The National Geographic Society has won the 2006 Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities. It is the second of eight international awards being decided by the Prince of Asturias Foundation in Oviedo in northern Spain. This year’s prize for International Cooperation went to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.The awards, first given in 1981, go to individuals or organisations whose “creative work or research represents a significant contribution to universal culture”. National Geographic, based in the US, runs a television channel and produces documentaries and various publications. Its best-known product is probably National Geographic magazine with a worldwide circulation of nine million copies. The Society’s Research and Exploration arm has helped projects such as the observation of chimpanzees in Tanzania by Jane Goodall, herself an Asturias Prize winner. Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe will be handing out all the awards in a special ceremony later in the year.