.

"What if instead of using $200 million to build and $50 million every year to run the [new] Nowra prison, that money was ploughed into the surrounding community?" Baldry says in the magazine.

Shergold, a former head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, was given the nod for his work to shake up the way government, business and the not-for-profit sector work together. The Centre for Social Impact's aim is to enhance the work of the "third sector" and foster social responsibility within the corporate world.

"We're a centre for social impact, not just for the study of social impact," he is quoted as saying. "That's an important difference."

Martin Green was featured in the "Science and Technology" section. In 1974, he started the Solar Photovoltaics Group, which began work on silicon solar cells. He has held the world record for converting the sun's rays into electricity for the past two decades.

"It's just not sustainable to keep burning coal and emitting massive amounts of carbon dioxide," he told the magazine.

Thirty-five years on, his enthusiasm remains. He recently turned over $350,000 (his prize money from his runner-up award in Abu Dhabi's Zayed Future Energy Prize) to the Centre to help bring solar cell technology closer to everyday use.

Media contact: Susi Hamilton | 9385 1583 | susi.hamilton@unsw.edu.au