WASHINGTON (May 11, 2006)–The National Geographic Society has won the 2006 Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities. The award honors a person or organization whose work contributes significantly to universal culture in the fields of communication and humanities. The Society’s selection was announced by the award’s jury at its meeting in Oviedo, Spain, on May 10. The Prince of Asturias Foundation was created in 1980 at a formal ceremony presided over by His Royal Highness the Prince of Asturias, heir to the Throne of Spain, accompanied by his parents, Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain.
The Communication and Humanities prize is the second of eight Prince of Asturias Awards that will be announced over the next four weeks (two awards, Sports and Concord, are announced in September). Bill and Melinda Gates have won the 2006 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation. The awards will be formally presented to all the awardees by Crown Prince Felipe in October in Oviedo.
National Geographic was cited for playing a crucial role in exploring the world’s diverse people, places and cultures through its magazines, the National Geographic Channel, films, books, maps and interactive media.
“On behalf of our explorers, scientists, photographers, filmmakers and writers who have shared their findings with people worldwide for more than a century, we are grateful for this prestigious award,” said John Fahey, CEO and president of National Geographic. “Along with our editorial and television partners in Spain and our colleagues around the world, we pledge to continue funding scientific research, reporting on the world and all that’s in it, with the goal of inspiring people to care about the planet. We commend the Prince of Asturias Foundation for its commitment to improving scientific and cultural understanding in our rich and complex world.”
The international awards, which honor individuals and institutions for their scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanitarian work, are given for Communication and Humanities; Social Sciences; Arts; Letters; Technical and Scientific Research; International Cooperation; Concord; and Sports. Each award carries a cash prize of 50,000 euros and a commissioned sculpture donated by renowned Spanish artist Joan Miró.
Previous winners of Prince of Asturias Awards include Jane Goodall for Technical and Scientific Research, Nelson Mandela for International Cooperation, and CNN for Communication and Humanities.
About the Prince of Asturias Awards
The awards are intended to acknowledge scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanitarian work carried out internationally by individual groups or organizations. Nominees for the awards must be outstandingly exemplary, and their work or contribution to society must be of acknowledged international standing. The awards were created by the Prince of Asturias Foundation, which was founded in 1980. UNESCO acclaimed in 2004 “the prominent role played by the Prince of Asturias Awards in the celebration and promotion of the scientific, cultural and humanistic values that are part of our common heritage” and declared that the honor bestowed on the Foundation was intended to acknowledge “the important work carried out by the Foundation in the celebration and promotion of outstanding achievements in the fields of culture, science and human sciences throughout the world.” For more information, visit www.fpa.es.
About the National Geographic Society
Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations, with a mission to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while promoting conservation of Earth’s cultural and natural resources. It reaches more than 350 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and its four other magazines; the National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; radio programs; films; books; videos and DVDs; maps; and interactive media. National Geographic has funded more than 8,000 scientific research projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. For more information, log on to nationalgeographic.com.