The Ratón Pérez Collection celebrates its 10th anniversary

Thursday 23 May 2024
Today, the Ratón Pérez Collection (RP Collection), was presented at the Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades. This is a scientific project from the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH) in Burgos, which was launched in 2014 to develop a comparative sample of worldwide importance of milk teeth for the purposes of research in paleoanthropology, anthropology and forensics.

This citizen science project relies on the participation of more than 2000 boys and girls aged from 2 to 15 at the moment of tooth loss. Most donors are from Spain, although other countries like Australia, China, the Dominican Republic, France, India, Mexico, the Netherlands and Russia are also represented.

The donations are received by means of milk tooth collection campaigns conducted all over Spain through the CENIEH and its 21 collaborating  institutions. Some of these were represented today at this act, such as the Casita Museo del Ratón Pérez, the CSIC Office in Galicia, the Escuela Universitaria ADEMA in Palma de Mallorca, the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, the Universidad de Córdoba, the Universidad de Huelva and the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid.

The speakers at this act of presentation were: Eva Ortega Paíno, Secretary-General for Research at the Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades; María Martinón Torres, Director of the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH); Izaskun Lacunza, Director-General of the FECYT; Marina Martínez de Pinillos González, a researcher attached to the Dental Anthropology Group at the CENIEH; María Rubio Díaz-Arias, Director of the Casita Museo del Ratón Pérez; and Chitina Moreno-Torres, head of the Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit (UCC+I) at the CENIEH.

As the Director of the CENIEH explained, the RP Collection is going to continue growing with new tooth collection campaigns to be conducted both in Spain and other countries where there is a collaboration agreement, such as that with the Universidad de Buenos Aires, which has sent an excited congratulation video. In Burgos, the Eleventh Tooth Collection Campaign will take place on September 27th on the CENIEH premises, to coincide with European Researchers' Night.

For her part, Martinez de Pinillos stated that “We've reached this eleventh edition, not only thanks to the donors, but also thanks to all the collaborating institutions which have accompanied us campaign after campaign. We hope to be able to continue counting on them all so we can continue expanding the RP Collection and carry out research which would otherwise not be possible.”

“Ratón Pérez Collection” Awards

As has become standard practice, in exchange for their dental pieces, donors receive a souvenir and a certificate of having assisted "Ratón Pérez" and the CENIEH Dental Anthropology Group, as well as merchandise from the Casita Museo del Ratón Pérez.

This year, to reward the generosity of the donating boys and girls over the last ten years, the “Ratón Pérez” Awards have been created. These will be presented on December 13th 2024 in the following categories: Most Donations, Most Campaigns, and Most Molar Donations.

There will also be an award for the Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit of the Universidad de Córdoba as the most committed entity, for its unconditional support for the Ratón Pérez Collection, even in times of pandemic.

The Ratón Pérez Collection project enjoys the collaboration of the Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (FECTY) – Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades.