Allan Snyder

Professor Allan Snyder

Awarded the Marconi Prize in 2001

Presented by: Chairman Martin Meyerson of The Marconi Foundation; President John Jay Iselin of that foundation at Columbia University, New York City

Snyder’s key contributions laid the foundations for three totally different areas of science: optical fibre communications, visual photoreceptor optics and futuristic light-guiding-light technologies. His design of a range of devices essential to the operation of the telecommunications network has enabled millions of miles of fibre optic cable to be laid around the globe. Snyder began his research in the mid-1960s on how visual photoreceptors in the human retina transmit light images in the brain. At the time he had no particular interest in telecommunications but noticed the similar transmission properties of both photoreceptors and optical fibre.

He is a fellow of the Royal Society, and a recipient of the Royal Society’s 2001 Clifford Paterson Prize for "contributions which benefit mankind." He was awarded the 1997 International Australia Prize by the Prime Minister of Australia, for "outstanding contributions to telecommunications, promoting human welfare."

Presently he is investigating ways to access nonconscious information, to enhance creative thinking, and to unravel the ingredients of extraordinary success. Dr Snyder is the creator of the What Makes A Champion? forum, an Olympic Cultural Event held on the occasion of the Sydney 2000, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the forthcoming 2012 London Games.


  1. Optical Wave Guide Theory
  2. Accessible Solutions
  3. Center for the Mind, University of Sydney
  4. Explaining and Inducing Savant Skills (Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. B, 364)